Tayside Climate Beacon event to take place at Webster Theatre Arbroath - Fri 20 May 22

20 May 2022 | News Story


Tayside Climate Beacon announces a series of free events exploring connections between communities, culture and climate activism


Issued Monday 16 May, 2022

#ClimateBeacons #CultivateTay

The Tayside Climate Beacon network and CULTIVATE are delighted to announce the 2022 Tayside Climate Beacon free event series, happening in Arbroath, Dunkeld and Dundee, exploring the connections between communities, culture and climate action. 


These events will be a series of discussions, provocations and performances, unpacking urgent local climate change issues. These three events are great opportunities to showcase, connect and inspire on key actions to tackle local climate impacts with communities and the role that art and creativity can play.


Co-produced by Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre and Creative Dundee, the event series will be hosted by climate activist Martha Smart and will take place in partnership with ANGUSalive in Arbroath on 20th May exploring journeys and biodiversity; in partnership with the Climate Cafe Movement in Dunkeld on 10 June exploring community building; and in partnership with the V&A Dundee in Dundee on 9 July exploring collaboration and play.


The events will include sharings of new work by local artists including Kristina Aburrow, Alex Turner and Shaper / Caper who have been paired with scientists through the James Hutton Institute to explore key environmental themes. These will feature talks and contributions from Jess Pepper (Climate Cafe Founder), Clare Cooper (Bioregioning Tayside), Joan Clevillé (Scottish Dance Theatre), Kelly Ann Dempsey (Team Leader Environment & Climate Change at Angus Council), Sustainable Kirriemuir - among others. More information on each event in Notes to editors.


Over the past year a new network of cultural, academic and community organisations, as well as local authorities across the Tayside Bioregion have been connecting as part of the Climate Beacons for COP26 initiative run by Creative Carbon Scotland. Together they have been collaboratively exploring what role culture, art and creativity play in local climate action. The Tayside bioregion is geographically, socially and economically diverse, and Creative Dundee’s CULTIVATE pilot programme has been experimenting with new ways of embedding creativity at the core of grassroots collective action for climate justice. 


Kelly Ann Dempsey, Team Leader Environment & Climate Change, Angus Council said: “The Tayside Climate Beacon event is a fantastic opportunity for communities to connect and share their experiences of climate action on their doorstep.  The ‘exploring journeys and biodiversity’ event in Arbroath will set the scene for discussion around biodiversity and climate change adaptation, an area where Angus plays a leading role in developing innovative land use change and community resilience projects with a wide range of stakeholders.”


Adeline Kinsella, ANGUSalive Cultural Team Leader added: “Climate change is a priority whose affects we all feel. ANGUSalive is proud to be a part of this influential event which is bringing together local and national organisations with the common aim of achieving Net Zero”


Liam Sinclair, Executive Director and Join CEO at Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre said: “The Tayside area is known for our collaborative approach to making things happen, and this has definitely been borne out in the development of the Tayside Climate Beacon.  Since last August it’s been incredibly inspiring to be engaged in the meeting of different ideas, perspectives and approaches for how the communities of Tayside can help tackle the Climate Crisis and adapt to a future that will be very different.  It feels exciting to be sharing this season of events, together with our new online space for sharing work, as the next step on this important journey.”


Claire Dufour, Creative Climate Producer at Creative Dundee, project lead for CULTIVATE said: “Too much climate work still focuses on numbers and net zero, which can make us feel disempowered and disengaged from the most critical and pressing issues of our time. Culture, arts and creativity bring us together, bind communities, and give us hope. They offer us the permission, language and tools to imagine a better future, to challenge the status quo, and to explore new forms of actions. I’m delighted and grateful that this series of events is giving us a glimpse into some brilliant cross-disciplinary collaborations and grass-root work that is happening across the Tay region.”


Martha Smart said: “I am so excited to have been asked to help facilitate this series of collaborative events across Tayside bringing the art, science, and community sectors into conversation at a time when their diverse insights need to be integrated most.


