Director of Leisure & Culture Dundee, Stewart has spent many years engaging communities, enabling others and really helping develop the cultural offer in Dundee. As he moves towards retirement we talk about what he has achieved in the role and what he feels is important for the city going forward.
After growing up in Fife, Stewart started in community education in Glasgow. He didn’t exactly when but mentioned it was before the M8 opened. In 1990 he moved to Tayside where he worked in several different roles engaging communities before eventually becoming head of the organisation that merged many bodies and became Leisure & Culture Dundee.
From our chat, it’s clear that what really drives Stewart is facilitation. He loves helping others make things happen. In my opinion, this is the right attitude for someone in his role and indeed the role of any big cultural or creative organisation. Stewart talks about working with many people over the years and that he has been lucky to surround himself with those who have the passion and drive to make things happen. These are the 2 key factors in any thriving creative and cultural community. People who facilitate and assist with breaking down the barriers and those who deliver the events, activities and content.
We also touch on the UK City of Culture and European Capital of Culture Bids. Ultimately, both were not winning bids but they were great catalysts for the city. The UNESCO City of Design designation came from it and a lot of momentum behind creativity in the city. Again it comes down to the concept of ‘success’ where I trip myself up a little!
The work Stewart has done in the role has been phenomenal but retirement now looms and his position is now being advertised. The new director has an absolutely key role and responsibility to the creative and cultural sectors in Dundee. We need someone who carries forward the great work that Stewart has done and the values that he holds. We need someone who will continue to facilitate and help improve the lives of Dundee citizens.
Director of Leisure and Culture Dundee Position – https://www.dundeecity.gov.uk/director-of-leisure-%26-culture-£98644-£104605
We Dundee – http://www.2013.wedundee.com/
Against Creativity – https://www.versobooks.com/books/2852-against-creativity
Moneyland – shorturl.at/lKLR7