Creative Dundee


Placing creativity at the heart of climate justice, developing solutions with local communities.

Identity created by Tommy Perman. Illustration by Cara Rooney.

CULTIVATE is a regional leadership programme for Creative Practitioners and Local Communities to collaboratively engage, create and produce locally relevant work, with a climate and social justice lens, across the Tay region.

The Tay region is geographically, socially and economically diverse. CULTIVATE will harness the skills and expertise of Creative Practitioners and Community Partners to enable regional learning and sharing around being a sustainable place to live, play and visit.

Environmental challenges have been made starkly visible by COVID-19, with ​inequalities more often felt by those who have the least say. While the climate crisis presents some of the most critical and pressing issues of our time, any resolution must come from local organising and cross-disciplinary collaboration. 

Creative Practitioners are leading the charge for change, to transition into a sustainable creative ecology for the resilient wellbeing of our communities. They are also well equipped to engage people and support local networks to imagine collective solutions and communicate them.

CULTIVATE includes two separate open calls of 6 Creative Practitioner freelance commissions – in total 12 commissions over 18 months, across the Tay region (Angus, Dundee, Perth & Kinross, North East Fife). Half of the freelance commissions are exclusive to Young Creative Practitioners, aged 16-24 years old.

The project will also include an Open Community Programme, for anyone interested in social/environmental justice. Workshops will be delivered with partners on topics including climate justice, power and privilege, generational thinking, and collaborative working. We’ll also be exploring how to bring creative climate topics to the high street.

Find out more about all the elements of the programme, including the open call for the first round of 6 commissions and how to apply in the Application Pack in the section below. If you have any questions about CULTIVATE which aren’t answered in this pack, please contact our Creative Climate Producer, Claire Dufour –

Led by Creative Dundee over 18 months, and funded by Creative Scotland’s Culture Collective, this pilot project will bring together Creative Practitioners, community groups and a Community Steering Group to explore climate justice in a practical and meaningful way.

The CULTIVATE programme will also enable Creative Practitioners to:

  • Engage, create and produce locally relevant work, with a climate and social justice lens, designed collaboratively with communities;
  • Develop and exchange creative, environmental, leadership and enterprise skills within a network of peers;
  • Generate commissioned work, income and increase future potential opportunities. 

CULTIVATE will be delivered in collaboration with a number of partners, including both Dundee City Council and Perth and Kinross Council.

Call Out for Creative Practitioners

CULTIVATE has now closed for the first round of applications. We expect the second and final round of applications to open late 2021, please check back on this page then, or sign up for our monthly mail out for future updates.

We had 6 freelance commission opportunities for Creative Practitioners to work in collaboration with 6 Community Partners to research, learn, understand and co-develop a creative response to better connect and equip the community with place-based climate justice solutions.

Applicants are welcome from freelance Creative Practitioners from all creative backgrounds and at any stage of their career, and who have made their life in the Tay region, individuals based in Angus, Dundee City, Perth & Kinross and North East Fife. 

The commissions are 6 month long, starting late August 2021 until February 2022, and freelance fees are £12,500 for 50 days, with additional production, engagement and access budgets provided.

Applicants will choose which Community Partner they would like to work with, depending on their interests, skills, age and locality. Half of the commissions are exclusive to Young Creative Practitioners, aged 16-24 years old (YCP) – this is specified in the relevant partners’ brief in the section below.

Timeline for Open Call Round 1 applications – 6 commissions available: 

  • Information session: Thu 10 June 2021, 10am – 11am (In this blog, you can watch the video recording of presentation, access the slide deck, and read all the questions/answers shared at this session.)
  • Deadline: Wed 23 June 2021, midnight
  • Informal discussion with shortlisted applicants: s/w 28 June and 5 July 2021
  • Expected commission start date: 23 August 2021
  • Expected commission end date: 20 February 2022

Applications for Open Call Round 2 applications – 6 further commissions will  be open for application late 2021.

Please read over the Application Pack (which includes more information on all the elements of the programme, the open call for the first round of 6 commissions, the commissions terms and how to apply) before applying here.

The Six Community Partners

The MAXwell Centre (Dundee City) – Exclusive to YCP

This commission is exclusive to Young Creative Practitioners aged 16-24 years old.

