An Ayrshire Arts Archive ~ Arts Groups and Venues

Ayrshire Arts Network

Ayrshire Arts Network

The Ayrshire Arts Network was established in 2009 to facilitate networking and access to the arts in Ayrshire.  Based in South Ayrshire, with the bulk of the membership working or residing in that district, the Network achieved a membership of some 130 practitioners and enthusiasts.   By 2014 it was recognised that a change in local authority attitudes to cultural activities and the establishment of the South Ayrshire Arts Partnership had superseded the core activities of the Network.  In 1015, the network was dissolved and members were invited to join the South Ayrshire Arts Partnership.

Creative Spaces and the Ayrshire Arts Network.

1. Elizabeth Connell, leader of the Creative Spaces Opera Master Class.

2. Michael Malone, poet. Contributor to the Poetry Workshop.

3.  Alison Bell, organiser of the Visual Arts Seminar.

Ayrshire Arts Network Activities

The network consulted extensively before establishing a constitution.  Although it was a membership organisation, there was no subscription and, initially, the group relied on very limited financial support trough the local authority.  A web site was established, funded by the local authority in the first year.

During 2009 the group organised a number of professional workshops to assist practitioners in promoting their work.  There were also a number of opening meetings, many drawing a significant attendance.

A meeting with representatives of the Theatres Trust was seminal in setting up a campaign group to re-open the Gaiety Theatre.  This was pursued in collaboration with Ayr Arts Guild, resulting a a community arts theatre re-opening in an improved building.  This facility is heavily dependent on volunteers and is operating at arms length from the local authority.

With 'Arts for All' lottery funding of £4000 and additional support from the local authority, the Network presented Creative Spaces in Ayr Town Hall.  This event included seminars on practice in the visual arts, an opera master class with Elizabeth Connell and poetry readings by Michael Malone and Nan Templeton.  An Arts Market Place was included in the programme with the objective of showing visitors what might be available to them in the community.

A small financial surplus from the Creative Spaces project was invested in musical evening and lectures held in the Su Casa Coffee House.

in 2013, the Network was exploring the possibility of establishing an Open Studios Festival. This project was taken forward by Irene Walker and her colleagues, with significant support from the local authority, and is now established as an annual event in Ayrshire.

The Network website was discontinued in April 2015.


1. Connell

2.  Malone

3.   Alison

Creative Ayrshire acknowledges the assistance of Mike Bailey for the provision of material for this section of the website. 

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