Print Studio Tour at DCA #dundeewestend

 
This Thursday – 9th January at 5.30pm – and again on Saturday 11th January at 12 noon – you can get a free tour of the Dundee Contemporary Arts Print Studio!
 
The studio has a huge range of state-of-the-art equipment for both traditional printing and creating digital artworks.    
 
DCA Print Studio houses everything from a Victorian relief press to 3D printers and a laser cutter.   Come along and be shown around. 
 
These tours are the perfect precursor to doing a course or becoming a registered user – or are for anyone who has always wondered what goes on in the studio!
 
Free, but booking essential by contacting Dundee Contemporary Arts on 909900 or e-mail dca@dca.org.uk.

Discovery Film Festival 2016

Discovery Film Festival, Scotland’s International Film Festival for Young Audiences takes place from Saturday 22nd October until Sunday 6th November.
 
It is now in its thirteenth year.    Based at Dundee Contemporary Arts, and touring to partner venues throughout Scotland, the festival screens films from all over the world which have been specially programmed for young audiences.
 
The festival includes three exciting weekends of films, creative activities, and gala events, as well as two weeks of screenings and events for schools.
 
Discovery Film Festival aims to develop new audiences for the best in international film, improve media literacy and offer young audiences an insight into the lives of children and young people in other cultures.   The festival has been running since 2004 when it was started as a partnership with Dundee Education Development Department, Scottish Screen and DCA.
 
You can find out more about the festival here.

Launch of Dundee as a UNESCO City of Design #cityofdesign

Yesterday, I was delighted to attend the packed launch event at the University of Dundee to recognise our city becoming a UNESCO City of Design, the first UK city to be given this prestigious recognition – see right
 
The launch event was part of three days of events that continue today at DCA.
 
Dundee’s bid focused on three approaches to design: place, covering architecture and redesigning Dundee, products, such as life-saving drugs, jewellery and computer games, and processes, including designing public services to support people.   
 
Only 17 cities around the world hold the UNESCO City of Design title, including Beijing, Berlin, Helsinki and Montreal, so this recognition for our city is a tremendous achievement.

Discovery Film Festival

Discovery Film Festival  :   Scotland’s International Film Festival for Young Audiences
 
Saturday 25th October – Sunday 9th November 2014
 
Discovery Film Festival is now in its eleventh year and starts today. 
 
Based at Dundee Contemporary Arts, and touring to partner venues throughout Scotland, the festival screens films from all over the world which have been specially programmed for young audiences.
 
The festival includes three exciting weekends of films, creative activities, and gala events, as well as two weeks of screenings and events for schools.
 
Discovery aims to develop new audiences for the best in international film, improve media literacy and offer young audiences an insight into the lives of children and young people in other cultures.
 
The festival has been running since 2004 when it was started as partnership with Dundee City Council’s Education Development Department, Scottish Screen and DCA.
 
You can find out more here.

Friends of Balgay AGM

Yesterday afternoon, I had the pleasure of attending the Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Balgay, at the Mills Observatory.
 
Despite torrential rain, there was an excellent turnout to hear Clive Gillman (see right), Director of Dundee Contemporary Arts, give a very interesting presentation about Dundee’s bid for UK City of Culture 2017.
 
Friends of Balgay can be contacted via their website contact form and would welcome your involvement in enhancing and protecting Balgay Park and Hill.

Discovery Film Festival: Scotland’s International Film Festival for Young Audiences

This year’s Discovery Film Festival takes place from 19th October until 3rd November and is now in its tenth year. Based at Dundee Contemporary Arts, and touring to partner venues throughout Scotland, the festival screens films from all over the world which have been specially programmed for young audiences.
 
The festival includes three exciting weekends of films, creative activities, and gala events, as well as two weeks of screenings and events for schools.
 
Discovery aims to develop new audiences for the best in international film, improve media literacy and offer young audiences an insight into the lives of children and young people in other cultures. The festival has been running since 2004 when it was started as partnership with Dundee Education Development Department, Scottish Screen and DCA.
 
