Last Friday Leapfrog attended an event at the Highlands and the Islands called the Culture Café Exchange. Culture Café Exchange is a meeting place for practicing artists, people and organisations who work in the arts based in and around Moray. The event organised at the Moray College UHI, had diverse participants who came to contribute to the local arts and cultural sector in Moray to be collectively supported. The event looked at developing new and locally relevant, sustainable approaches to support the local artists and art organisations. The event provided an open platform to share ideas, exchange knowledge and engage in conversations with some great food.

During the event the participants had the opportunity to organise an “exchange”, by posting our ideas on the grid. The grid filled up very quickly with our ideas and themes, whilst growing and changing as the day went on and more ideas surfaced.

The structure of the event was quite unique which was called the un-​conference, where the participants came up with our own themes and formed our own discussion groups. Some of the interesting themes observed from participants’ discussions were:

  • How do we bring together creative sectors to explore and develop leadership skills, partnerships and enterprise opportunities?
  • How to use public engagement to feed into Art Research and Vice Versa?
  • How best can we work together to imbed arts meaningfully in our communities?

And many more…

As a Leapfrog representative, we were curious to know ‘How stakeholders tell a story of success in their projects?’ Which we thought tied quite well into Culture Café Exchange’s main question ‘What knowledge and skill do we (individual/​collective) need as a sectors to grow, build and achieve success?’ 

During the event each of us had the opportunity to introduce ourselves to the group and why we were there. Some of the organisations and individuals were very interested hearing about our Leapfrog project, and was keen to participants in our future works within the Highlands and Islands. It was an informative event for Leapfrog as it not only allowed us to network and identify potential collaborators but also to understand our stakeholders individually and as a collective. This event was a great way to kick start our short project.