Spaces and Support
For anyone new to any city, it can be tricky to know where to go and what support is around. That’s why Creative Dundee has put together this guide to help you find your feet.
You may have just arrived in Dundee and want to know what the city has to offer for creatives. Maybe you are considering if Dundee, UNESCO City of Design, could be a good location to set up your creative practice. Perhaps you have lived in Dundee for a while and want to get more involved. This guide covers the main cultural spaces and key organisations who can help you along the way.
If you think we’ve missed anything please let us know at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA) is an arts centre which has two galleries featuring local, national and international artists; also a two screen arthouse cinema,print studio and cafe/bar. DCA is home to the University of Dundee’s Visual Research Centre. DCA’s diverse programme also includes: Small Society Lab, exploring the development and understanding of the small city of the future; Blue Skies Festival, a festival of kite flying, stargazing and rainbow chasing; and Discovery Film Festival, an international film festival specifically programmed for young audiences. @dcadundee
The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum houses eight galleries covering art, local history and the environment, with both permanent and temporary collections. The Dundee and the World gallery focuses on the City’s international collections highlighting Dundee’s long involvement in overseas trade. The Victorian Art Gallery has original curved red walls, vaulted glass ceiling, ornamental plasterwork featuring the nationally historic oil paintings. The McManus host the Dundee Arts Cafe events which welcomes artists and social scientists from different fields to discuss their work with the public. @McManusDundee
GENERATORprojects is a non-profit artist-run exhibition and project space supporting local artists. Generator organise a series of exhibitions each year – often featuring the work of recent graduates. @GENERATORproj
Tin Roof Collective is an arts collective located in a former warehouse off Blackness. They often have exhibitions running and music event nights featuring members and/or invited artists. @Tin_Roof_Dundee
Exhibitions at DJCAD with five galleries, Exhibitions at DJCAD is a distinctive platform in Scotland for challenging innovative practices and critical discourse in contemporary art, design and visual culture. Spaces with regular shows and events include the: Cooper Gallery; Cooper Gallery Project Space, Matthew Gallery, Centrespace and Matthew Recess Cabinet. @exhibitionsDJCAD
LifeSpace is a collaborative partnership between DJCAD and the College of Life Sciences, engages artists and scientists collaborations which foster long-term cross-disciplinary activity – they have a regular exhibition programme within the gallery. @lifespacedundee
Dundee Rep Theatre is a purpose built 450-seat auditorium and performance space home to Rep Ensemble, the only full time repertory theatre company in Scotland. The 20 strong team perform regularly to local audiences alongside a programme of national and international tours. Rep Creative Learning bring together professional arts practitioners and those in training and education. They work with over 25000 participants a year in Dundee. @DundeeRep
Scottish Dance Theatre is Scotland’s national dance company based in Dundee Rep Theatre. They collaborate with artists of outstanding calibre in the fields of music, design and the visual arts to produce dance of the highest quality. They perform on local, national and international stages and through their creative learning program they run a weekly dance classes in Dundee. @sdtdance
Hannah Maclure Centre is an arts, exhibition, community and digital events space with a 72-seat cinema and performance space. The venue which is part of Abertay University, hosts independent film screenings, performances, seminars and workshops. @HannahMaclure
Caird Hall is Dundee’s main concert and event venue, located in the heart of the city, in City Square. It has a diverse and full programme of events, from bands, to comedy, classical, dance and more.
The Gardyne Theatre based at Dundee and Angus College’s Gardyne Campus has a full and regular range of shows covering a wide range of drama, comedy, musical theatre, live music, dance, and community productions. @GardyneTheatre
The Space houses the Scottish School of Contemporary Dance, the only place in Scotland offering full-time, three-year training in contemporary dance performance to professional level. Regular performances run at The Space.
Dundee Science Centre has both a permanent exhibition and regular temporary shows; they run events and the annual science festival. @dundeescience
V&A Museum of Design Dundee – Opening in 2018, V&A Museum of Design Dundee will be Scotland’s international centre for design. The museum will feature exhibits exploring Scotlands past and future influence on design innovation. V&A Dundee currently run a programme of events, exhibitions and workshops across design, business and innovation. @VADundee
RSS Discovery – an icon in Dundee’s waterfront. The ship and adjoining exhibitions at Discovery Point tell the story of her and her crew’s epic journey to be the first to reach the Antarctic. @DiscoveryDundee
Verdant Works – Scotland’s Jute Museum showcases the incredible rise and and subsequent decline of Dundee’s textiles industry. The Highmill building next to Verdant Works was reopened in Sep 2015 following a significant renovation. It has a full height cathedral-like space with a dramatic ‘forest’ of columns and houses a fully functioning Boulton and Watt steam engine from 1801. @VerdantWorks
Mills Observatory – built as Britain’s first public observatory, opened in 1935. Today, visitors can still view the stars with the observatory, display areas and planetarium open daily in winter months. @MillsObs
Broughty Castle – protecting the banks of the Tay since 1496 the castle has faced many sieges and battles. Today, it houses displays on the life and times of Broughty Ferry, its people, the environment and the wildlife that live close by.
University of Dundee Museums – The Tower Foyer Gallery and the Lamb Gallery host regular exhibitions; the D’Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum has fascinating biological specimens from around the world; the Tayside Medical History Muesum at Ninewellls shows the collections of the history of pioneering medical research in Dundee and the surrounding area. @UoD_Museums
Barrack Street Collection – home to the McManus Collections Unit which cares for everything from birds to butterflies, coins to costumes and fossils to foreign artefacts – many of which are internationally important. They run monthly free tours and can open by appointment.
Dundee Museum of Transport – showcasing the previously hidden private collections of Tayside’s transport heritage. The museum recently secured new premises, a former tram depot, which is being restored to create a permanent home for the collection. @DMofT
For freelancers and small businesses Dundee’s creative hub spaces offer practical and affordable workspaces. Read more about the spaces available in our guide to Dundee’s Creative Hubs.
Creative Business Support
Cultural Enterprise Office provide business support and development services for creative businesses and individuals – they run a number of free events for creatives starting-out or looking to grow; their website also has a number of great free creative business resources. @CEOScotland
Enterprise North East Trust provide Business Gateway services for the Tayside and Grampian regions. They support 800 start ups a year through a team of business advisors, skills development workshops and networking opportunities.
Youth Business Scotland supports young people aged 18 to 30 years old to start-up and grow in business, by providing essential funding and professional mentoring support.
Scottish Institute for Enterprise – SIE help students in Scotland discover their entrepreneurial talent and start up their own ventures and they hold events and activities for students. The Fresh Ideas competition gives students the chance to win small prizes to explore turning their ideas into a business opportunity. Summer Bootcamp events help students to identify and develop new and existing enterprise opportunities.
Dundee Volunteer Gateway is Dundee’s Hub for all things voluntary. The Volunteer Centre help people utilise skills within the voluntary sector. Voluntary Action provide advice and resources to organisations working with volunteers.
Dundee Social Enterprise Network – DSEN is a member-led organisation which supports social ventures through events and specialist advice.
Design In Action is a platform for collaboration between skilled designers and businesses. Their CHIASMA events bring together diversely skilled groups to to solve complex problems with new creative ideas. The most innovative ideas are funded into development creating new products, new jobs and economic growth. @DesigninAction
Photo of Dundee overlooking the bridges at top of page thanks to Ed Broughton.