What has The Stove achieved over the last year?
2022 was an exciting year for us here at The Stove. From developing new projects, expanding and delivering ongoing ones and growing opportunities for creatives in the region, we’re immensely proud of the team, and so thankful for the continued support of our members, customers, communities and partners, all of whom have played a part in the story of The Stove.
Looking back at all the fantastic things the Stove team have accomplished from April 22’ to March 23’, we asked our team to reflect on their highlights of the year:
Saying Hello and Goodbye
From April 2022 onwards, we had a year of providing opportunities at the Stove. During this time, we awarded the total value of £237 537 of contracts to people, 56% of which were under 25 and 86% were local.
We said goodbye to two members of staff this year who have left to grow and complete projects and career goals of their own, Edith and Beth. We said hello to five members of new staff over the course of the year. This year we were fortunate to work with a brilliant new team of Creative Spacers; Alice, Emma and Morgan, and we said hello to two new members of our comms team; WWDN Content Creator Malcolm, and Marketing Assistant Erin. Last year we also welcomed our community events producers, who have been supporting Open Hoose; Leanne & Mia. You can learn more about our team via our The Stove Team page. Our Production lead, Sal Cuddihy, shared the following thoughts about our producers;
“Its’ been an absolute pleasure having Leanne and Mia join our team this year to pilot a Creative Event Producer program, they both have done some amazing things this year, working with a wide range of communities to deliver events. Now with Meg as our newest edition to the production family, I’m super proud of them all!”Sal Cuddihy (Production Lead) on our Community Event Producers
22/23 Projects at The Stove
Open Hoose is a project at the heart of the Stove’s community venue. Ideas are given the space, time, resources and support of the Stove Network to launch ambitious projects to galvanise and gather our communities together.
The projects that have been nurtured through our Open Hoose programme this year have been; Doughlicious, Free Improvisation, Queer Club, The Hoose, WRITE!, Climate Kitchen, Nith Life, Doongamers and Repair Shop.
Our Community Events Producers shared the following about their involvement with Open Hoose:
“My Highlight of last year was watching community groups grow through our Open Hoose program in numbers and ambitions throughout the year.”Leanne Bradwick (Community Events Producer)
“Working on Open Hoose events makes you realise what’s possible when you empower the community to take a lead in local programming. The possibilities are endless and the impact this has had on individuals and the wider community has been invaluable.“Mia Osborne (Creative Spaces & Community Events Producer)
You can read more about Open Hoose HERE.
High Street Multiverse is a digital, public art project run by the Stove Network, supported by Dumfries & Galloway Unlimited. This project saw different QR codes being stationed at different points on Dumfries High Street with different content to access when scanned.
You can find out more about High Street Multiverse here.
Brave New Words continued throughout 2022, before coming to a bittersweet ending. Brave New Words was the Stove’s monthly open mic night for writers, artists, musicians and songwriters to share words spoken or sung to an audience in the heart of the town centre.
“Brave New Words – I cried, I laughed, I contemplated and I was inspired!'”Lindsey Smith (Finance & Operations Manager)
You can read about Brave New Words HERE.
It sadly saw its last hurrah but keep an eye out on our programme to see any future developments…
2022 was a big year for WWDN – our creative placemaking network. WWDN supports partnerships between artists and community organisations across Dumfries & Galloway, co-creating with local communities to develop new projects, local plans, training, and enterprise.
Kathryn Wheeler, our WWDN Project Lead shared the following about the previous year.
“Last year has been one full of changes, as most are in both the areas of community and cultural working. The focus of my work has grown more and more towards the development the What We Do Now project, working with the team here, and the community organisations involved, to shape a network that can support creative projects to emerge from communities across the region with the aim of starting new and inspiring things in those places. A highlight for me was September, when we were able to stage Scotland’s first ever Creative Placemaking forum, welcoming artists, community groups, policy-makers, funders, to share their ideas on the value of this work and the impact it could have for our communities if properly supported. For me it really highlighted how our small corner of the world is punching way above its weight.”Katherine Wheeler (Partnerships & Project Development)
Malcolm Struthers our WWDN Content Creator shared the following thoughts about their involvement with WWDN last year,
“It has been a pleasure to help share the story of What We Do Now, and how it has grown and developed over the past year. In particular to help showcase the variety of activities that have taken place across the region, in the communities that are part of this ground-breaking initiative.“Malcolm Struthers (WWDN Content Creator)
KNOw ONE Place took place in Dumfries in September 2022 and was an ambitious, future-thinking discussion on how communities can use creativity to lead the development of their places.
