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  • Writer's pictureMark Paterson

Starting to grow my Network

One thing that I don't have is a network of business people that know about what I do, so in an effort to change that, I popped along to the Connecting DG Networking Group in Dumfries to start to build those important connections. Although it was a small group that met that day, the visit was worthwhile for several reasons.

The first was that I got to do a 30 second elevator speech to those present about the work that I do and the work that I see myself doing once I graduate. That work is Event Documentary Photography.

Essentially, you hold a speakers event for example, I would document the speakers that spoke, the ambience of the hall, the interactions that showed the engagement of those in attendance. As well as any special guests that were in attendance. The purpose being to show the effort that you went to and the benefit that comes when you hold, or put on, an event.

Back to this meeting, and the guest speaker was Tina Fisk. Tina is a Director of a local arts association north of Dumfries and gave a talk about the history of the building that they occupy, and a little about what they do.

Like most Arts Association, they rely on funding from Arts Councils, as well as donations from those that visit. Workshops and Artist talks are also another way of bringing in money to fund them during the year. She expressed that there is some uncertainty around funding for 2024 onwards (which they have to apply for in the coming weeks) as all the Art Associations are fighting for a smaller fund set up by various Government Bodies.

It is this shortfall in income, that the exhibitions run a little longer than normal. Usually exhibitions last up to 1 month. However, at Cample Line, they tend to have their exhibitions up for around 3 months. One of the reasons being that it allows a greater audience to enjoy the exhibits, as well as saving money by reducing the number of times that studio spaces have to be redecorated.

Being situated in a rural location also has an effect on the footfall that they receive as the gallery space is not situated on a main road. With the space being a former Woollen Mill and houses where the workers lived when they worked there in the late 18th Century.

The meeting was held in a local hotel complex with a morning roll supplied as a breakfast due to the early meeting time. It isn't the only network group in the area, and I am looking forward to exploring the opportunities that being a member brings in an effort to grow my fledgling business

Website for Connecting DG

Website for Cample Mill

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