The festival works with partner venues in Dumfries and Galloway, Glasgow, Edinburgh, North Lanarkshire, Falkirk, Fife, and the Highlands and Islands to bring a selection of films from the Discovery programme to new audiences across Scotland.
 
Discovery Film Festival is a DCA project and is organised by Festival Producer and Cinema Youth Development Officer, Mike Tait. A team of Young Ambassadors (aged 15-18) work with the Festival Producer to programme films and advise on the overall design of the festival. A team of teachers and education consultants advise on the education programme and create Curriculum for Excellence relevant resources for classes visiting the festival.
 
Discovery would like to thank Dundee City Council Education Development Department and Fishers Tours for their ongoing support. We are also grateful to DCA’s partners and supporters: Creative Scotland, Dundee City Council Leisure and Communities Department, The University of Dundee, Scottish Enterprise and Europa Cinemas.
 
If you would like to support Discovery or get involved, email discovery@dca.org.uk.

Dundee’s second Blue Skies Festival!

This coming Saturday sees the start of the second Dundee Blue Skies festival, a week of kite flying, stargazing and rainbow chasing starts – and it runs until 11th August.    Blue Skies brings together cultural agencies from across the city to present you with an exciting mix of free events for all ages.   
 
Events include :
 
* Blue Skies at Celebration in the park – launch activities on Saturday 3rd August.
 
* Make Paper come alive – on Monday 5th August – at DCA.
 
* Top Gun – with extra guitars – on Saturday 10th August – at Dundee Airport.
 
* The Perseids – on Sunday 11th August – at the Mills Observatory.
 
There’s many other events as part of the Blue Skies Festival – see more at www.dundeeblueskies.co.uk – and what’s more, all are free of charge!

Impressive response from the City Council on safety concern

Earlier today, I received the following urgent concern from a constituent:
 
“I have just been out for a walk – along the cycle track and on to the DCA.  When I left the cycle track and crossed the road, heading for the back of the DCA, there is a huge cover missing from a manhole – the drop into the drain is so big that a child could fall through the gap.”
 
This was a matter of real concern and I immediately contacted the City Engineer and Roads Maintenance Partnership about it.    Within a very short period, I received the following response:
 
“The Roads Duty Inspector inspected the site an hour or so ago.   He found a gully frame cover that had been dislodged leaving an opening so put back properly.   He could not find any other issues so hopefully that was it.”
 
This was a most impressive rate of response to the credit of the City Council’s City Engineer and the Roads Duty Inspector. 

Park and Ride proposals – public exhibition

I have previously updated West End residents on the proposed Park and Ride facility at the land west of Wright Avenue.
 
A public exhibition is taking place on Thursday (8th November) between 2pm and 8pm at Dundee Contemporary Arts in Nethergate in order that all interested residents can view the proposals and make comment.
 
You can read the technical report on the proposal here.

Don’t forget the Discovery Film Festival

Further to my recent update about this year’s Discovery Film Festival, the Festival starts today.  

Discovery Film Festival 2012 will feature the best films for young audiences from across the world, as well as workshops, special events and two special exhibitions in the galleries aimed at young people.

More information is available at www.discoveryfilmfestival.org.uk – the Festival is something for young people not to miss.

Premiere of ‘Our Dundee’ – a young people’s short film

As part of the Dundee Wave of Change project (coordinated by Go Dundee) a group of young people from The Shore made a short film about people’s experiences of life in Dundee and their views about the city’s future.  The young people were supported by professional ­film makers D Fie Foe.

The film will receive its public premiere at DCA on Sunday 7th October 2012 at 1pm as part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival (click here for details).  The young people who made the film will be there to introduce the film and then answer questions afterwards so please come along and take part if you can.  Entry is free.

You can watch a short preview of the film by clicking ‘play’ below:

Discovery Film Festival 2012

Plans are well under way for this year’s Discovery Film Festival, taking place between 20th October and 4th November at Dundee Contemporary Arts.

Discovery Film Festival 2012 will feature the best films for young audiences from across the world, as well as workshops, special events and not one but two special exhibitions in the galleries, curated with young audiences in mind.

