The Launch of WWDN – A blog by Heather Taylor

The Launch of WWDN – A blog by Heather Taylor

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By Heather Taylor

Hey All!

I hope you’re all doing well and enjoying the sunshine we have started to get – let’s hope that’s not the start and end of it!

I just had to share my excitement about a fantastic event I attended recently. On the 9th of May, The Stove Network launched something truly special at the Catstrand in New Galloway. It was the kick-off for the ‘What We Do Now’ (WWDN) network, and let me tell you, the energy in the room was wonderful!

As a member of the Board of Trustees, with a deep passion for accessibility and inclusion in community development and the creative arts, this initiative holds a special place in my heart. The WWDN network has been in the works for the past couple of years, and seeing it now, and anticipating its future, is beyond thrilling.

The journey began with a highly successful pilot program where creatives collaborated with six hub organisations across the region. The results were inspiring, showcasing the transformative power of creative placemaking in our communities.

Now comes the next phase of this incredible journey. The launch event was a testament to the dedication and hard work of everyone involved. It was heartening to witness so many people from diverse backgrounds coming together to explore creative placemaking and envision the future of this network.

What truly warmed my heart was the level of thought and consideration that went into ensuring the event was inclusive and that everyone felt comfortable in the space and most importantly – valued.

Image Credit – Kirstin McEwan Photography

On a more personal note, I must admit that there are times when I question my place in both the trustee board and the creative community. Like many others, I often grapple with imposter syndrome, wondering if I truly belong in these spaces. However, what truly struck me during the WWDN launch event was the undeniable sense of inclusivity and openness. It became clear to me that there is indeed a place for everyone within this network. What’s even more remarkable is the opportunity it presents to dive in and make it your own. Unlike many other initiatives, WWDN doesn’t require you to have all the answers or a predetermined end outcome. Instead, it welcomes you to come with ideas and offers support in realising them. This, my friends, is a game changer!

I have mentioned already in this post my appreciation of those involved but I would like again to take a moment to express my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has been involved in bringing the WWDN network to life. From the dedicated individuals behind the scenes to the creative practitioners who lend their talents, each and every one of you has played a vital role in shaping this initiative into what it is today. A special shoutout goes to the incredible Stove team, whose unwavering dedication and boundless enthusiasm serve as a constant inspiration to me and countless others. Your passion for community development and the arts is truly infectious, and I feel privileged to be a part of this journey alongside you all. Thank you for everything you do!

The launch of the WWDN network marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in our journey towards a more inclusive and vibrant creative landscape. I can’t wait to see what we’ll achieve together!

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