The Pentagon Community Fund – Up To £2000 – Open To Projects In Chatham – Closes 12th March 2017

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The Pentagon Community Fund is now open to projects in Chatham!

Through the Pentagon Community Fund, Project Dirt are offering up to £2,000 to community projects and social enterprises that have a positive social and/or environmental impact and which are located in the local Chatham area. There is a total of £15,000 up for grabs, all to kick start your local community projects that will improve your neighbourhood.

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Types of Projects – who can enter?

Community Projects: Any non-profit making organisations can apply including charities, not-for-profit organisations, Community-Interest-Companies and also informal community groups with their own bank accounts. Individuals cannot apply for their own personal projects.

Social Enterprises: Entrepreneurial business ideas with a social or environmental mission, are also encouraged to apply.

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All applications (which don’t take long) need to be submitted by midnight on Sunday 12th March. You can find the application guidelines here. 

Start the application at: www.projectdirt.com

Please note this grant is available for non-formal community groups, charities and not-for-profit organisations. It’s not open for profit making entities nor personal/individual projects at home. Any Social Enterprises, with a social or environmental mission, are also encouraged to apply.

If you have any problems or questions, please get in touch with Project Dirt at pentagoncentre@projectdirt.com

To get the latest updates from the fund search the hashtag: #WeLoveChatham

Embrace – Empowering Documentary Film Screening – 18th January 2017 – Chatham – Back The Screening Now!

You may or may not have heard of the ‘Body Image Movement’ (www.bodyimagemovement.com), an initiative launched by Australian Taryn Brumfitt, who is on a quest to end the global body-hating epidemic.  Her work is helping women to accept and feel better about themselves, and challenges the idea perpetuated by the media that external beauty = everything.

A Global Ambassador for the Body Image Movement has been enabled to host a special one-off local screening of ‘Embrace’, the powerful documentary that Brumfitt made whilst traversing the globe to talk to women about this issue.  The film launched successfully in Australia and the US in the summer and is now finally coming to the UK in early 2017.  The trailer of the film can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8vnaRiF_-U

The local screening is scheduled for 18 January 2017 at 6.30pm at Odeon Chatham and is the only one scheduled in Kent at this time.  As an independent film, tt won’t go on general release and is therefore being crowdfunded, meaning that as long as a certain number of tickets are reserved then the screening can take place.

If you wish to reserve a ticket please do so asap via this link https://tickets.demand.film/event/1316, as the number needs to be reached by 7 January 2017 in order for the screening to go ahead.

This is a very relevant and important film for everyone to see, so please do spread the word far and wide!

If you are on Facebook there is a new Body Image Movement Kent page here: https://www.facebook.com/bodyimagemovementkent/ and a Facebook event that you can share/invite friends to here: https://www.facebook.com/events/373738859643031/

Riverside One Studios – Rehearsal Recording and Gig Space – Chatham

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Started by Nucleus Arts in conjunction with Jamie Johnson, Riverside One Studios is a new music project in Chatham, Kent.

Jamie Johnson is a local singer/songwriter from Gillingham, Kent who appeared on national TV as Kylie Minogue’s finalist on The Voice in 2014.

Jamie’s experience has inspired him to help aspiring musicians. Their plan is to try to help anyone who has a passion for music and wishes to find the next step to building a career in the music industry or just some friendly advice on what they can do to improve. 

Many of you may remember the Riverside One building as the council venue on Dock Road, next to the bus station. A really great location as you can see it from the new bus station and it’s only a 5 minute walk from the train station.

The idea behind the studios is to have a place where anyone can come together to write, rehearse and record music. We are also able to offer teaching, mentoring and other sessions that support budding musicians in Medway.

Riverside One has 1 small rehearsal/writing room, 1 large recording/rehearsal/performance space and 1 main control studio room with the facilities to record a single or an album. 

 

 

Riverside One Studiosalso works with people who may be at risk of social exclusion as part their “Art Inclusive” programme. This currently involves a joint project with The Princes Trust, where together they are offering young people in unemployment the opportunity to learn more about making music and the music industry. Contact Nucleus Arts to find out more.

Riverside One are also able to offer music lessons including guitar and singing lessons through various partners.

Room Hire:

Main Rehearsal Room – 4 Hours £40 Or £13 Per Hour

Small Rehearsal/Writing Rooms – 4 Hours £30 Or £11 Per Hour

Recording:

Full day – 8 hours £200

Half day – 4 hours £120

Recording – £30 per hour

Ep package – 2 full days of recording £380

Live Music Event Hire: From £15ph

If you would like to donate towards the studios it is never too late….. Please visit the following ‘go fund me’ page :

www.gofundme.com/riversideonestudio

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Escape Plan Live – Immersive Game At It’s Best – Chatham

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I first completed an Escape Plan Live Experience last year in 2015. Myself, Mr Creatabot and 3 friends had to solve some coded lock puzzles in the Gatehouse section of Fort Amherst. We had a brilliant time and learnt how the game worked by thinking about where the codes might be hidden. To win the game I would say you have to think in a non-linear fashion, very much out of the box.