A highlight in our calendar every year, Nithraid returned with a splash in in 2022. Nithriad Festival celebrates and explores Dumfries’ long relationship with its river and its importance to people and the communities it connects in the past, present and future.
Each year we hold a River Race to celebrate our heritage and connection to the Nith. The 2022 race was saturated in sunshine and saw lots of people venture along the Nith.
Production Lead Sal shared the following about last years race;
“Now part of the fixtures for coastal rowing and canoing we had over 40 different vessels competing on the river Nith, that and the weather being in our favour for a change, saw the river the busiest it has ever been with competitors and was incredible to see.”Sal Cuddihy (Production Lead)
2022 was also a big year for Public Arts. Public Art activity at the Stove supports core programming with additional activities exploring temporary or permanent uses in public space, as well as offering support to external projects such as the fountain project. From the Progressive Seagull Alliance (yet to be trademarked but watch this space), to the beginning of the Fountain Restoration project, a wealth a public art projects have been carried out across the year.
Reel to Real Cinema delivered monthly screenings of cinematic gems. From documentary to artists made shorts, independent to international film. We aim to bring people together to share food, film and discussion. Katie, our public art lead shared the following about Reel to Real,
“In August we hosted a special screening of Long Live My Happy Head with the filmmakers, Gordon Shaw and friends. Gordon left a truly inspirational mark on all of us and I feel privileged to have been able to host the space. And just last month, we hosted a screening of [BREATHE] from Orchestras Live in the Dock Park bandstand, which felt like a such a good opportunity to experience film together in an unexpected setting.”Katie Anderson (Public Art Lead)
Conversing Building exhibitions in the café this year have included work from Access Art, Holywood Primary School and HMP Dumfries in collaboration with Alice Myers.
The Wild Goose Festival returned, bigger and better as ever. The week-long festival weaves art, culture, and nature together through a series of activities from interactive storytelling, nature walks, conversations to performances and creative workshops for all the family.
“Wild Goose Festival welcomed 3000 visitors across 35 events at multiple venues throughout Dumfries and Galloway. The festival is co-designed and delivered in partnership with over 20 local and regional organisations, and is a platform to explore nature, creativity and place through celebrating the inspirational migration of 6 species of geese into D&G each year.”Graham Rooney (General Manager & WGF Project Lead)
“My standout moment of last year was the successful launch of the Wild Goose Festival website. It was months of planning, collaboration, geese, and hard work. I’m very proud of what we achieved.”Robbie Henderson (IT Coordinator)
Solway to Svalbard, an immersive, multi-artform response to the spring migration or barnacle geese launched in 2022. Created by composer Stuart Macphearson, filmmaker Emma Dove and sound recordist Pete Smith, this unique piece of theatre brought together original music with cinematic visuals, evocative soundscapes, and live storytelling.
You can visit the Wild Goose Festival here.
The Stove Network and Stranraer Development Trust (SDT) partnered with Dandelion, to create the Unexpected Garden at Burns House in Stranraer. Led locally by, Emerging Creative Producer, Bethany Piggott who worked with both the partners and community to deliver the project.
Stove Orchestrator Matt Baker shared the following thoughts about what was happening in Stranraer last year,
“The Stove project that gave me the shivers this year was the Harvest Festival in the Unexpected Garden in Stranraer, it had all the classic ingredients to transform a place into something exciting and gathering people from all walks of life to come together and celebrate their community and their love of their town.”Matt Baker (Orchestrator)
Read more about Dandelion here.
Fuelled by experimentation and play, Creative Spaces is predominantly about working collaboratively to engage, inspire, provoke and provide both experiences and opportunities for young people in Dumfries & Galloway.
Creative Spacer Producer Mia shared the following about the 22/23 Creative Spaces achievments:
“If there’s one thing this years Creative Spaces team did with bells on, it was engagement. From Dundee to Stranraer, Wester Hailes to Caerlaverock, the team have engaged with a plethora of community groups, organisations, charities and people in order to build a larger picture of what the creative industries looks like in not only D&G but the whole of Scotland and to inspire wins from other places here in Dumfries. The associates have engaged with young people from across the region championing the creative industries whilst also engaging with our board and membership to inform proactive change internally from the perspective of young creatives.”Mia Osborne (Creative Spaces and Community Events Producer)
You can read more about Creative Spaces HERE
It’s true that ‘the people make the place’, particularly when talking about the team here at The Stove. Working with such a talented and dedicated team is a joy, and I cant wait to see what we achieve together over 2023.Kevin Stewart (Head of Communication & Engagement)
We have events at the Stove all year round! You can check out our current event programme here.