The Community Making Space is 1 year old!

Rural School of Economics Summer Camp - Photo by Felicity Crawshaw

It is our Community Making Space’s 1st anniversary in December 2023. Together with our collaborator, artist group Myvillages, we opened the former shop exactly a year ago, with the intention to make new connections and more space between us as an arts organisation and our home village Lumsden. We are excited to share some of our achievements as well as how we plan to collectively imagine what we make happen here in Lumsden in 2024 and beyond…

Images by Sam Trotman, Mara Marxt Lewis and Felicity Crawshaw

The Community Making Space was set up together with Myvillages with whom SSW has worked with for the past 3 years, together preparing the space: how it should look and feel like, how to run and sustain it, what topics to address, and how to invite as many people and groups as possible. In the first year the programme has been co-organised and facilitated by Community Arts Organiser Mara Marxt Lewis joined by our incredible community of residents and Community Advisory Group.

Through our work we use making as a way to connect our geographically disparate communities, build new connections and friendships and together grow our collective skills, knowledge and power to make positive change in our community. 400 of us (that is the entire population of Lumsden) have been part of the 128 hours of making we have run from our community space.This has included 18 making sessions learning anything from basket making to wool dyeing, 4 holiday clubs for young people and teenagers, one summer school with local and regional artists and cultural workers, 8 workshops in collaboration with Lumsden Primary school and we have had fun celebrating Halloween and Christmas together! The Community Making Space now has a rhythm and a range of different activities, from drop-ins to closed groups. With participants from Lumsden and further afield. With topics and activities ranging from everyday rural economies to egg painting.

We will be taking time in January and February to develop the next phase of work together and solidifying our collective ambitions for the future. We want to spend time working together to decide what skills we have and what skills we want to grow, what materials we feel connect us to our landscape and how we can connect our work here with others. If you are interested in joining us in January please email communities@ssw.org.uk and we will be in touch early next year.

Myvillages is also documenting their work at SSW on their Rural School of Economics website, making new trans-local connections between rural communities across Europe,

Until then we look forward to raising a glass together at Luminous Lumsden on Friday 15t December to celebrate and wish everyone a peaceful winter break and an exciting new year.

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