(Scots Law) A common; a piece of land in which two or more persons have a common right.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

This is the end. dgArts

The news of the sudden demise of dgArts, whilst not completely surprising given the level of funding the organisation has lost recently, was shocking in its delivery. The current situation has lost good people their jobs and has left projects incomplete and artists out of pocket.
Instant insolvency, with a hefty fee to the insolvency specialists the council have brought in, appears a brutal end to an organisation that's been at the forefront of the cultural sector in D&G for the best part of 30 years. A measured approach was called for and apparently ignored.

Inevitably tomorrow's local press will have the story. Anticipate headlines of woe, tales of gloom and doom mixed in with a soup├žon of the blame and shame game, all topped off with the obligatory, 'what good are the arts when there's potholes to be filled?' clarion call beloved by the hard of thinking in our local letters pages.

Readers of this blog should now get involved in what replaces dgArts. The Catstrand is hosting an event on Monday the 3rd at 4pm for the regions Independents, the agenda had already planned to look at the role dgArts played in the regions creative delivery. Now it's your chance to say what you think should happen.

Naturally all our thoughts lie with Alan, Caroline, Danny, Rachel and Stephanie who held the fort in the most trying of situations and we at the Commonty wish all of them the very best for the future.

Posted by MMac & MB


  1. DGAA etc - established 1984-5, so not yet 30!
    Came out of a report on the lack/difficulty of touring theatre between Scotland and northern England.
    Employed staff 1985, with a remit for touring (anything, as it turned out!)

  2. Does anyone know what is happening with the Arts Event Booking service that dgArts was running?

  3. Tickets for events at the Theatre Royal, SCO, Scottish Opera etc. can still be purchased through the Midsteeple Box office.

  4. DGAA.

    As I am married to the first Director of DGAA the following remarks may be seen as biased but I also have
    over fifty years experience as a professional arts administrator and have been responsible for many major arts projects both in England and Scotland. Therefore I feel I am qualified to comment on the present sad situation.

    The Dumfries & Galloway Arts Association under the guidance of Jenny Wilson as its first Director grew from a very small beginning into a very successful arts promotion organisation. Among the highlights of the programme was the first Burns Lantern Procession, a whole year of celebration for the start of the 21st Century, two visits from the RSC, the National Theatre of Scotland, other excellent theatre companies, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, a first class public arts project, work for schools, support for writers and much much more.

    How could the Board of DGAA let the organisation slip into the position that it has had to cease trading.?
    The Board ,which includes D&G Councillors, had a 'duty of care' to see that the organisation functioned properly. Disasters like this do not just happen over night. They take time to build up. The Board should have taken steps very much earlier than they did to see that the organisation could function properly.

    By their lack of care not only have they destroyed what was an excellent arts organisation but they will have made it even more difficult for the arts to flourish in Dumfries and Galloway. I hope they are ashamed of what they have brought about, and I hope they never again become involved in the running of any arts organisation.

    Ruari McNeill. MA. M.Phil.

  5. Good on you Ruari!
    Just to make sure here are the names of the board members from the D&G Arts website:
    Pat Smith (Chair)
    John Tooth (Vice Chair)
    Ian Lindsay
    Jane Maitland
    Janette Richardson
    Joyce Ferguson
    John Charteris
    Sandra McDowall
    Sharon Makepeace
    Let us all make sure they never again become involved in the running of any arts organisation!!!

  6. This begins to look like a number of other projects that run in Rural Economies. Back Stabbing is best! If your business had 70% of its core funding removed where would you be?
    Try counting the success over the years and then ask the Powers that Be in Edinburgh WHY?

  7. Hopefully that very question will be asked in Dalbeattie on Friday. Are you coming along?

  8. This blog has until now managed to operate without censoring any contribution - and is based on free and open debate.

    The comment above (dated 28th Oct) contains potentially slanderous accusations and racist views under a cloak of anonynmity.

    This comment will be removed from the blog in 24 hours unless the author comes forward with:

    a)substantiation for the accusation made about dgArts


    b) identifies him or herself - so that any debate about who has a right (or not?!!) to belong to place can be held in a mature manner

  9. No Us. No Them. Just We.
    No place for racism.

  10. No response from anonymous commenter after being given 24 hours to Put Up Or Shut Up.
    The comment has now been removed from the blog.

  11. Latest info on dgArts liquidation - here