From Belle Doyle, Nithsdale Area Arts Convenor
The most recent meeting of the Nithsdale Hub offered proof – if any were needed – of the sheer range of interests and issues that Chamber of Arts members are discussing.
We have put quite a full account on the Chamber’s website but wanted, through The Commonty, to highlight some of the issues raised as they all have implications – positive, negative, narrow or wide.
One of the main subjects was the Nithsdale Area Arts Plan. This brings together town centre regeneration in the form of a Dumfries cultural quarter, highlights the need for more support for young people in the area, and looks at each art form in turn.
Among the points raised was that there is a real need to engage with and support older people as well as the young.
As ever, the question of resources for the arts was a high priority. For example it was felt that more availability of seed funding, even of just £50 to £100, could make a real difference, especially for small groups trying to get started. This would be enough to tackle things like transport costs and printing, and could help groups engage with larger events happening in the region;
Hub members also felt that there was a need for support with project development, with some kind of learning space put aside for people wanting to work on projects. This could be a zone or hot-desking area, but it would also have information and support for project development, and have training facilities as well.
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Transport issues are always a concern, and there was a debate about the practicalities of running vehicles – a caravan or trailer – that could double up as a pop up shop/exhibition space/workshop or performance space. Would this be something the council might provide, or would it be possible to find something second-hand that people could tow behind their own vehicles? Suggestions welcome.
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We’d love to hear your views on any of the subjects raised and if you would like to join the Chamber or get involved with the hub just contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email Mjhshelley@hotmail.co.uk