Chamber of Arts showcases the best of the region

Janet (second left) with the CatStrand crew
Janet (second left) with the CatStrand crew

Creative Scotland Chief Executive Janet Archer has praised the region’s creativity and arts leadership during a two-day visit to Dumfries and Galloway.

A high-speed tour last Thursday and Friday took her from Dumfries to New Galloway and saw her introduced to representatives of major projects and organisations – all of which had the chance to outline who they were and what they do.

She also heard about the dynamism of the arts and practitioners in the area and their ambition to reach out nationally and internationally.

While in Dumfries Ms Archer learned about arts-led town centre regeneration plans, saw the Theatre Royal, The Stove, Moat Brae House and visited the Gracefield Arts Centre.

She spoke with the people behind Spring Fling, Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival, Wide Open and Environmental Art Festival Scotland.

Later Ms Archer went to New Galloway, where she saw a dance performance by Kelly Whiteside, met CatStrand management and representatives from the Wigtown Book Festival, Creetown Initiative, Kirkcudbright Gallery.

Afterwards she said: “I have been 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 was in D&G as a guest of the Chamber of Arts and met its trustees as well as the regional and area convenors.

Cathy Agnew, Chair of the Chamber of Arts Board of Trustees, said: “It was a whistlestop tour and was a very valuable for two-way communication between Janet and the people and organisations involved in creating and promoting the arts in D&G.

“She saw for herself the diversity, rurality and opportunity in our region.”