Culture Collective - a network of community-rooted creative projects - announces its Programme Lead Team

Published: 08 Jun 2021

Today, the Culture Collective - a network of community-rooted creative projects funded by Creative Scotland - announces its Programme Lead Team. The team, headed by Kathryn Welch, will connect, support and champion a network of 26 participatory creative projects across Scotland over the coming 18 months.

Culture Collective Co-Chomann Cultair

The Programme Lead team will take a collaborative approach - supporting the network as they explore new ways of working; creating employment opportunities for creative practitioners; sharing knowledge and learning; and championing what works to inform the future of support for community-rooted creative activity.

Programme Lead Kathryn Welch is a freelance practitioner passionate about championing communities, building connections in unlikely places, and celebrating creativity. Kathryn brings experience from over a decade in senior roles across the Scottish charity and arts sectors (most recently as Director of Voluntary Arts Scotland and Operations Director at Macrobert Arts Centre), specialising in community development, strategic planning, social impact and organisational sustainability.

Kathryn will work alongside a team of creative experts who make up the Programme Lead team:

  • Lou Brodie - applied artist, performance maker and project manager - will oversee the management of a series of Culture Collective events. Events will support learning and development for the network, and share insight to the programme with a national and international audience.
  • Improbable - pioneering improvisers, theatre makers and conversation facilitators - will host a series of Open Space events for the network.
  • François Matarasso - community artist, writer, researcher and consultant - will support the project team as mentor and ‘project caretaker’.
  • Storytelling PR - specialists in publicity, consultancy and advocacy for culture and activism - will lead on all elements of communications and PR for the Culture Collective. This includes supporting the network and articulating the learning, impact and future potential of the project.

Programme Lead Kathryn Welch commented:

“It’s an absolute pleasure to be appointed Programme Lead for the Culture Collective, and to work with a fantastic team to support this network of 26 phenomenal projects. I’m excited to explore how we can learn from one another, share our practice and develop a thriving space of peer support - to help these projects be all they might be over the coming 18 months. At the same time, we’ll be working together to share the learning, impact and potential of these types of projects beyond the network - supporting others in the development of community-rooted creative activity, and advocating for this type of work as a vital part of our communities and creative sector”.

Karen Dick, Creative Scotland’s Interim Head of Place, Partnerships & Communities said:

“We are very pleased to introduce Kathryn Welch and her team as the Programme Lead team for the Culture Collective programme. The 26 Culture Collective projects have already started work, with organisations providing lots of different opportunities for the cultural sector and for communities. We are really excited to have Kathryn and the team in place to support the further development of the network, and the Culture Collective programme.“

Caitlin Skinner, Stellar Quines Artistic Director and CEO added:

“As part of this large network of Scottish culture organisations - it has already been promising to plan for 18 months of creativity in communities - especially being able to look forward, after an acutely difficult time. Coming together with our peers in the network will enable us to share learnings, challenges and achievements as we embark on our journey to co-create projects with participants. Engagement is becoming ever more at the heart of our work, and this project in particular is part of a long term ambition for the Quines. Backing that up with funding and a dedicated project lead team is really heartening for our entire team”

Over the coming 18 months, the Programme Lead team will deliver a series of events to support the network and connect with communities and stakeholders across Scotland and internationally. They will coordinate training and developmental support for the network, and work with an external evaluation team to understand and share the impact of working in, with, and for communities.

For further information and to follow updates, please join the mailing list, and follow the Culture Collective Twitter account, which launches today at @CultureColSco.


Media Contact: Miriam Attwood

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the creative sector and cultural life of communities.  Culture Collective has developed as a response - to explore the role of artists, organisations and communities in working together to create a positive difference locally and nationally.

Through Creative Scotland, the Culture Collective Fund awarded £6 million of Scottish Government emergency COVID-19 funds to 26 organisations in February 2021.

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery. Further information at Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The recruitment of the Programme Lead was made by Creative Scotland through an open tender process on Public Contracts Scotland, and advertised on the Creative Scotland Opportunities site and social media.

Recruitment to the projects funded through the Culture Collective Fund is now well underway - with opportunities currently advertised. Opportunities continue to be advertised regularly across the network so please continue to check back to this list, opportunities will also be shared via @culturecolsco