After losing the City of Culture bid earlier this month, many Paisley Buddies have been asking what’s next for the thriving culture hub.
Despite missing out on the title, Paisley’s brightest and boldest creatives gathered in Paisley Town Hall last Wednesday night at the ‘What’s Next? Connect, Share and Celebrate’ event hosted by the Creative Renfrewshire Network.
It was an evening of lightning talks from various creative speakers, and there was a pass the mic slot where the community could inspire with news from their local areas.
Alan Clark, Project Manager of youth arts charity CREATE Paisley, gave a talk on the power of volunteers in allowing Paisley’s young people tap in to their full potential.
He told Clyde Outside his favourite part of the night was the atmosphere.
Alan Clark said: “The highlight for me was the optimism in the room.
“Despite Paisley being unsuccessful with its bid to become UK City of Culture 2021, the community are looking ahead and dreaming about a bright future for Paisley and Renfrewshire with culture playing a key part in that.”
Alan explained that ‘What’s Next? Connect, Share and Celebrate’ was also an opportunity to “shape the future of the community and continue to celebrate the vibrancy of what’s happening in Renfrewshire – all over some Christmas cheer.”
— Creative Renfrewshire (@Creative_Ren) December 13, 2017
Whilst, Gillian Easson from Creative Dundee acted as a “spirit guide” for Paisley Buddies in terms of culture and future visions for Paisley.
We couldn’t have been in a better place tonight, thanks to @Creative_Ren for kick starting the next phase of our creative journey in Paisley and Renfrewshire, with @Creative_Dundee as our spirit guides pic.twitter.com/LZGlRc9bGJ
— Morag Macpherson (@moragmacp) December 13, 2017
With regards to the cultural love-exchange between the two cities, Gillian told Clyde Outside: “Paisley and Dundee share many similarities as former industrial and innovation hubs. Each has impressive natural surroundings, a significant number of student inhabitants, and now both have culture firmly rooted at the core of their regeneration plans.
“We’re harnessing and celebrating creative people based here to make sure they are visible, heard and connected.
“Through this Renfrewshire will continue to be highly creative and boldly ambitious. This is absolutely what our future economy and society needs.”
Among other the speakers of the night were Andy Campbell and Gary Kerr, founding members of the Paisley Community Trust, who outlined the Trust’s journey to date – highlighting how Paisley’s Untold Story Town Heritage Asset strategy inspired much of the work. They also talked about their welcomed ambitious Baker Street plans to transform part of Paisley into an arts hub.
Here is a taste of the lightning talk which I did for the #CreativeRenfrewshire network event yesterday at Paisley Town Hall; it was a pleasure to explain a little about my PhD work and creative projects, and learn about what others are planning https://t.co/APBPUx9R0p
— AlisonMcCandlish (@CrenellatedArts) December 14, 2017
Alison McCandlish a PhD student in cultural planning at UWS, also gave a presentation about her cultural mapping PHD, aimed at encouraging people to have fun with heritage – which appeared to inspire this mini mapping of culture throughout Renfrewshire.
Keren McKean also gave an inspiring talk about 20+ years of music industry experience, including managing Snow Patrol. And, Sam Gonçalves, the Digital Producer at Creative Dundee, also spoke about his experiences capturing and telling stories from Brazil, Paisley and Dundee.
Morag Macpherson, Head of Cultural Services at Renfrewshire Leisure, was also at the event and she told Clyde Outside: “The ‘What Next’ event was a brilliant opportunity to regroup and focus on the positive.
“We have huge opportunities in the future to make the most of, including the redevelopment of the museum, town hall and arts centre, and a new Library.
“It’s going to be really important over the next few years that we can enable the Creative sector to take opportunities, and the ‘What Next’ event was the perfect start.”
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