The film festival will be welcoming back Norway’s lovable talking twig, Twigson, whose first adventure was such a hit at last year’s festival that the festival this year is screening the sequel, Twigson Ties The Knot.

Discovery Film Festival 2011 was the festival’s busiest year yet with over 15,000 visitors attending screenings, workshops and the exhibition at DCA and at venues across Scotland. There’s lots in the 2012 programme to attract an even-larger audience this year!

See more at www.discoveryfilmfestival.org.uk or click ‘play’ below:

Blue Skies Festival starts Friday!

On Friday, the first ever Blue Skies Festival, Dundee’s festival of kite flying, stargazing and rainbow chasing starts – and suns until Sunday. Blue Skies brings together cultural agencies from across the city to present you with an exciting mix of free events for all ages.   
 
Events include :
 
*   FRIDAY :  Cloudbusting – A one-day event at DCA that will bring together representatives from the creative and cultural sectors with those in health and education, to explore how the knowledge and imagination of the country’s creative sector might be applied to address the various issues around poverty.
 
*   SATURDAY :   Life of Galileo – A special presentation taking place at the University of Dundee, Carnelley Building (old Chemistry Building) on Life of Galileo by Bertolt Brecht created by Dundee Rep Theatre, directed by Ben Harrison (Artistic Director of the award-winning site specific theatre company Grid Iron) in collaboration with local astronomer Brian Kelly. 
 
*   SUNDAY :   Perseid Nocturne – A series of events at Mills Observatory.
 
There’s a whole host of other events as part of the Blue Skies Festival – see more at www.dundeeblueskies.co.uk – and what’s more, all are free of charge.

Dundee Contemporary Arts Board Meeting

Last night, I attended the latest Board meeting of Dundee Contemporary Arts.

In addition to the usual agenda items on DCA activities, finance, staffing and related matters, there was a very interesting discussion on the partnership between DCA, the University of Abertay Dundee, the University of Dundee and the Visual Research Centre.

The new Torsten Lauschmann exhibition is well worth a visit, and it is great to see DCA going from strength to strength in all areas of activity.

Discovery Film Festival : 22nd October – 6th November 2011

… Scotland’s International Film Festival for Young Audiences

Another fantastic programme of world class films for children and young people will begin on 22nd October.    From the opening film, A Cat in Paris, to Steven Spielberg’s highly-anticipated Tintin and this year’s crop of animated Shorts for Wee Ones, it’s shaping up to be another great year.

Saturday 22nd October, 3.15pm – Opening Film: A Cat in Paris 

Ever wonder what your cat gets up to when you’re not around?    This charming and visually stunning animation follows the double life of Dino; a loyal tabby to Zoé by day and a cat burglar’s accomplice by night.   We’ll be joined by a very special guest, Alain Gagnol, the film’s co-director and scriptwriter.

The opening event is a great day out for everyone. As well as the film there’s the opening of Torsten Lauschmann’s new exhibition, Startle Reaction, plus workshops and activities for all ages. A Cat in Paris ticket holders can join us for hot chocolate and French-inspired nibbles at a post-film family reception.

Other festival highlights include laugh-out-loud escapade The Liverpool Goalie, meaningful coming-of-age comedy Aurélie Laflamme’s Diary and chilling murder mystery On The Ice. See our whole programme of films, workshops and events at http://www.discoveryfilmfestival.org.uk

Dundee Contemporary Arts Board

Tonight, after my weekly surgery at Blackness Primary School, I attended the Board meeting of Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA).

There were useful updates on DCA’s community and education work and by Creative Scotland, and it was also good to learn that DCA is progressing towards Investors in People accreditation.

The Board meeting was extremely positive and highlights the dynamism of this world-class centre for the development and exhibition of contemporary art and culture based in the West End of Dundee.

Dundee Contemporary Arts – going from strength to strength

Last night, after my weekly surgery at Blackness Primary School, I attended the latest Dundee Contemporary Arts Board meeting.

DCA Director Clive Gillman gave a fascinating presentation on DCA’s Annual Review of 2010/11, which covered the varied activities of the facility and showed extremely positive visitor levels, an outstanding year for the cinema including its highly successful live satellite events, the Discovery Film Festival and so much more.   

