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Friday, July 25, 2014

D+G in a day..

Creative Scotland CEO Janet Archer was treated to a snapshot of the region’s current creative projects – during a whistle-stop tour of the region today. Last night Ms Archer had a working dinner with trustees of the Chamber of Arts, Regional Convenor Kathleen O’Neill and representatives of DGC. One of the key roles of the trustees is to work as advocates for the arts sector – this dinner meeting and organising the whole visit is good example of how they are doing this….nice work folks!

Janet Archer was joined around the school tables at Gracefield by representatives of: Wide-Open, Spring Fling, D+G Arts Festival, Environmental Art Festival Scotland, Electric Theatre Workshop, The Stove Network and Theatre Royal….as well as the Area Arts Convenors for Annandale and Eskdale and Nithsdale.

In the sunshine at Gracefield - Janet Archer front row - fourth from left
Everyone was on best behaviour and played nice in giving a 3 minute summary of what they are doing at the moment and where there organisations are headed. So nicely in fact that our Regional Convenor had to step in at one point to say ‘What everyone is being too polite to say is that, actually, there are some extremely high-level practitioners around this table…..and they are leading this dynamic energy around the arts in the South West!’
With barely time to put down her coffee cup Ms Archer was then whisked off to the West and a hot date at CatStrand with some of the fine arts folk of the Stewartry and Wigtownshire. The same format was followed here with representatives from: CatStrand, Wigtown Book Festival, Creetown Initiative and Spring Fling….as well at the arts convenors for Stewartry and Wigtownshire.

Sunny in New Galloway too
Also at CatStrand one of our rising dance stars Kelly Whiteside performed and the film made by Purple Box about the arts in the region was screened.

Breathless by the end, the Chair of the Trustees of Chamber of Arts commented before heading for a well-deserved cold beer: ‘Today was a very valuable 2-way communication between people and organisations involved in creating and promoting the arts in D+G. Janet Archer saw for herself the diversity, rurality and opportunity in our region.’
Janet Archer herself declared herself ‘Really impressed by the breadth and quality of practice in the Arts in Dumfries and Galloway – and the strength of leadership coming from artists themselves’

Ms Archer also stressed to everyone involved in the arts in our region that ‘her door was open’ at Creative Scotland and if anyone wanted to discuss a particular topic in detail then they should get in touch directly.

Happy days all around!

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