I think 1 year may have been a little too long a time to have passed between games, as I will explain later.

Having helped facilitate the concept of including Escape Plan Live in the meanwhile use of Medway’s old housing benefits office, Riverside One, I had to of course try out the newest edition of rooms. Despite having been around during the refit of the space and being delighted about them making use of the old council advice booths (out of the box in the box thinking there) I tried to avoid plot spoilers as much as possible, so luckily had no idea of what to expect during my visit on Tuesday.

We played the game “Conspiracy” which sees the story of a murdered detective friend unfold. We were given 1 hour to get ourselves out of the room and find the codes the detective had carefully hidden. When I say hidden, well that’s an understatement. The codes for the padlocks, attached to a briefcase, were hidden in so so many places and ways in the room. The set was brilliant and very immersive, these guys really know how to design a space.

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I will repeat, I regret having left it so long since the last game! Despite there being a full group of 8 of us, we ran out of time. Those 60 minutes sped by and when we found out clues (a hidden item that I was convinced was in the room somewhere, was in an obvious place) we felt like fools!

I am not typing this from the room though, so we were allowed to leave despite our failure to solve the game, phew! I highly recommend having a go of Escape Plan Live, it is great for team building, getting to know friends better, experiencing something out of the ordinary and of course really really fun!

To see the variety of games and find out more, visit www.escapeplanlive.com

By Natasha Steer

30th June 2016

 

Chatham Placemaking Creative Commissions Open For Application-Medway Council – Closes 24th February 2016

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Chatham Placemaking Commissions

Temporary Artists’ Commissions ‘Chatham Storyline’, Chatham, Kent

Commission timescale March  – August 2016

Medway Council is looking to commission a temporary programme of three community engagement projects looking at character and place.

Medway Council has been awarded £4 million of government funding to help regenerate Chatham and make it a better place for residents, workers and visitors. The funding will mark the start of an exciting new project, which will create an easier journey for pedestrians and cyclists from Chatham railway station to the waterfront bus station and town centre.

Creative public realm has been identified in the project where an artist’s contribution is integrated into placemaking.

Public Art Consultants FrancisKnight and Lead Artist Christopher Tipping have been appointed for the Chatham Placemaking project and will be overseeing the temporary programme through an overarching project called ‘Chatham Storyline’.

Chatham Storyline commissions:

Writer in residence – £8,000 (includes fees and expenses)

Print / Graphics – £5,000 (includes fees and expenses, with a separate budget for materials)

Film maker / observer – £6,000 (includes fees and expenses)

Artists can apply individually for each commission or as a collaboration/collective for all three commissions.

Eligibility

The process is open to professional artists who are UK residents and who are living or working in the South East and London.  Our South East Area covers Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, East Sussex, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Medway, Norfolk, Oxfordshire, Suffolk, Surrey and West Sussex.

Full details of the artist brief and how to apply here: http://tinyurl.com/z8p7lsa

FREE music events in Medway from the School of Music & Fine Art

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The University of Kent at Medway’s School of Music & Fine Art offers a range of FREE music events, ranging from masterclasses, concerts and talks, in the wonderfully atmospheric Chatham Historic Dockyard, where the School is based.

On Tuesday November 10th in the Galvanising Shop Performance Space at Chatham Historic Dockyard, SMFA students studying band and ensemble playing are performing a lunchtime concert from 12 noon to 1pm. Everyone welcome.  And there will be another lunchtime concert on Tuesday December 15th.

Friday 13th  November in the Galvanising Workshop Israeli composer, performer and improviser Guy Harries will lead a two-hour Technology in Performance Masterclass from 3-5pm demonstrating his method and techniques in utilising technology in live performance.

On Wednesday December 9th, the Galvanising Workshop is the venue for a Christmas Concert at 7.30pm – students perform music from a range of traditions. The jazz improvisation ensemble and choir feature works by Juan Tizol, Duke Ellington and Joe Harriott.  The Contemporary Music Ensemble, Chamber Choir and Multi-Keyboard Ensemble present music to both challenge and delight the audience.

And on Thursday December 17th at Cargo Bar, Liberty Quays from 8pm – 11pm,  bands from the School of Music & Fine Art perform sets of original material and covers.  These are exciting evenings with a fantastic atmosphere and always draw a crowd!

All of these events are FREE but please do book through mfareception@kent.ac.uk  and check out the website for regular updates at  https://www.kent.ac.uk/smfa/  

PHOTO CREDIT: Stacey Cooper

School of Music & Fine Art launches new series of Visiting Artist Talks with Benedict Drew

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The School of Music and Fine Art, part of the University of Kent’s Medway campus,  is proud to announce the new series of Visiting Artist Talks, which are FREE to attend but booking is required. Please email mfareception@kent.ac.uk to reserve your place.The venue is the stunning restored Church in the Chatham Historic Dockyard.