And … look out for the forthcoming horror-filled Dundead weekend – see more at http://twitter.com/DUNDEAD

Some of last week’s activities …

On Tuesday, I had much pleasure in attending a meeting of the support group for Jericho House. This project is extremely worthwhile, providing care and support to men recovering from alcohol problems. We discussed various projects being undertaken by Jericho House of benefit to the residents and I am really pleased to join the support group to assist the project.

I then attended a meeting of the Finance and Operations Committee of Dundee Contemporary Arts, where we discussed and agreed DCA’s budget for 2011-12. Thereafter, along with a number of fellow councillors, I attended a civic reception to thank all who helped during the severe weather period in December/January. Many staff put in a huge effort above and beyond the call of duty during this period, particularly to help with meals of wheels, other social care and winter maintenance in very difficult conditions. It was a good initiative on the part of the City Council’s Chief Executive and the Lord Provost to thank all involved.

Also on Tuesday, I had the pleasure of meeting with representatives of Barnetts Motor Group to discuss the re-launch of their Barneys Charity Fund, aimed at helping local charities, community groups and worthwhile local projects, and I am pleased to accept the Chair of the Barneys Charity Fund Committee, on which there will be community representatives. The company has kindly agreed to donate a minimum of £2000 for local projects in the West End in the first year, which is an excellent boost to community groups in our area. More details will be available soon on how local groups can apply for a share of this funding.

On Thursday, as well as holding my weekly surgery at Blackness Primary School, I attended a meeting of the Dundee West Transition Town Group’s home insulation team to discuss how home insulation in the local area can be further promoted.

I also attended an enjoyable civic reception to mark the end – and the achievements of – Dundee Travel Active– a project launched when I was the City Council’s Planning and Transport Convener. Here’s Anthony Active, the project’s mascot, at the reception – above.

Discovery Film Festival 2010

As a member of the board of Dundee Contemporary Arts, I am delighted to see this year’s Discovery Film Festival taking place at DCA from 16th October to 3rd November.   

 

It is Scotland’s International Film Festival for Children and Young People and almost 8,000 young people enjoyed Discovery screenings and events last year.
 

This year’s programme is packed full of films from around the world – from the new Moomins film Moomins and the Comet Chase in 3D (see trailer below) to the powerful youth documentary Neukölln Unlimited.

The public programme is available to download by going to http://tinyurl.com/discoveryfilm.

Friday activities …

I have been in a very wet Motherwell today with the “day job” but on return spoke with Clive Gillman, Director of Dundee Contemporary Arts, about a competition DCA recently ran that has raised my concerns and those of the other councillors who serve on the DCA Board. The matter is covered in tonight’s Evening Telegraph, and I am pleased to say that Clive has assured me that such a competition will not be repeated in the future.

I had a letter in yesterday’s Tele following a resident raising her concerns about the condition of the ground on the east side of Glenagnes Road – and the fallen boundary fencing. I have now received feedback from the City Council’s Enforcement Officer as follows :

“I have visited the above site and would advise I shall write out to the owner and advise he tidy the site and make it secure.”
And, lastly for tonight, my Dundee LibDem colleague and community activist Allan Petrie has created the following excellent response to that misinformed Travelodge survey that suggested that Dundee was not a place to visit because of “bad weather” :

Thursday activities …

A busy Thursday. I firstly participated in the City Council’s Improvement and Efficiency sub-committee, where I queried progress with the Council Plan and lean service reviews and also gave positive comments about the “Cash in your ideas” employee suggestion scheme – a real success. You can read the committee agenda content by going to http://tinyurl.com/iecommittee.

Later in the day, we had a useful and productive ‘West End Christmas Week’ debrief meeting and the overall view is that we had a very successful 2009 Christmas Week but we want to see the biggest and best event ever in 2010 – the tenth anniversary of West End Christmas Week.

Tonight, after my surgery at Blackness Primary School, I participated in the Dundee Contemporary Arts Board meeting. DCA is going from strength to strength and the Martin Boyce exhibition ‘No Reflections’ – now at DCA following a successful showing in Venice reflects this.

