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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Independent Arts Sector Meeting 17.10.11

Following the meeting at the Catstrand on the 3rd of October, another meeting, composed of those who volunteered to form the working group convened in the offices of the Holywood Trust on Monday the 17th October. Thanks go to those who braved the atrocious weather and particularly to Karen Ward Boyd for hosting, Cathy Agnew for chairing and Jodie Noble for keeping the minutes.

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Independent Arts Sector Meeting  17.10.11  4 pm
At the offices of The Holywood Trust, Dumfries

In attendance: Cathy Agnew ( GCAT),  Julian Watson (The Mill on the Fleet), Karen Ward Boyd (The Holywood Trust), Anne Foley (A’ the Airts), Jan Hogarth (Wide Open), Mark MacLachlan (The Stove), Ken Gouge (Arts Advisor), Dougie Muego (Artist), Dame Barbara Kelly and Peter Renwick (D&G Arts Festival), Marilyn Elliot (Moffat Book Events), Carolyn Yates (Literature Development Officer), Anne Barclay (Wigtown Book Festival), Rebecca Coggins (D&G Council), Jodie Noble (CatStrand)

After considering the main points arising from the meeting at the CatStrand 2 weeks previously, there was discussion regarding the Arts Service Stakeholder Consultation to be held on 28th October. 

It was noted that D&G Council are aiming:
·        To get an understanding of the strengths of the region and the current gaps
·        To create a vision for Arts provision and Arts Development in Dumfries and Galloway
·        To find out what the Council needs to do in order to support this vision?
·        To find out what Creative Scotland needs to do in order to support this vision?
Historically there has been a split between the Arts focus within DG Council with the Council provision dealing with Film, Visual Arts, Crafts & Museums and dgArts looking after Literature, Music, Performing Arts & Public Art.
The need for Core funding (rather than project funding) is key to the sustainability of rural organisations, enabling them to secure further funding, was strongly emphasised.

There was considerable discussion about developing the idea of a region-wide ‘Umbrella Organisation’ that had previously received general consensus at the CatStrand Open Meeting.
-         Suggested that it needs to be constituted, probably a charity and have the ability to make grant applications
-          Need for advocacy – an outward looking vision
-          Need for Community Hubs
-          Possible structure made up of existing organisations
-          Possible local forums that vote a representative on to a regional forum
-          Need to be egalitarian – needs to work for small organisations & individuals & must ensure that smaller organisations do not have reduced influence if they don’t have same capacity to contribute/take on responsibilities

Other models were suggested for more consideration:
·        Philidelphia Cultural Alliance: Membership organisation
·        Rural Forum – membership organisation, general membership could vote on who represented them on the forum.
·        Mid Pennine Arts Association
Action: More research into these and other model.
What would such an umbrella organisation be responsible for?
  • Advocating region & communication
  • ·       Marketing of individual programmes
  • ·        Advocacy
  • ·        Assistance with fundraising & corporate sponsorship
  • ·       Leadership Role – promoting best practice
  • ·        Region wide data collection & processing
  • ·        To include professional, grassroots & community
  • ·        Educational role. Someone required to broker relationships between schools &     organisations – linking with the Curriculum for Excellence
  • ·        Audience development
  • ·        Communicating with the arts community, funders and stakeholders
  • Need to decide – should it cover ‘culture & heritage’ or just ‘arts’
  • What assets are required?
·        Ticketing service – recognised as essential & vital for data collection but must be more effective in order to make sense across the region – not just for Dumfries. Recognition that centralised online/telephone sales are not enough and over the counter sales must be possible in venues and or/ regional hubs.
·        Event Equipment/ Infrastructure – essential that these are not lost to the region. Must be clarified whether these lie in dgArts or council ownership.
·        Proposed Rural Touring Network. Creative Scotland keen on ‘Mid Scale Touring’ classified as runs of 3 or more (not necessary for it to be in the same venue). Any proposal needs to make sense for the whole region.
It was noted that £90K was originally earmarked by DG Council for the Arts in the Region. Need to ensure that this commitment remains within the arts for this current financial year
Action: To ensure that a recognised working group develops from the seminar on the 28th October.

Posted by MMac


  1. Sorry to be pedantic, but please could my name be corrected from Marion Elliott, Moffat Book Events, to Marilyn Elliott. Thanks.

  2. Hi to 'those in attendance' at this meeting- Please could my name be added to the invitations for the 'recognised working group' that will develop from the seminar on the 28th Oct. I volunteered at the Catstrand meeting but received no invite or information about the meeting on the 17th Oct. I will be at the seminar in Dalbeattie, but wish to make sure my name doesn't slip through the net another time.
    Thanks, Cate Ross (cat at spanner dot org)