Residents of Wallacetown in Ayr are becoming inspired in theatre and other arts this summer thanks to an Ayr Gaiety Partnership programme funded by Creative Scotland’s Culture Collective and Youthlink’s Get Into Summer programme.

Popular Ayr-based actor Jerry Taylor has been at the hub of activity, engaging youngsters who dream of taking to the stage or looking to learn skills such as graffiti art and parkour.

Ayr Gaiety is one of 23 projects in Scotland that make up The Culture Collective, a pilot programme establishing a network of creative practitioners, organisations and communities working together to create a positive difference locally and nationally in response to COVID-19.

The programme supports a participatory approach, working collaboratively to actively engage people in shaping the cultural life of their community.

With Covid-19 impacting significantly on the creative sector, the Cultural Collective allows organisations like The Gaiety to adapt, respond and explore new ways of working in the community.

In addition Youthlink’s Get Into Summer programme is partnered with Creative Scotland to help deliver part of a new Scottish Government programme of activities to support children and young people’s wellbeing.

Actor Jerry said: “It has been such a positive experience to inspire a community like Wallacetown and great to talk to so many people about what living here means to them.

“My experience and journey as an actor is something that I can impart to others, hopefully helping people to consider a positive and enjoyable future.”

Jerry will be continuing to inspire at two further community events in Wallacetown. These events run by South Ayrshire Council Employability & Skills Dept are free to attend for Wallacetown residents and will be held on July 30 and August 6 at Newton Primary, 1-3pm.

They will also feature a range of local agencies offering information and there will be kids activities including a silent disco and balloon modelling.

Ayr Gaiety will also go on to deliver Cultural Collective projects in Maybole and Girvan as well as working with people with dementia and their carers (partnership with Alzheimers Scotland and Dementia Prestwick), care experienced young people (partnership with South Ayrshire Young Champions) and adults with learning difficulties (partnership with Enable Ayr).

Robbie Gordon, Creative Engagement Director, The Gaiety Theatre said: “Over this last difficult 18 months Ayr Gaiety have delivered a number of co-creation projects pairing top Scottish artists with South Ayrshire communities.

“The theatre doors may have had to close but continuing to produce and promote culture for and with our people has been a top priority for us.

“We look forward to developing and sharing our Culture Collective project in many directions with further announcements to be made soon.”

An exciting new digital theatre festival is also planned for later in August 2021.