Christmas in the West End – further events!

As part of West End Christmas Week, Dundee Contemporary Arts is running “Shorts for Wee Ones” at 12 noon on Saturday 28th November. However, after Christmas Week, there are additional Christmas workshops at DCA, including :

Wrap It Up! : Saturday 5th December


Come along and try out lots of fabulous and interesting techniques on how to make your own unique cards, gift tags, decorations and wrapping paper. Pop in for a while or stay all afternoon. Adults and children welcome.

Syrah Jay – Christmas Felting : Sunday 6th December

Join Dundee based textile designer Syrah Jay for our Christmas Felting Workshop. Using felting and needlework techniques, get creative and make some wonderful jewellery pieces or festive decorations, perfect as gifts or as a treat to yourself! Adults and children over 8 welcome, under 12s must be accompanied by an adult.

No Brilliantly Coloured Birds : Saturday 12th December

Join us for the first of our Bruno Munari inspired workshops, which coincide with the exhibition Martin Boyce, No Reflections, Scotland + Venice. Workshops will focus on the creative ideas of Munari and his wonderful children’s books that have inspired generations of young audiences, artists and designers. Expect lots of colour, imagination and fun! Workshop for children aged 6-12 years old, under 8s must be accompanied by an adult.

Places are limited and bookings can be made (and further information is available) from DCA at 909900.

Thursday

Very early start this morning (4.30am!) to go up to Pitlochry to help with early morning polling day leaflet deliveries in the Highland Ward by-election for Perth & Kinross Council. Lightly drizzling rain but otherwise a pleasant start to the day.

Back to Dundee in time for a site visit to Barnhill to see the new “rapid rhino” road pothole repairs system in action and very impressed with the finished result, creating a permanent repair rather than the traditional pothole repair which often fails, resulting in repeated patching over a period of time.

The other positive outcome is the financial savings that accrue from their being fewer overall repairs necessary over time. The City Council will spend some £1.7m revenue on cyclical road repairs in 2008/9, with a further £1.4m capital on road reconstruction (the latter a welcome improvement and one of the positive outcomes from the recent budget process). Although these are not inconsiderable sums, they should be seen in the context of several hundred miles of local roads within the City, and, through good initiatives like “rapid rhino” and the recent Roads Partnering agreement with Tayside Contracts, we can ensure funding is used to its best effect delivering the maximum improvements possible within budgets.

Held my usual three surgeries today – The Base at Mitchell Street Centre (5pm); Room 407 at Harris Academy (5.30pm) and the staffroom at Blackness Primary School (6.15pm). I hold these every Thursday, except during school holidays.

I’m a Board Member of Dundee Contemporary Arts – and as many residents are aware, DCA does a very useful weekly e-mail update of cinema e-listings. It has recently set up a facebook site where you can read all about their events, receive invitations to them and post comments, events and images of your own. You can join up at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=7245911548

Lastly, every credit goes to Mr Arshad of the newsagents on the corner of Abbotsford Place and Peddie Street who tackled thieves in the shop earlier today, foiling the robbery, despite being cut during the attempted robbery. You can read more (from tonight’s Evening Telegraph) by clicking on the headline above.

Community Organisation for Cleghorn/Pentland/Ancrum and other matters …

I have been speaking with a number of residents in the Cleghorn Street/Benvie Road (and surrounding streets), Pentland and Ancrum Drive areas about hopefully setting up a Community Council or community group for the area. The area is to the north of the West End Community Council area and seeing the good work that Community Council does, there’s no doubt that a community group for Cleghorn/Ancrum/Pentland would be good for the area.
We have now got enough interest for the Communities Officer to arrange an initial informal meeting to get the ball rolling. If you live in the area and are interested in attending, please contact me at community@frasermacpherson.org.uk or call me on 459378.
Yesterday, apart from attending a Board Meeting of Dundee Contemporary Arts (of which I am now a member), I met residents in one street in the West End where a utilities company has left the roadway in a mess, following recent “repairs” – I am on the case! I have also spoken with a number of residents about the extension of the refuse wheelie bins being undertaken as a number of residents have genuine issues arising out of this.