Go Forth BID Sponsors Crafting Sessions to Mark Stirling 900 Celebrations

New crafting sessions aimed at marking Stirling’s 900th anniversary year begin next month after the organisers received funding from the city’s Business Improvement District (BID).

Stirling artists Lesley McDermott and Audrey McMenemy will be leading craft workshops every Sunday afternoon from January 7 at their Studio 35 base in Stirling’s historic Arcade.

The free sessions will run for six months and are open to anyone with an interest in crafting artworks from scrap yarns, fabrics and recycled and remnant art materials.

The art created will be led by the participants but plans include a focus on designing banners, bunting and craft books to mark the Stirling 900 celebrations.

The organisers, who are members of Stirling’s artist-led GOSSIP collective which works to provide opportunities for creatives, then plan to exhibit the artwork at a local venue in July 2024.

The art workshops are supported by a grant from Go Forth Stirling BID who have offered funding for a limited number of footfall-boosting Stirling events and initiatives taking place during 2023/2024.

Lesley McDermott said: “It’s fabulous to receive this vital funding and support from Go Forth which will enable us to go ahead with our crafting project. 

We often have to get by without funding and we regularly hold initiatives in a pop-up fashion so we’re thrilled and delighted that this grant means we can commit to a regular place which is warm and comfortable for people to meet as a community on a weekly basis.

We’re really looking forward to getting started, connecting with the local community and finding out their ideas for celebrating Stirling’s 900th year.”

The workshops are one of several initiatives, including a Creative Stirling exhibition, to be sponsored by Go Forth after the organisation encouraged local business owners and individuals to come forward with grant applications.

Jitka Fleglova, Community Engagement Manager at Go Forth Stirling, said: “We sought ideas for events which would help our key objective of increasing footfall into Stirling city centre and also be a benefit to the local community.

The crafting workshops will provide a wonderful opportunity for local people to learn new skills and create artworks which celebrate our wonderful city’s 900th anniversary.

We’re pleased to be able to support this venture which will also benefit the business community by attracting more people into Stirling.”

Visual artist Lesley, who specialises in sculpture and installations, founded the GOSSIP (Graduate Opportunities Supporting Sustained Independent Practice) collective in 2017. 

She has previously worked with Audrey, a textiles and mixed media artist, running craft sessions at the Cowane Centre and a pop-up event in the Thistles.

The artists recently secured premises at Unit 35 in Stirling Arcade, previously a Family Mediation Centre, where they have a sewing machine and other equipment and can host 10-12 crafting participants.

The sessions are free, although donations are welcomed, and open to anyone with no craft experience necessary. The organisers have an Eventbrite link for sign-ups which can be accessed via www.eventbrite.com/e/sunday-art-sessions-tickets-780460878497?aff=oddtdtcreator

Lesley added: “We will have a range of activities for people and an opportunity to learn new skills – whether they want to create banners or enjoy doing some embroidery and sewing. And we hope to display the results at a city centre venue in July.

We’ve previously held sessions at the Cowane Centre and recently did a pop-up at the Thistles and our aim is to be inclusive and to facilitate the arts for everyone.” 

Go Forth Stirling BID represents more than 600 business owners with a key objective of increasing visitors to the city and devising initiatives to help make it a more welcoming environment for businesses and shoppers. 

For more information, visit www.goforthstirling.co.uk


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