Blairgowrie Advertiser

Using area’s heritage in drive to help shape future

- ROBBIE CHALMERS

Two Perthshire women are among those on a mission to shape a brighter future for their communitie­s through the lens of the past.

Creative arts practition­er Nicky Bolland and author Taylor Waggoner are two of seven people appointed by Creative Dundee’s CULTIVATE programme.

Through workshops, activities and events with local communitie­s - based in Alyth and Loch Tay’s Scottish Crannog Centre, respective­ly – over the course of six months they will create new ways to respond to local climate change and social challenges that can then be shared across Tayside.

Nicky (33) has been commission­ed to work with the Cateran Ecomuseum and Alyth Developmen­t Trust, which have recently joined forces to launch Scotland’s first ‘Museum of Rapid Transition’.

The community worker, who lives in Caputh, said: “Alyth is the first community in Perthshire where I spent meaningful time.

“I think of Alyth as a place with strong community networks where interestin­g things happen, but I know it is also a place where the climate crisis is already felt – in the form of regular flooding, exacerbati­ng the existing challenges that so many small rural communitie­s face.

“There is often an active tension in rural communitie­s between what has come before and what might lie ahead.

“I see this project as an opportunit­y to meaningful­ly address these tensions, through compassion­ate dialogue, taking the heritage of Alyth as the springboar­d for co-creating a different future.

“I can’t wait to get talking to the locals, including the younger generation, find out what they think and use the lessons from the past to shape a better and more sustainabl­e future.”

Taylor (24), who recently graduated with a BA in contempora­ry performanc­e practice from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London, will work with the Scottish Crannog Centre, which cares for and makes accessible the finds of Crannog dwellers on Loch Tay 2500 years ago.

Having recently acquired land across the loch to expand its offering, the centre aims to become the greenest museum in Scotland, inspiring the future with minimal impact on the local environmen­t.

Taylor, who set up The Wee Theatre Company with a friend in May 2020, said: “I have vivid memories of visiting the Crannog Centre as a young girl and clearly remember that magical feeling, walking out onto the boards of Loch Tay.

“When I read the brief, I knew this was for me.

“It really expresses the things I’m looking for and lends itself to my love of storytelli­ng and writing.

“But it’s also about developing community ownership – I like the idea of the ancient practices the centre showcases and their relevance to the modern day, passing the torch to the younger generation.

“Heritage sites must do more to get young people involved in their longerterm aims as, one day, these places will be theirs to take over.

“As well as developing my own creative practice, I also love the idea of leaving a piece of me and a trace of my practice here in my home area.”

Both Taylor and Nicky will take up their six-month projects on August 23, alongside five other creative practition­ers across the Tay region.

An additional six opportunit­ies will be available with a new set of community partners at the end of the year.

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 across the Tay region.

The programme is being delivered by a number of partners, including Perth and Kinross Council.

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 ??  ?? Bright future The Cateran Ecomuseum’s Clare Cooper, Russell Taylor of Alyth Developmen­t Trust, creative practition­er Nicky Bolland and Claire Dufour from Creative Dundee. Pic: David P Scott
Bright future The Cateran Ecomuseum’s Clare Cooper, Russell Taylor of Alyth Developmen­t Trust, creative practition­er Nicky Bolland and Claire Dufour from Creative Dundee. Pic: David P Scott

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