Led by Creative Dundee, CULTIVATE is a regional project that brings together creative practitioners and community groups to explore climate justice in a practical and meaningful way.

Creative Dundee

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Addressed Challenges:

  • Health & wellbeing
  • Greater fairness/ Just transition
  • Excessive consumption
  • Waste/Circular economy
  • Food security & supply
  • Biodiversity loss
  • Flooding & drought

Action Areas:

  • Biodiversity & Nature
  • Circular Economy

Initiative Purpose:

Mitigation & Adaptation

The Story


Environmental challenges have been made starkly visible over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, with ​inequalities more often felt by those who have the least say. The climate crisis presents some of the most critical, pressing and systemic issues of our time, and we believe that resolutions must also come from community-led organising and cross-disciplinary collaboration.

Creative practitioners are leading the charge for change, enabling a transition into a sustainable creative ecology for the resilient wellbeing of our communities. They are also well equipped to engage people and support local networks to imagine collective actions and communicate them.

Led by Creative Dundee over three years, and funded by Creative Scotland’s Culture Collective, CULTIVATE is a pilot project that brings together creative practitioners and local communities to collaboratively explore and share new ways of embedding creativity at the core of grassroots collective action for climate justice.

Success & Outcomes

CULTIVATE launched in May 2021, with an open-call for an initial series of six commissions, and we’ve supported seven creative practitioners (including one duo) in collaborating with local communities and bringing to life six projects across Dundee, Perth & Kinross, Angus and North East Fife.

Engaging with groups on the fringes—from people facing poverty-stigma to those in rurally isolated communities—through arts, culture and creativity, the practitioners have facilitated space for people to come together and imagine, share, celebrate, organise, plan and act for the future.

You can find out more about some of the previous commissions within the case studies here: https://creativedundee.com/cultivate/#case-studies

Advice for others looking to do something similar

The 7 Creative Practitioners have used and developed various processes and approaches to engaging people and groups with climate justice through arts, culture and creativity - enabling them to imagine, share, celebrate, organise, act and plan for the future. 

These include:

  • Practising radical hospitality: meeting people where they are, where they regularly meet, where it’s familiar, or creating welcoming and safe spaces to share with each other, such as a gig in a community garden, a sofa in a shopping mall, a repair cafe in a social supermarket, a community tea set used as a vessel for conversations, a tree to hang your wishes and pay respect to mother earth;
  • Communicating through creativity: amplifying and celebrating people’s lives, feelings and visions for the future through storytelling, drawing, letter writing, ceramic, or exhibitions, videos, audios, illustrations etc;
  • Exploring actions with multiple benefits: enabling non-judgemental discussions about what people and community groups are already doing to mitigate and adapt to climate change, and about how our choices and behaviours might also help with other aspects like finances, mental health, community building etc;
  • Networking and peer sharing and learning: share knowledge, tools and aspirations between people or community groups through creative outcomes, such as a map and audio tour encapsulating people’s visions for the future, a book of handwriting letters catalogued in a museum, video tutorials to use sound equipment and host an event, a shared library of tools and equipments to repair things.