“We meet together in a critical moment of multiple and interlinked crises which demand new and creative responses focused on adaptation, resilience and transformative change.  Already across our region we are seeing an explosion of projects underpinned by these values. Though I have lived, worked, and studied here with a passion for social justice for over ten years, I only recently became involved in climate activism after deciding to join Extinction Rebellion. I have since been honoured to be a part of several innovative projects and enjoyed causing a little disruption along the way!


“Using art and performance to help us explore big questions about the world is something close to my heart, having been involved in drama and theatre since a young age I know so well the power of this work. Creative practitioners play a crucial role in helping us to co-create our imaginative futures while thickening the present with deeper lines of connection and understanding.”

Climate Beacons for COP26 is a Scotland-wide collaborative project between climate change or environmental organisations and arts, heritage or cultural organisations to stimulate long-term public engagement in the lead-up to and following COP26. Seven hubs known as ‘Climate Beacons’ can be found in Argyll, Caithness & East Sutherland, Fife, Inverclyde, Midlothian, The Outer Hebrides and Tayside.

Bringing together shared resources and knowledge from cultural and climate organisations, the Climate Beacons provide a welcoming physical and virtual space for the public, artists and cultural sector professionals, environmental NGOs, scientists and policymakers to engage with environmental themes and climate action specific to each local area.

The project is led by Creative Carbon Scotland, connecting the seven Beacons and offering support throughout, alongside six co-ordinating partners: Architecture & Design Scotland, Creative Scotland, Edinburgh Climate Change Institute, Museums Galleries Scotland, Scottish Library and Information Council, and Sustainable Scotland Network. Climate Beacons for COP26 is funded by the Scottish Government’s Climate Change and Culture Divisions, Creative Scotland, and Museums Galleries Scotland.

Climate Beacons for COP26 is currently running until July 2022.


To find out more about the event series and the Tayside Climate Beacon Network visit: www.taysideclimatebeacon.com


To book a ticket for the Arbroath event visit www.angusalive.scot/whats-on


MEDIA INVITE: If any member of the media would like to attend the event this Friday (20 May, 2022) at Arbroath Webster Theatre for photos, filming or interviews, please email marketing@angusalive.scot




The Webster Memorial Theatre, 64 High St, Arbroath DD11 1AW

FRIDAY, 20 May, 4pm-6pm followed by light food and drinks|

Produced in partnership with ANGUSalive, the event in Arbroath will explore the theme of journey and leadership within community resilience and actions, and will feature presentations and sharings from: Kelly Ann Dempsey (Team Leader Environment & Climate Change at Angus Council), Emily Hutchison (Growing Leader) and Lauren Urquhart (Learning & Events Leader) from Sustainable Kirriemuir, representatives of the Arbroath FC Community Trust Youth Forum, artist Kristina Aburrow, Joan Clevillé (Artistic Director at Scottish Dance Theatre), and more.



Birnam Arts, Station Rd, Birnam, Dunkeld PH8 0DS

FRIDAY, 10 June, 4pm-6pm followed by light food and drinks|

In partnership with Climate Café Dunkeld & Birnam, the event in Dunkeld will explore community building through arts and creativity, for stronger and more inclusive local climate action. The discussions will feature presentations and sharings from: artist Alex Turner, Founder of the Climate Cafe movement Jess Pepper, Clare Cooper from Bioregioning Tayside, artist Taylor Waggoner and activist archaeologist at The Scottish Crannog Centre Jason Oliver - amongst others. 


V&A Auditorium, 1 Riverside Esplanade, Dundee DD1 4EZ

SATURDAY, 9 JULY, 4pm-6pm followed by light food and drinks|

The event in Dundee will explore the role of collaboration between arts and science in climate action and will feature sharings and presentations from: Tommy Small (Shaper/Caper), Lynsey Penny (Transitions Dundee), cast members of Dundee Rep’s production OPTIMISM, and more.