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

Friday, November 15, 2013

The D+G Arts Revolution is Being Televised

Delegates to the Fresh Start for the Arts in D+G special conference were told that they were witnessing the start of an arts revolution.

Around 150 artists and representatives of organisations from across Dumfries and Galloway and Scotland attended the day-long event at Greyfriars Church in Dumfries.

It explored a transformation in the region’s strategic arts leadership which empowers the creative sector to take a lead in its own affairs.
Kenneth Fowler - see post on BBC website about the conference
Kenneth Fowler, Creative Scotland’s Director of Communications and External Relations, told participants that what was happening “is nothing short of a revolution.”
He added that the developments in D&G are being discussed across the country and seen as a model for the change – proving categorically that “special things can happen in all places”.

Jim Tildesley - unveiled the plan for how ideas are developed, agreed and delivered in the new arts climate in D+G
The Revolutionary Blueprint - RC = Regional Convenor, AHC = Area Hub Covenor
The conference heard that there will now be greater flexibility and freedom to deliver high-quality arts to new communities and to push the arts up the agenda, as a force that contributes powerfully to society, the economy, to personal happiness and to health and wellbeing.

Cathy Agnew spoke about the way the plan had come about through consultation, listening and the courage to be innovate

Graham Main was the MC for the Conference
The future will be one of sustainable and effective partnerships between practitioners and communities, and one which projects the region’s creative excellence on to a national and international stage.
Cate Ross -talked about her role as a mentor on the Youth Learning Journeys programme and showed a film made by young circus arts performer Alisdair Hullat

Richard Grieveson of Dumfries and Galloway Council talked about the way the Council is working effectively in partnership with the arts sector and supporting the sector to deliver the projects and organisations that it wants to see
Katie Anderson spoke about building a career as a visual artist in the region (including her role as one of The Commonty team)

Kelly Whiteside of the Emma Louise Dance Club
Several young artists also spoke about the opportunities and support that they have been receiving, from Fresh Start and elsewhere, to develop their work and careers.
Glen Cavers of Centre Stage Theatre Company
Delegates were invited to start looking at how they wished to be involved in shaping the future – by getting involved with the new arts structure that encourages the widest possible participation.
There’s a background document you can down load from our useful information section which explains what is happening and also a handy diagram of the new structure.
Matt Baker gave an artists perspective of being part of the process of Fresh Start
 Matt's speech is available online - here

An Open Space session explored questions raised by delegates in discussion groups

Jordan Chisholm of Electric Theatre Workshop told the story of her last year from getting involved with Electric Theatre to here new training on an Emerging Directors programme and her role as Homecoming Coordinator for Big Burns Supper

Our new Regional Arts Convenor, Kathleen O'Neill closed the formal proceeding for the day

Roberst Shields (Finding Albert) and Alex McQuiston played the conference out with a very beautiful rendition of one of Roberts songs

One of the things that struck me was the change over the course of the day from 'D+G needs to shout more about what we are doing''D+G is open for business in the arts - come and be part of it!'. There were plenty of folk who had come from out with the region - curious to see what all the fuss was to say they left pretty impressed and all us locals rubbed our eyes in amazement at all the talent we have in our midst.

A memorable day indeed - thanks go to everyone involved - but particularly Belle Doyle who was Conference Organiser and Abby Burn (PurpleBox Productions) who did all the lighting and presentation technology....respect all around

Also big up to Mr Colin Tennant for the brilliant photographs


  1. Many, many highlights - our young people were inspirational. However, one of our wise auld heads stole the show for me. Jim Tildesley gave us a very clear roadmap of the proposals made by Fresh Start and the nuts and bolts of how the governance of the new system will work.

    If this is the roadmap for the journey we are going on then I, for one, am in the line for a ticket.

    Please may we ask Mr Tildesley to permit a transcript of his presentation to be published on the web somewhere...Commonty...Fresh Start website etc??

  2. Dear Upland Shepherd, Jim's talk is now in transcript form on the Fresh Start website:

  3. More Fresh Startness on the TV - here....