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The Stove

The Stove Network



What role can the 'arts' play in our communities towards positive change for all who live there? Can creative practice help bring people into the heart of decision-making for themselves, and their environments, to co-develop better solutions for the places they live.

The work


I have been part of the collective practice* that makes up The Stove Network since 2015 when I joined their freelance Curatorial Team (what was a collective Creative Directorship made up of artists). Since then I have had the privilege to be part of the core Stovie team, working with our membership and our community, to help re-imagine and re-shape our collective work to the ever changing needs of our place, Dumfries and the wider region. Part of our work has been to evolve the working framework that supports The Stove, an experiment and exploration of its very own. During a re-structure (April 2021), and move to support freelancers during the covid pandemic, I moved from 'lead artist' to a permanent contract as Partnerships and Project Development Manager and then What We Do Now Director. As What We Do Now Director I lead the development and establishment of a creative placemaking network for our region that aims to support community groups, organisations and creative practitioners in creative placemaking work and feed into wider placemaking policy within Scotland.

*The creative practice of The Stove exists, grown by our team, artists and non-artists, our members, and our community, to develop community-led work as a foundation in local, and grassroots, decision-making through creative action.

A bit more info


The Stove Network (TSN) is a community-focused and membership organisation (membership of 600+) that uses the arts and creativity as tools to involve people in deciding and shaping the future of their town and the places they live. A regular programme of activity is run from The Stove Cafe, the heart of The Stove's 3 storey building on the High Street, alongside larger partnership projects that are directed towards creating skills and opportunities, empowering disadvantaged communities, building capacity and using creativity to shape community-led solutions for our places.


What We Do Now is a newly founded creative placemaking network for Dumfries and Galloway, supported by Esmée Fairbairn, and a resource for communities and artists, supporting them to lead change from within their places through creative collaboration. What We Do Now supports a multi-disciplinary way of working with individuals, groups, organisational partners, third sector organisations, local authorities and governing bodies to build relationships and collaborative work from grassroots action.


A few Links

Creative Placemaking – a local phenomena in the South of Scotland

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