We believe that everyone, regardless of background or postcode, should have equal access to culture.
Even though culture comes in many forms it is not always accessible to many – it is our promise to make all our activities as accessible, inclusive and participative as our funding, coupled with public support via donations, allows us to do. From musical tribute acts to Idlewild’s Roddy Woomble, to art by Jack Vettriano, paintings by Scottish Post-Impressionist painter Peploe, and even crochet and comic art workshops, we have offered them all. We also welcomed movie-goers with hugely discounted prices to the latest movie blockbusters.
Comic book workshop
Graham Obree, cyclist
Jack Vettriano, artist
Archie Macpherson, football commentator
ONScreen at Adam Smith
Fastlove, George Michael tribute show
Roddy Woomble, musican
Our inclusive scheduling is based on what our customers tell us. We regularly seek feedback on how we are performing. This year, 3,268 surveys were received from customers, recording 4.6* out of a possible 5* for our shows and events and 4.4*out of 5* stars for our venues.
We don’t just seek views about the day-to-day programming; we also ask you about transforming our services for the future. In 2017/18, we asked over 2,000 Fifers about how they would like their library to develop. We listened and this year, we formulated a strategy that will create busy cultural hubs at the heart of our communities. By attracting new audiences into our venues, with everything from yoga classes to pop up dance performances, we are sustaining libraries in years to come for our traditional audiences.
Libraries, often described as ‘palaces for the people’ were turned into Fun Palaces during an October weekend of free workshops and drop-in sessions across Fife for anyone, old or young. ‘Everyone is an artist, everyone is a scientist’ is the theme behind Fun Palaces, a UK-wide initiative. Staff, volunteers and partners welcomed 380 people to delve in and try out new things including workshops on comic art, learning yoga, playing hopscotch, glass drawing on the windows of Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries, and even …
…singing along to Baby Shark with 3D printed creations. As well as many activities attracting new audiences into our libraries, there were treats in store for book lovers. Library staff hosted reading groups and even helped to support private book groups, many of which celebrated the centenary of iconic Scottish writer Muriel Spark, while author events throughout the year included crime-writing tips from Lin Anderson.
This year saw us reaching more male audiences by programming events and exhibitions on music, sport, cycling and wildlife photography.
Cycling legend Graham Obree brought cycling enthusiasts into our Lochgelly Centre, while wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan enthralled a sell-out audience at Rothes Halls. Both events were part of national Book Week Scotland.
The silver screen enticed new audiences into our theatres with a string of Oscar winners and nominees. The Adam Smith Theatre continued to build its film audience with overall attendance increasing by over 11% from 8,800 last year to 9,812 as people came to watch Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, The Greatest Showman, The Shape of Water, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, and the delightful Edie.
Singalong nights also went down well with different audiences, who belted out their favourite songs during The Greatest Showman, Grease and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Unprecedented demand saw additional screenings of A Star Is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody.
Our Libraries are not the only area of the business that is being reimagined. We are keen to broaden the appeal of our museums. Richard Jobson and The Skids was a nostalgic exhibition, which ran from April to August 2018 in The Skids’ home town of Dunfermline and brought visitors from across and beyond Scotland to reconnect with the Fife punk trailblazers. Going against the average demographic for museum visitors, this show attracted more males than females, an audience we are keen to continue building.
The exhibition at Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries was launched to the delight of fans with a few songs by Richard which led to an impromptu full band acoustic set. Richard’s artwork – the neon Scared to Dance – has now become part of our permanent collection along with the original handwritten lyrics of Into The Valley which he has very kindly donated.
The Blooming Marvellous exhibition at DCLG was a great way of tapping into people’s interests in gardens, wildlife, plants and flowers. Our colourful, interactive summer exhibition brought new audiences and families, attracting 20,801 visitors between 19 May and 21 October 2018. It also offered a chance to unearth lots of fascinating items from our collections. We took the fantastic opportunity to …
launch an appeal for conservation of our rare and fragile Ancient Society of Dunfermline Gardeners’ banner, capturing the imagination of both media and the public. The unveiling achieved great press coverage and gave 75 members of the public the rare opportunity to see this fascinating piece of local history and get an insight from textile expert and conservator Fiona Watt.
Developing our Collections through acquisitions allows us to share more of Fife’s rich heritage with the public. 2018/19 saw a significant number of donations and restorations including two quite different, but equally wonderful, paintings. The first was the oil painting Carnoustie Bay by William McTaggart (1835–1910), painted by McTaggart on one of his many visits to the town. Fife has one of the biggest McTaggart collections in Scotland and this was added to by this gift, made in memory of Marjorie Gemmell Hunter by her family…
In March we were gifted an oil painting of Dysart Harbour from 1897 by Karel Nekola, the Czech-born painter and designer who came to Fife in the 1880s and was a leading force in the development of the Wemyss Ware pottery designs. Eileen Sheldon, who is the granddaughter of Karel Nekola, donated the painting.
June 2018 saw the amazing transformation of one of the portraits in our collection when a large painting of Bailie Robert Philp, a significant figure in the history of Kirkcaldy, was conserved thanks to funding from the Friends of Kirkcaldy Galleries. The stunning picture can now be displayed in Kirkcaldy Galleries for the first time in many years. The Friends also funded the restoration of a striking painting of two polar bears called The Cold North, conserved for an exhibition in summer 2019.
The Scottish Design Galleries of the V&A Dundee included four objects from our fantastic linoleum collection for a display about the international impact of Scottish design. Over 500,000 people have viewed them since the V&A opened in Dundee in May 2018.