Fabric 2020 – a creative leadership programme for the city

Updates: You can see all participants at the end of this page and read insights into Day 1 and Day 2 of Fabric 2020 on Core Leadership Values and Making Welcoming Spaces.

We believe that it’s in our collective interest to take a proactive approach to nurture the talent and values that will lead us to tomorrow. That’s why Creative Dundee is running Fabric – a creative leadership programme for the city – which aims to build a collective intelligence for Dundee’s thriving creative sector and requires to be driven by people who are actively interested in driving the direction of the city.

We ran the Fabric programme in 2018-19 and you can read insights into last year’s Fabric programme and see full report. This year the programme has a focus on collective leadership and social justice, and includes opportunities to hear from city and community leaders, to share knowledge and experiences with each other, and to discuss how we can collectively make Dundee even better!

Thank you for putting together the Fabric programme. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to spend time with such an interesting and inspiring group of people, and look forward to the collaborations and discussions that develop from it going forward. […] keep up the fantastic work, Dundee is a better place for it!
– Fabric 2018-19 participant.

Thank you for fabric, it was a great way of feeling connected with Dundee in this time. It helped me work out my goals and things I want to tackle going forward.
– Fabric 2020 participant.

What is Fabric?

Fabric is not a course or training on leadership, but an informal peer-to-peer development programme for people who want to grow their confidence and agency for leading creative initiatives and projects that will have positive impacts in Dundee.

A selected group of 20 people will come together monthly to share ideas, inspirations and experiences, from March to June 2020 in various spaces, and meet with current doers and connectors across the city. The programme is designed to immerse participants in new contexts, and widen their knowledge and understanding of the city.

Piloted in 2016, this peer project initially brought creative practitioners and businesses together to strategically develop the future of the creative sector in the city and benefit those living, studying and working in and around the city. This first phase aimed to support Dundee’s active community in drafting a creative industries strategy for the city, by involving those who will be impacted by it. Read more about the process and findings from the discussions.

You can read, download and even listen Dundee’s Creative Industries Strategy 2017 – 2021 on this interactive website.

Who is it for?

Anyone who is actively interested in the future of Dundee’s creative and cultural sectors and wants to make a positive impact in the city!

The programme includes 4 day-sessions, from March to June 2020, and is open to anyone who’s looking for:

  • Time and peer support to reflect on your own creative leadership skills, your core values and your vision for the future;
  • Opportunities to better understand Dundee‘s strengths and challenges, and create new connections in the city;
  • A safe space to meet and discuss with other creative leaders within the city.

You can apply for the Fabric programme regardless of your creative practice, stage in your professional career or the demographic you identify with – we are particularly keen to ensure that the Fabric group reflects the social, economic and cultural fabric of the city.


Barry Robertson
I am a signwriter and signmaker based in Dundee, creating signs, lettering and logos. I began a broad scoped, community murals project in April 2019, called Outdoors Type, which aims to promote typography and hand lettering whilst also reinvigorating local areas.

Chloe Nash
I want to create tactile objects out of 3D printing and laser cutting materials, which would allow disabled visitors of museums to touch exhibitions they wouldn’t otherwise be able to do, and lead workshops that would be conducted to help others learn the process of 3D printing and making with new tech.

Darryl Gaffney du Plooy
I am interested in exploring ideas and activities that foster deeper connections across the city. I am doing this by organising events for people of a similar spirit that wouldn’t ordinarily come into contact with each other called Emerging Dundee: Act Locally, Think Globally.

Eilish Victoria Mackay
I am passionate about creating exciting temporary spaces that prototype ideas for our future cities. I want to design spaces, events and experiences which capture the ambitions of the local community, tell the story of local enterprise and are accessible, open, fun and inspiring.

Emma Preston
In my day job I work as Cultural Project Officer for the University of Dundee. One of the main parts of my role is to programme and produce Festival of the Future which is the University of Dundee’s flagship festival programme that celebrates and enhances collaboration between science, art and culture. The festival takes place in October each year. I come from a performing arts background and have a real passion for all things dance and theatre.

Erin Farley
As the Local History officer for Dundee Libraries, I work with communities around the city to share stories and ideas about the city’s history, landscape, memory and people. I’m particularly interested in the power of creative histories and traditional storytelling.

Esther Farrell
I am the Art’s Youth Worker at Hot Chocolate Trust, a youth project working with young people aged 12 -21 in Dundee. I am passionate about art being accessible to all and being a great tool for communicating and connecting with others.

Ewan McDonald
I’m a Product Designer just coming out of University, excited to tackle the challenges ahead! My experience is in user research and social challenges, merging the two to create interesting solutions. I hope to bring my skills to Dundee’s creative industries to help make the city a creative hub for talent.

Katja Steel Kusakova
I’m a producer from the Czech Republic. Since moving to Dundee three years ago, I have worked at a number of creative organisations in the city. My passion is in creating events that bring people closer together and help them feel more connected to the place where they live.

Malath Abbas
I’m a designer and creative producer at Biome Collective. I make stuff with others, cool stuff, interactive stuff, co-design stuff, community stuff, art stuff.

Maryam Deeni
I’m passionate about supporting and showcasing Dundee! Having a key interest in community development, the creative and business sector – and how we connect them to encourage societal growth. I’ve met and worked with some pretty cool people and organisations – local to Dundee, regionally in Scotland and a few dotted around the rest of the UK.

Mikaela Aktag
I am a young person who is curious, honest and completely open to what the future holds for me. I am also intrigued about what the future of creativity in Dundee will look like! Although I may not have a professional working title or practice I most definitely am just as passionate about creativity to someone who does!

Pamela Scott
I am an illustrator, printmaker and creative workshop facilitator. I create drawings, paintings, public art, screen prints and linocut prints inspired by architecture, nature, music and our home town.

Paul Docherty
I’m a freelance cultural producer and researcher with experience of city-based cultural festivals, events and engagement projects. Former pro musician and community arts specialist. Currently working on a multi-disciplinary theatre project. Into complexity thinking and health humanities.

Poppy Jarratt
I work for Dundee’s UNESCO City of Design designation, supporting local designers and working with the 39 other design cities around the world. I am also a freelance cultural producer where I work on cultural events and festivals across Scotland.

Sam Sherriff
I am a multi-disciplinary artist passionate about public art and the natural world! I enjoy working in many mediums, all focussed on plants and animals. I coordinate the creative community project Fun A Day Dundee and have experience in children’s education and art workshops.

Sharron Devine
I’m an independent artist working predominantly across Performance, Direction, Scenography, Community and Participatory Art. I’m based in Dundee after 20 years away. I work throughout the UK/internationally and have my own independent space in Dundee. Areas of research: grief, memory, olfactory, experimental, site specific/responsive performance.