Public meeting for the future of Wigtown’s arts and crafts

A PUBLIC meeting is to be held to gauge ideas for the promotion of arts and craft in the Wigtown area.

This year’s Wigtown Book Festival (28 September-7 October 2012) is keen to showcase the brilliant craft work that is produced in the local area by individuals and groups, perhaps through a communal art and craft project or an exhibition at the festival on the back of the town winning a Creative Places award in January.

The festival company are therefore holding a meeting on Thursday 12 April at 7pm in the County Buildings, Wigtown, to discuss whether there is support for this idea and how we might proceed.

To offer inspiration, the festival has asked Maggie Broadley, chief executive of CraftTown Scotland in West Kilbride, to speak.

West Kilbride’s recent history is not unlike Wigtown - the Ayrshire town faced economic decline in the 1990s with 21 of its 40 shops empty. Since deciding to become a craft town in 1998, it has undergone a transformation on the back of new arts and crafts businesses and was a fellow winner of a Creative Place Award this year. A community-led project, it is also a registered charity.

Maggie, who is a working ceramicist, will talk about the inspiring story of her town and about the many ways in which West Kilbride’s craftspeople have developed their skills. She will also discuss how some of the lessons learned from CraftTown might be applied in Wigtown.

The company hope this event will be of interest not just to artists and craftspeople but also to anyone interested in the future of how the Book Town may develop. The event is free and will last an hour and 15 minutes with opportunities for informal discussion afterwards. Refreshments will be served. Details of the CraftTown Scotland can be found at www.crafttownscotland.org.

If you have any further questions, including anything you would particularly like Maggie to talk about, please contact festival director Adrian Turpin on adrian@wigtownbookfestival.com.