Call for Creatives to Boost Climate Change Projects

Creative Practitioners and communities will work together across the Tay region to tackle climate change and social issues, accelerating COVID recovery while making the area a more sustainable place to live, work and visit.

Each practitioner will work with a Community Partner, developing place-based solutions to boost engagement and capture hearts and minds within their local community. Through workshops, activities and events with local communities, they will create new ways to respond to local challenges that can then be shared across Tayside.

Creative Dundee has secured £300,000 of Creative Scotland ‘Culture Collective’ funding, part of the £6M Scottish Government emergency COVID-19 fund, to support this exciting, new 18-month programme which will include projects across the Tay region – Perth and Kinross, Dundee, North East Fife and Angus. In total, the project will create 12 paid opportunities and will also reach the wider public through a visible high street presence within empty retail units.

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

Community Partners:


Community First focuses on meeting the needs of its communities, taking the view that these needs are best identified by lived experiences of the community themselves. The group supports its 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.  Community First launched S-Mart in Forfar in July 2020, Angus’ first Social Supermarket, and part of their vision to tackle food insecurity and reduce food waste in local communities.

“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 tackling 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 is at the core.”

Carol Malone and Pauline Lockhart of Community First


The MAXwell Centre and their community garden team provide a welcoming and empowering environment where groups and individuals of all ages and backgrounds can learn and share, grow and socialize. They support people to address issues affecting them such as poverty, poor health and social isolation through dignified, creative and sustainable solutions.

“We want to find creative ways to engage more people from our community to share skills and tools, reuse, upcycle and improve the place we live, work and play in. Our ambition is 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 MAXwell Centre, Dundee. Picture credit – David P Scott.

Meanwhile, The Gate Church Carbon Saving Project is a climate action project to lower the collective carbon footprint of our community through waste-reducing whilst helping those experiencing poverty first, and to inspire people to make more sustainable choices to help us transition to a greener, but also fairer future.

“We want to tackle the stigmas attached to re-using, taking things for free/cheap and particularly with clothes. Our ambition through our Community Wardrobe project is to reach more people and save more items from going to waste – our planet needs it!”

Joyce Reid of The Gate Church Carbon Saving Project with Claire Dufour of Creative Dundee. Picture credit – David P Scott.


People Learning About Nature in Tayport (PLANT) brings people together to grow, learn and socialise in their community garden, while reducing carbon emissions and enhancing Tayport’s natural environment. They also host Carbon Conversations to support people with cutting personal carbon footprints and raising awareness of climate emergency and action.

“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, as well as generating a conversation between generations and hearing our young people’s voices.”

PLANT volunteers, Tayport


The Scottish Crannog Centre cares for and makes accessible the finds of Scottish Crannog dwellers, making sure there are a thousand fingerprints and a thousand voices involved in all they do! Through their practice, they maximise the social and economic impact of their work and play their part in tackling the climate emergency.

“We want to consider ways that the past can inspire the future with minimal impact on the local environment. Our ambition is to inspire young people to be involved – thinking sustainably about craft skills, investigating how things can be made in a communal way, and looking at ways of building sustainable relationships with the local community, and the land through myth and legend.”

Meanwhile, The Cateran Ecomuseum and Alyth Development Trust have 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, and to show local people and visitors how the story of our past can help guide the story of our future.

“We want to use visualisation of how the natural world of this part of Scotland has undergone continuous change for millions of years, to generate a collective imagination from the people of Alyth who will 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.”

Park Neuk Stone Circle. Picture credit – Clare Cooper

As well as working with their specific communities on a climate justice challenge, the practitioners will all come together to exchange knowledge, develop their work and spark new collaborations and opportunities.

Claire Dufour, Creative Climate Producer, Creative Dundee said, “While the climate crisis presents critical and pressing global issues, each and every one of us has a role to play locally.  The power of creativity and design in that drive is immense, attracting attention and engagement, breaking down barriers and sparking new approaches and practical solutions in the process.

“CULTIVATE will present some fantastic opportunities. For the Creative Practitioners, it’s the chance to bring a community project to life, build their profile, be part of Creative Dundee’s wider network and motivate tangible change. For those living and working in that community, it’s the chance to get involved and contribute to a better, fairer and more sustainable society– changes which, however small, could make a lasting impact on their environment and the world we’re passing on to future generations.  For us, being part of the Culture Collective network is an opportunity to connect the work happening across the Tay region with other creative and climate projects all across Scotland – helping both to share the exciting work happening in the region and to connect it with the learning from initiatives all over the country.

“As the city watches and waits for the Eden Project, this is an exciting time for our city and its surroundings.  Communities are really starting to take ownership for their environment, how they live and what they can contribute, and culture and creativity can play a key role in driving that ambition.”

Launched in 2008, Creative Dundee leads collaborative projects which generate local, national and international opportunities for people and the city, supporting Dundee’s strong creative ecology.  Most notably, Creative Dundee led the development and creation of Dundee’s Creative Industries Strategy in conjunction with key partners.

To find out more about CULTIVATE – and apply for the Creative Practitioner roles – please visit:



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, organisations and communities develop ways of responding to the impacts of the pandemic.

The 18-month CULTIVATE project is seeking to recruit two cohorts of six creatives (artists, designers and makers) working with six Community Partners across the Tay region – Perth and Kinross, Dundee, North East Fife and Angus. Each partner has set an ambition which the Creative Practitioner will help achieve through whatever creative practice/s they choose to embrace.

Gary Cameron, Interim Director, Strategy, Creative Scotland added, “The Culture Collective provides an opportunity for organisations to explore and test new models of engagement and participation and to learn from each other, whether this is how it provides opportunities and support to Creative Practitioners or how it actively engages communities in its work. Over 250 employment opportunities are being created through the programme, with further opportunities anticipated as each individual programme progresses.”


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

  • Information session: Thurs 10 June 2021, 10am – 11am
  • Deadline: Wed 23 June 2021, midnight
  • Expected commission start date: 23 August 2021
  • Expected commission end date: 20 February 2021

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