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Creative Communities event celebrating local groups held at V&A Dundee

Creative communities dundee
Participants were invited to an exclusive event at the V&A. Kim Cessford / DCT Media.

Communities across Scotland got creative during lockdown, thanks to a £2 million funding pot.

And groups in Dundee and Fife were among those who got their hands on a share of the money, aimed at improving mental and physical health during the Covid pandemic.

Creative communities dundee
More than 40 groups shared £2 million in funding. DCT Media

The Creative Communities project saw art projects brought to areas which don’t normally have access to arts and culture.

They taught those involved in the likes of Enable Scotland, Palmis and Kirkcaldy YMCA new skills, which the organisations then used to benefit their entire communities.

In all, 46 groups took part in creative activities such as sewing, upcycling, photoshop and even computer design.

And the results were celebrated at a special event at Dundee’s V&A this week.

Learning new skills

One group involved was the Unesco City of Design Dundee, who used the money to provide skill-building classes for organisations they worked with.

Annie Morris, from Unesco City of Design, said: “Initially we want communities to feel design is for them so they’re able to engage and don’t have to travel to the city centre.

“I think bringing design out to where people are is a huge benefit. They get to learn new skills and find out what people really love.”

Annie worked with local groups, Amina Women’s Muslim Resource Centre and Dundee East youth workers, to find out what skills they really wanted to learn.

Creative communities dundee
Culture minister Jenny Gilruth congratulated the participants for their work on the projects. DCT Media

She said: “A lot of things come up with computers, photoshop graphics, and creative things like posters or flyers.

“But it’s also things like more practical skills like sewing or maybe mend clothing or upcycle clothing.”

Helping communities experience art

Pamis also received funding to help children with additional needs experience arts and culture in rural Aberfeldy.

Maureen Phillip, director of creative community, said the group was set up to allow the children greater access to cultural events or creative arts projects.

Perth, an hours drive away, was previously the nearest place where children could access these facilities.

“It stops children feeling isolated and lonely”, Maureen said.

“It stops their mental health deteriorating, it gives them new skills, and most of all, it really helps them to feel part of their local community.”

Creative communities dundee
The project helped to bring communities together during lockdown. DCT Media

Jane Carmichael, a mum who was part of setting up the group, added: “It allows parents to see that it’s not so scary to be involved in main stream cultural activities.”

The project has been so successful, they plan to take it to Angus next, to help children in those rural areas.

Maureen added: “Some of the children will soon be moving into adult services and it would be great to allow them to be the future leaders of projects like this.

“Hopefully it sets a precedent for how services are delivered when these children reach adulthood.”

Fife MSP and culture minister Jenny Gilruth helped to set up the Creative Communities programme.

She said: “The Creative Communities programme, which has received £2 million of Scottish Government funding to date, has supported 46 organisations to work in their communities to create culture and arts activities.

“This embodies our belief that everyone should have the opportunity to participate in, develop and enjoy culture.

“I was delighted to see the Creative Communities film – it is a wonderful showcase of these inspiring projects and it provides an insight into how impactful the programme has been within communities across Scotland.”