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Residencies on offer to rejuvenate town

By Staff Reporter

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Culture Day Festival in the centre of Forres organised by Findhorn Bay Arts. Picture by Paul Campbell.
Culture Day Festival in the centre of Forres organised by Findhorn Bay Arts. Picture by Paul Campbell.

FUNDING is being invested in a year-long project focused on boosting Forres High Street.

The support from the National Lottery, through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund, is backing a programme of interconnected arts projects and multi-art-form residencies from Findhorn Bay Arts called 'Creative Work Shop', where artists will work within the community, finding ways to make a contribution to regeneration in the area.

Interim head of Place, Partnerships and Communities at Creative Scotland, Karen Dick said: "The people of Forres and the place they live are at the heart of this ambitious creative project. Artists will work with residents, experimenting and making new work, rooted in and inspired by the town’s historic past and contemporary challenges. The project will bring a fresh, creative energy to the high street and reinvigorate the heart of the town."

The Creative Work Shop will: explore the role of a rural high street located within a "creative place"; explore the role of the artist in regeneration and community-led projects; evaluate an artist-led process to community engagement and regeneration; create new work that helps develop and engage new audiences and participants; engage audiences with the process of creativity, rather than just the end product; and offer a space for reflection, connection and exploration between people, creativity and place.

Findhorn Bay Arts creative director, Kresanna Aigner, said: "This project recognises the vitality of Moray’s creative sectors and the opportunity for arts and culture to contribute to education and local development.

"The residency programme draws upon and develops our previous community engagement work which we’ve undertaken as part of the Findhorn Bay Festival, Culture Day Forres and ProjectARTS over the past six years.

"Through interactions with everyday occurrences on the High Street, the residencies will engage residents and visitors through a multi-arts programme of activity, performance and conversations, bringing about positive change in how we see and use our high street spaces."

Funding from Creative Scotland supports the costs of: three artists in residence programmes; two days a week project management; marketing costs and resources.

An independent advisory panel of creative experts is being formed and an artist in resident brief prepared, with applications anticipated to be accepted by the end of the year with residencies commencing in February 2020.

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