Artist Sharron Devine at Dundee Dramatic SocietyGillian Hunter of Dundee Dramatic Society tells us how a ‘Keep on Creating’ microgrant from Creative Lives helped the group cover utility costs while they welcomed people from the local community in to share their creativity.

From January to June 2023, Dundee Dramatic Society collaborated with artist Sharron Devine, who runs Studio Space Art with her husband Ben. 

They wanted to promote art in the community by providing a space for residents of the Hilltown and wider area to drop in, and be exposed to creative projects - and Dundee Dramatic Society’s home, The Little Theatre, was the perfect location.

We agreed to open the coffee bar of the theatre for two hours every 2nd Saturday from January to June 2023. The ‘Keep on Creating’ microgrant awarded by Creative Lives allowed us to take part by paying the additional heating and electricity costs. 

It was exciting collaborating with a local artist whose passion for arts in the community fitted well with our strategic aims. We made a welcoming space in the theatre coffee bar for people of all ages. Sharron and Ben provided a safe and friendly space for people to chat, to foster creativity.

Creative sharing included a local Sri Lankan couple sharing their experience of moving to Dundee, and a talk on Sri Lankan culture. Local artist Amy Turnbull read her short story, ‘Stranger Danger’ from her short fiction collection, dealing with themes of mental health. Sharron Devine performed a live theatre ‘scratch’ of one of her works about Dundee, family, and memory. And local band The Ruvella’s performed a fantastic short acoustic session.

Without the microgrant we would not have been able to provide a space for a project like this.

[Pictured: Sharron Devine performing her work, photo by Gillian Hunter]