News & Star: ‘Spring Fling’ Voted Great by 99 per cent

17th August 2011

ART and craft lovers flocked to Dumfries and Galloway for the ninth Spring Fling held over the May bank holiday weekend, helping to make Scotland’s premier annual open studio event a huge success.

Leah Black, the new Spring Fling project manager, begins work in Dumfries next weekEvaluation based on visitor and participant feedback suggests that the open studio event received 10,419 visitors this year and the total spend in the region during the event, including that spent on accommodation, food and at visitor attractions, was £781,490.

The feedback also suggests that overall visitor satisfaction was high. More than 583 evaluation forms were returned with 99 per cent of Spring Flingers rating the event as excellent or good.
For many of the participants it was the chance to share their creative spaces and techniques with visitors which proved the most rewarding aspect of their weekend.

The figures highlight the substantial economic impact Spring Fling has in Dumfries and Galloway and is testament to the hard work of its participants in celebrating the best of the region’s attractions.
The 15,000 copies of the brochure which go out each year encourage visitors to eat at cafés and restaurants, explore the sights and try walks.

Visitors to this year’s event were also offered the chance to join one of three Spring Fling bus tours, dance the night away at a ceilidh, step out on a studio-to-studio walk, join an organised bike ride and take in the oldest bookshop in Scotland where artist-in-residence, Deirdre Nelson, produced a word-related installation based on her time spent at Wigtown book festival 2010.

Spring Fling has been awarded £51,418 and £27,640 from Dumfries and Galloway LEADER Programme and Holywood Trust respectively. This funding will be used to deliver the Springboard project which will provide a bursary and mentoring scheme for recent graduates to take part in Spring Fling, develop a community and education outreach programme of residencies and workshops and introduce a year-round digital marketing platform.
Spring Fling has appointed a new project manager, Leah Black, a Glasgow-based jeweller, and arts graduate.

She has experience of running her own creative businesses, one of which is The Gin Palace, an innovative design collective in Glasgow which showcases and sells the work of talented, cutting-edge designers from or with a connection to Scotland.
With an exciting vision for developing Spring Fling, Leah will start next Monday and will be based at Gracefield Arts Centre, Dumfries for three days a week.

Original Article can be found here.