About The MAXwell Centre’s aim is to maximise our community’s potential to feel well and do well in life. Our community centre and garden team provide a welcoming and empowering environment where groups and individuals of all ages and backgrounds can learn and share, grow and socialise. We support people to address issues affecting them such as poverty, poor health and social isolation through dignified, creative and sustainable solutions.

Ambition We have two new projects, a tool and seed library and the MAXhour sessions in our local park. We need to find creative ways to engage more people from our community to share skills and tools, reuse, up-cycle and improve the place we live, work and play in. We want to encourage them to connect with each other and with opportunities in our neighbourhood, enjoy the natural and built environment and feel safe and happy. 

The Gate Church Carbon Saving Project (Dundee City)

About As a climate action project, the Gate Church Carbon Saving Project’s main aims are to lower the collective carbon footprint of our community and to inspire people to make more sustainable choices to help us transition to a greener, but also fairer future. Climate justice is about making sure that through this transition no group of society is left behind – so with everything we do we try to help those experiencing poverty first whilst trying to smash stigmas. We are based in a corner of Gate Church and also have a small building known as ‘Dundee West End Community Fridge’ across the road.

Ambition – Most of our activities are based around encouraging less waste. There are a lot of stigmas attached to re-using, taking things for free/cheap and particularly with clothes. Our Community Wardrobe aims to tackle that and make second-hand the first option for more people, our planet needs it. We want to expand this to reach more people and save more items from going to waste. We get a much larger volume of donations in than what people take away so need to think outside the box for solutions to this too!

People Learning About Nature in Tayport (PLANT) (North East Fife) – Exclusive to YCP

This commission is exclusive to Young Creative Practitioners aged 16-24 years old.

About People Learning About Nature in Tayport (PLANT) is a subgroup of Tayport Community Trust. Since 2011, PLANT has been working on projects bringing people together to grow food and flowers, while reducing carbon emissions and enhancing Tayport’s natural environment. We have a thriving Tayport Community Garden – an inclusive community growing space where organisations, groups, families and individuals of all abilities can work, learn and socialise. We have many related projects including Tayport Apple Juice, Fruit Tree Walk, Planet-friendly growing and cooking workshops, as well as a Carbon Conversation Programme working with individuals and families on cutting personal carbon footprints and raising awareness of climate emergency and action. We are passionate about community-driven digital storytelling to inspire others, with many volunteers contributing to a blog, social media, podcast and audio tours. Since last year we have been working closely with the Larick Centre – a new community and sports centre set up by the Trust. We are also a partner in Climate Action Fife, leading on the Climate Friendly Gardens project.

Ambition We are involved in organising Tayport Climate Festival on 24-26th of September, in celebration of COP26 happening in Glasgow this November and a part of COP26 Fringe. The Festival will bring our community organisations together to put on fun and engaging activities to involve everyone in town in thinking of building a better and fairer future for people and the planet here in Tayport. Harnessing the energy built through the festival we want to bring people together to create memories of a better future and to come up with specific community projects Tayport can focus on over the next 10 years. Our ambition is to involve as many people and organisations as we can through this process, making it creative, exciting and hopeful. We are particularly interested in generating a conversation between generations and hearing our young people’s voices.

The Scottish Crannog Centre (Perth and Kinross) – Exclusive to YCP

This commission is exclusive to Young Creative Practitioners aged 16-24 years old.

About The Scottish Crannog Centre cares for and makes accessible the finds of Scottish Crannog dwellers for the benefit, enjoyment, education and inspiration for all, demonstrating how the crannog dwellers’ stories are a defining significant thread in the fabric of Scotland’s rich heritage. We aim to create an organisation where there are a thousand fingerprints and a thousand voices involved in all we do; a national treasure, loved and admired by all, with social justice at its heart, rooted in the local community and being capable of going through the gears of being locally, regionally, nationally and internationally significant. Through our practice, we will maximise the social and economic impact of our work and play our part in tackling the climate emergency.

Ambition – We are at a pivotal point in the story of our museum, considering ways that the past can inspire the future with minimal impact on the local environment. We are committed to inspiring young people to be involved – thinking sustainably about craft skills, investigating how things can be made in a communal way, emphasising shared ownership, also looking at ways of building sustainable relationships with the local community, and the land through myth and legend. We know that young people are integral to the future success of the museum and as part of the democratic planning process – their influence and passion will inform and inspire the new generation to become custodians of our national treasures, active contributors to challenge and help us articulate what is possible and to pass on the legacy of the traditional skills of our ancestors who lived on Loch Tay 2500 years ago.

