Creative Dundee

2022 Tayside Climate Beacon Event Series

A series of three free events across the Tayside region, exploring the connections between communities, culture and climate action.

Update: it was great to celebrate the amazing work happening across the Tayside region at these three events, with audiences full of interesting, engaged people committed to climate action, the arts and the intersection between the two. If you missed any of the events or would like to watch them again, you can find them on the Tayside Climate Beacon website.

In partnership with Creative Dundee’s CULTIVATE, Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre present the 2022 Tayside Climate Beacon event series: three afternoons of discussion, provocation and performance that unpack urgent local climate change issues. Each event will showcase, connect and inspire on key actions for tackling local climate impacts with communities, and champion the role that art and creativity can play.

Over the past year, a new network of cultural, academic and community organisations and local authorities across the Tayside bioregion have been connecting as part of the Climate Beacons for COP26, an initiative run by Creative Carbon Scotland. Together we have been collaboratively exploring the role that culture, art and creativity play in local climate action. The Tayside bioregion is geographically, socially and economically diverse, and our CULTIVATE pilot programme has been experimenting with new ways of embedding creativity at the core of grassroots collective action for climate justice.

Tickets for each event are FREE, with the Dunkeld and Dundee events livestreamed so that audiences can join from home.

Fri 20 May, 4-6pm
The Webster Memorial Theatre, DD11 1AW

Fri 10 June, 4-6pm
Birnam Arts, PH8 0DS

Sat 9 July, 4-6pm
V&A Dundee, DD1 4EZ

This event series has been co-produced by Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre and Creative Dundee. Our Arbroath and Dunkeld events were hosted by Tayside Climate Hub Coordinator, Martha Smart, and our Dundee event will be hosted by CULTIVATE intern, Abhigyan Khargharia, studying at the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law & Policy at the University of Dundee.


Produced in partnership with ANGUSalive, this first event explored the theme of journey and leadership within community resilience and actions, and featured presentations and sharings from: Kelly Ann Dempsey (Team Leader Environment & Climate Change at Angus Council); Emily Hutchison (Growing Leader) and Lauren Urquhart (Learning & Events Leader) from Sustainable Kirriemuir; Artist Kristina Aburrow; Joan Clevillé (Artistic Director at Scottish Dance Theatre); CULTIVATE Creative Practitioners Jeni Reid & Kirsty McKeown and Community Partner Community First represented by Pauline Lockhart and Carol Malone; Lucy Byatt (Director of Hospitalfield).


In partnership with Climate Café Dunkeld & Birnam, the event in Dunkeld explored the theme of culture and community building by focusing on how we are telling new stories which connect us to place, the natural environment and each other, as well as how we are creating new spaces to collaborate and make those connections real. The event featured presentations and sharings from: Writer & Futurist Alex Turner; Jess Pepper (founder of the Climate Café movement); Ruby and Ruby (Community Climate Bunting) Clare Cooper (Bioregioning Tayside); CULTIVATE Creative Practitioner Taylor Waggoner and Community Partner The Scottish Crannog Centre represented by Activist Archaeologist Jason Oliver; Storyteller Lindsey Gibb; and Divindy Grant (Climate Change and Sustainable Development Team Leader at Perth & Kinross Climate Action).


This final event will explore the role of hope, play and collaboration in climate action, and will feature sharings and presentations from: Tommy Small of Shaper/Caper; cast members of Dundee Rep Young Company’s OPTIMISM; Sandy Greene of ScrapAntics; Eilish Victoria of Dandelion Dundee’s Fair Growing Green; CULTIVATE Creative Practitioners Jade Anderson and Zoë Swann, and Community Partners Transition Dundee, (represented by co-founder Lynsey Penny) and PLANT (represented by co-founder and SCCAN‘s Story Weaver Kaska Hempel).

Tayside Climate Hub Coordinator, Martha Smart: I am so excited to have been asked to help facilitate this series of collaborative events across Tayside, bringing the art, science, and community sectors into conversation at a time when their diverse insights need to be integrated most. We meet together in a critical moment of multiple and interlinked crises which demand new and creative responses focused on adaptation, resilience and transformative change. Already across our region we are seeing an explosion of projects underpinned by these values.

Using art and performance to help us explore big questions about the world is something close to my heart – creative practitioners play a crucial role in helping us to co-create our imaginative futures while thickening the present with deeper lines of connection and understanding. I have also played a small part in helping to strengthen both the Dundee and Tayside Climate Action Networks and so sincerely look forward to seeing how we can experiment, widen, and diversify our coalitions.

Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre Executive Director/Joint-Chief Executive, Liam Sinclair: “The Tayside area is known for our collaborative approach to making things happen, and this has definitely been borne out in the development of the Tayside Climate Beacon. Since last August it’s been incredibly inspiring to be engaged in the meeting of different ideas, perspectives and approaches for how the communities of Tayside can help tackle the Climate Crisis and adapt to a future that will be very different. It feels exciting to be sharing this season of events, together with our new online space for sharing work, as the next step on this important journey.

Creative Climate Producer at Creative Dundee, project lead for CULTIVATE, Claire Dufour: “Too much climate work still focuses on numbers and net zero, which can make us feel disempowered and disengaged from the most critical and pressing issues of our time. Culture, arts and creativity bring us together, bind communities, and give us hope. They offer us the permission, language and tools to imagine a better future, to challenge the status quo, and to explore new forms of actions. I’m delighted and grateful that this series of events is giving us a glimpse into some brilliant cross-disciplinary collaborations and grass-root work that is happening across the Tay region.”

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