Meet our new Strategic & Creative Director.

We are delighted to announce the appointment of our new strategic and creative director. This newly created post is a significant step in ensuring the success of our 2021 ten day D&G Arts Festival, as well as the continued development of our region-wide reach

Melanie Purdie is the new strategic and creative director. She is already well known across the region, having worked with several local venues, artists, and promoters in her role as Festivals and Project Manager for Puppet Animation Scotland.

As a producer, programmer and event manager, Melanie has an accomplished career profile having created successes for significant Scottish arts organisations including: The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland; Anatomy Arts theatre company; Blah Blah Blah Theatre Company and Summerhall in Edinburgh.

Melanie says:

“I have a passion for working with organisations that are doing something new and exciting. I’m looking forward to working with the brilliant team at Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival to deliver inspiring and engaging events across the region.”

Melanie is looking forward to spending more time in Dumfries and Galloway as it continues to grow its reputation as a region of artistic importance nationally and internationally. She joins our team at the end of March, in time to take a leading role in this year’s arts Festival which will take place across the region from 16th to 25th July. Along with Lou Davies, the General Manager, she will also begin planning the Autumn Arts Live programme, which forms part of the Festivals year-round provision of the performing arts across the region.

In the same week, we learned that we had successfully raised all the money needed for this year’s Festival, including £50,000 from Creative Scotland and £10,000 from Events Scotland. This money will be used to shine the spotlight on our own exciting local performing artists. We are also working closely with Assembly, the largest multi-venue organisation in the Edinburgh Fringe, to bring performances and performers from across Scotland and beyond to our local audiences.

Our audiences need have no concerns about being able to ‘visit’ festival events whatever the pandemic regulations. This year’s Festival will be both live and digital. The live Festival events will be socially distanced, and all COVID-19 prevention strategies will be in place.

Ken Gouge, Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival says:

“As we emerge from the challenges of dealing with a pandemic, engaging with the arts as a maker or participant has never been more important for our sense of well-being. The performing arts, in particular, can reduce our sense of isolation and bring our communities together joyfully.

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Melanie Purdie as our new strategic and creative director especially in the same week as announcing the funding we have received from Creative Scotland and Event Scotland.”

Melanie’s appointment is a major step in delivering our strategic vision for the future of performing arts in Dumfries and Galloway.  We welcome her into our team at this very exciting time in our organisation’s development”.

Melanie Purdie adds:

“I look forward to promoting and celebrating the cultural life of the region and promoting artists based in Dumfries & Galloway.  I also intend to bring the very best performers from Scotland and beyond to our local audiences right across the region. Everyone should have the opportunity to access excellent performing arts, homegrown as well as national and international.”

Watch out for more announcements to come as the Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival plans take shape.