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Friday, November 8, 2013

Conference Plans to Put Artists in the Driving Seat

How ever you are making your way there Greyfriars Church is the place to be next Wednesday for the Creative D+G - Model for the Future Conference. 160 people from all around Scotland have booked to come - it is going to be a big day for our sector in our region
Details are being unveiled of a transformation in arts leadership for Dumfries and Galloway – which could provide a model for other parts of Scotland.

The new approach will be highly flexible, giving artists and arts organisations a powerful voice in shaping the future. It is also designed to bring wider access to the arts – enriching lives and giving new opportunities – despite the economic downturn and the challenge of winning funds.

Around 150 delegates from across the region, and elsewhere in Scotland, will discuss the changes at a day-long conference entitled A Vision for the Future: A model for change in creative D&G, in Dumfries on Wednesday, 13 November.

One aim is to build a partnership of events, festivals and projects to make 2015 a year of celebration of the arts in D&G.  

The most far-reaching changes involve setting up groups, representing the creative community, supported by a small core of professionals, which will provide strategic leadership for the sector and play a vital role in organising commissions and lobbying.

The new approach results from the Fresh Start for the Arts process, which was set up following the collapse of the dgArts regional arts agency. The aim has been to find an alternative model for arts leadership, which gives a leading role to artists, is sustainable and is light on bureaucracy.
Rabbie is first in the queue at Greyfriars
Cathy Agnew, Chair of the Dumfries and Galloway Arts Partnership, said: “This is a genuinely fresh start for the arts in our region – based on an entirely new model that puts artists, arts organisations, communities and audiences at the centre of what we do.
“In future there will be far more opportunity for those who are ambitious to see our arts sector flourish to come together, agree priorities, and make things happen.

“Dumfries and Galloway is an extraordinarily creative place and we are bringing about a step change which will allow more people to enjoy and be involved with the arts. We will also be working hard to raise the profile of the region’s arts at a national and international level.

“This conference is a chance for the region, and delegates from elsewhere, to find out more about what we hope to achieve. With the arts facing rapid change, and a harsh funding environment, we are getting a great deal of interest from other parts of Scotland, many of which are keen to learn from our model as they seek to create a sustainable future for the arts in their own areas.”

The event itself will feature a range of speakers, including Janet Archer CEO of Creative Scotland, plus a variety of live performances and presentations.

The new structure for the arts in D&G (which follows successful pilot projects) will see a voluntary Chamber of Arts take the lead role in representing the sector and will develop a regional arts programme.

Regional and Area Arts Hubs will co-ordinate activity across D&G and will be supported by a small core of skilled professionals.
Details of the new model for the arts in D&G are contained in the background document which accompanies this release.

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