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Friday, February 6, 2015

Cultural D&G - signposting, mapping and consultations

From Cate Ross, Stewartry Arts Hub Convenor

There have been many great successes in arts development over the last years in D&G! And now there are so many ways to get directly involved in the arts, heritage and culture in your area. Just now, you can help shape the look, feel and function of the DG Unlimited (D&G Chamber of the Arts) website available here, go see it at and get involved. We can populate it with images and information or use it to make connections. You can complete the survey there to help make this exciting new creative forum fit your needs.

You can also use any of the DGU channels set up to support individuals and arts organisations that are now working at quite a pace, the area Arts Hubs are there to help feed information between the D&G Council (Community and Cultural Services and Local Area Committees), cultural organisations and creative people via the mechanisms of the DGU membership organisation. The area Arts Hub Convenors offer signposting and professional support for funding applications, practice development and integration with information networks. They also gather information from artists and organisations that inform developing recommendations for best practice and strategic funding directions to help meet the needs of our creative community.

Community Poetry Tree Installation by Bill Barlow. Image: Cate Ross
Many of you participated in the Cultural Mapping project that happened in 2013 as part of the Fresh Start for the Arts pilot. About a thousand artists, creative organisations and cultural bodies shared their contact information and since then D&G Council‘s ‘Business and Technology Services’ department have been building a ground-breaking online Cultural Map of the region to share the information. The online map will put us all in touch directly with artists, heritage and cultural organisations, linking us up with contact information, web links and pin points on an responsive map that shows you exactly where to find certain art, heritage or cultural treasures, you can submit your own information, amend and delete your records as you see fit. Now in the fine-tuning stages, the D&G cultural map has recently had a thorough ‘user-test’ by members of the arts community prior to final solutions and a public launch as soon as possible, watch this space!

Self Portrait from The Stove Network's Parking Space. Image: Cate Ross

Grass roots (the grass is greener) at Cairnholy. Image: Cate Ross
Also, just now, you can join in the Spring Fling Evolution consultation; some feel that we’ve consultations coming out of our ears, which is true enough! But, consultations mean that you are put in the driving seat and your opinions are heard and help shape ‘the engine’ design- metaphorically speaking. These are opportunities to inform the development of services you need to best meet your ambitions. Contact consultant Steve Brown or look up the dedicated website to have your say.

So let’s keep up the information stream. It is unusual and valuable that so many people and organisations are working together to make D&G a creative haven with access to professional support for all creative people at all stages of development. If you don’t join in the consultation or the process then you really can’t complain if developments don’t fit your needs…

All these things increase our creative capacity individually and as a region, to maintain and grow this vitality and fortitude join the DG Unlimited membership to make sure you have a vote in what happens next. Download an application form online here.

Help to shape the environment you wish to live in.

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