The Cateran Ecomuseum and Alyth Development Trust (Perth and Kinross)

About The Cateran Ecomuseum and Alyth Development Trust have recently joined forces to launch Scotland’s first ‘Museum of Rapid Transition’, aimed at harnessing people’s experience of natural and cultural heritage to mobilise rapid climate action and transition to more sustainable ways of living. We believe that engaging people with their heritage has huge potential to build community resilience in the face of the Climate Crisis. Both partners create deep connection to place; they are a knowledge and learning resource; they are a participative force which can bring people together. Over the next three years, events and activities are being designed that will show local people and visitors how the story of our past can help guide the story of our future.

Ambition – As we move into co-designing and co-fulfilling our programme of events and activities, we want to foreground the role of imagination in helping us make the leap to a more liveable world and create more opportunities for the people who live and work in the Ecomuseum to fire up this super power. One project, ‘The Future of our Past’ is a planned exhibition of images and texts placed on panels outdoors in the heart of Alyth, which will illustrate how the natural world of this part of Scotland has undergone continuous change for millions of years. This unusual visualisation of ‘place-based’ deep time will offer an opportunity to generate a collective ‘Great  Imagining’ from the people of the town who will be invited to cast the timeline forward from the present to depict what the future of both its human and biotic communities could be if regenerative actions were taken.

Community First (Angus)

About – Community First is about meeting the needs of our communities and those needs are best identified by lived experiences of the community themselves. We help bring people, communities, groups, organisations and businesses together to identify and work collaboratively to meet those needs. We strive to be a force for good by offering a wide range of support and services with a priority of empowering individuals. We aim to support our communities to identify and develop skills and knowledge, and as a result of their learning and experiences, increase in confidence at home, work and in their community lives.

Ambition – Through our Social Supermarket S-Mart and Eco-friendly recycling shop BRAND we want to encourage and engage with our communities and come together to find creative ways of addressing food waste and fast fashion whilst addressing the social and economic inequity that often prevents many from being able to do so. We want to inspire the next generation of eco warriors and encourage more people to reuse, upcycle and connect to make more sustainable choices whilst ensuring our message of reducing the stigma of poverty by providing choice and dignity, are at the core.

Environmental challenges have been made starkly visible by COVID-19, with ​inequalities more often felt by those who have the least say, and while the climate crisis presents some of the most critical and pressing issues of our time, any resolution must come from local organising and cross-disciplinary collaboration.

Identity created by Tommy Perman. Illustration by Mairi Isla.

Creative Dundee’s CULTIVATE project offers a supportive framework for artists to collaborate with organisations and communities. I created a typographic logo inspired by the shapes of support structures – greenhouses, polytunnels, plant frames and trellises – that are used across the Tay region. These supports are used in our farms, gardens and green spaces to encourage growth and they seemed like a fitting visual metaphor for the project’s identity. It’s been designed to be reimagined, inviting illustrators to embellish and evolve it with their own ideas. 

Tommy Perman, artist, designer & musician, based in Perth and Kinross.

Cara Rooney and Mairi Isla have been commissioned to re-interpret the identity and we will feature more adaptations as the project evolves.

Creative Dundee believes that culture and creativity are essential catalysts for positive change – that’s why we amplify, connect, collaborate and cultivate the city’s creativity. We exist to support the city’s strong creative ecology.

Working collaboratively with partners through the city, country and beyond, is at the heart of how we develop projects in and out of the creative industries. We are also committed to creating a culture where equality, diversity and inclusion are prioritised and promoted across everything we do.

Creative Dundee is one of 26 organisations to secure Culture Collective funding, delivered by Creative Scotland and part of a £6M Scottish Government emergency COVID-19 fund to help creative practitioners and communities to work together across Scotland to develop ways of responding to the impacts of the pandemic.

The Culture Collective programme has the potential to place creative practice right at the heart of a just transition, and help shape the future of local cultural life, which will impact massively the way we embrace creativity and culture in Scotland.

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