Artists, writers, filmmakers, curators and performers, each speaker renowned in their own field, will pose distinct and searching questions to address the urgent concerns of our age. Guests will provide a detailed presentation of their work, sharing their experiences of navigating the complex multifaceted art world.

Launching the programme at 6.15pm on Tuesday November 10th is international Kent-based artist Benedict Drew, who works across video, sculpture, music and their associated technologies. Born in 1977, he graduated from Slade School of Fine Art in 2011 and was a LUX Associate Artist (2011/12). Drew’s often chaotic environments and installations feature screens, cables and small-scale anthropomorphised sculptures made from lo-fi materials such as tin foil and, occasionally, mud. Intended as a response to our ‘over-saturated digital realm’. Drew’s installations are attempts to ‘articulate the horror of the modern world.’

The artist says: ‘I make videos and music and exhibitions and picture and sculptures. I am interested in the potential of these combinations to create an ecstatic and sometimes abject alternative universe.’ A review from the current British Art Show observes: http://afternoondust.co.uk/blog/british-art-show-8#.VilIkxCrRR0

Benedict Drew’s “Sequencer” is all about stuff: sticky, splodgy, gooey stuff, material through and through. His film presented across multiple screens is full of rough, ready landscapes of dirt and rock juxtaposed with paint erupting like volcanoes or oil burps. It’s also full of holes: holes that gape like ears, squish and stretch like mouths, or wobble like the cones of the speakers scattered prominently in front of the screens, spewing out squelchy psychedelic goop. Yep, it’s all about stuff, and that stuff is sound: gleefully trashing the painstaking refinement and posed ephemerality of much of contemporary sound art, Drew gives us an earful of messy, splurging sonic substance that injects the silent, airtight contemporary landscape with a gelatinous, technologically-mediated roar. The horror of the Real — the material encounter with a thingy world beyond the control of language — becomes the bass pulse you can feel.

Represented by Matts Gallery, London, Drew’s recent solo exhibitions include: Heads May Roll, Matt’s Gallery, London; The Persuaders, Adelaide Festival, SASA Gallery Adelaide, Australia; Zero Hour Petrified, Ilam Campus Gallery, School of Fine Arts University of Canterbury, New Zealand (all 2014); The Onesie Cycle, Rhubarba, Edinburgh; Now Thing, Whitstable Biennale; This Is Feedback, Outpost, Norwich; Gliss, Cell Project Space; and The Persuaders, Circa Site / AV Festival, Newcastle (2013).

Links: http://www.benedictdrew.com/ and information on Drew’s work which attempts to tackle the anxiety and neurosis generated from the condition of dyslexia can be found here: http://events.arts.ac.uk/event/2014/12/18/Benedict-Drew-Dyslexic-Shanty/)

PHOTO CREDIT: Charlotte Jopling, TIFF KAPUT Exhibition at QUAD July 2015

School of Music & Fine Art Open Day: Saturday 10th October, 9am – 2pm at Chatham Historic Dockyard

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Join us on Saturday 10th October for a chance to explore the fantastic facilities of the School of Music & Fine Art, part of the Medway Campus of the University of Kent located in the unique environment of Chatham Historic Dockyard and explore our exciting courses in Music, Fine Art and Event and Experience Design.  See the library and student accommodation and the NEW academic facilities and social spaces that opened in September 2015.

Talk to tutors and students and find out more about what we have to offer. Due to the popularity of our open days, we ask that you book a place online. Online booking will open approximately four weeks’ before the event. Please use the link here:  http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/visit/openday/essentials-medway.html

Our courses:

Music:

  • BMus Music
  • BSc (Hons) Music Technology
  • BMus Popular Music
  • BSc (Hons) Music Technology and Computing
  • BA (Hons) Music Technology with English and American Literature

Fine Art:

  • BA (Hons) Fine Art

 Event and Experience Design:

  • BA (Hons) Events and Experience Design

We offer:

  • Award winning facilities, studios, equipment and workshops
  • Inspiring, supportive and award winning tutors
  • Great waterfront location on historic site with easy access to London in under an hour
  • An intellectual culture that provides the basis of cutting-edge practice, research and scholarship
  • Excellent career and professional outcomes
  • The chance to spend a year in industry or a year abroad
  • Flexible course structure, with full and part time options
  • Outstanding professional links and international work placements
  • Many opportunities for collaborative and autonomous practices
  • Financial assistance, fee waivers and scholarships available

For more details contact e.dhiman@kent.ac.uk

Artist Goshka Macuga’s Letter travels from Chatham Historic Dockyard to Canterbury

The Letter leaving Chatham Historic Dockyard: Photo Stacey Cooper

Despite the heavy rain, at 2.15pm on Friday 18th September, led by Adam Chodzko, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, School of Music and Fine Art at University of Kent, seven BA and MA Fine Art students and BA Event & Experience Design students left the Medway campus at Chatham Historic Dockyard to walk an enormous textile postal envelope (over 10m long) bearing the address of the Jarman Building, University of Kent. The group, dressed as Polish postal workers, delivered it to visual artist (and previous Turner Prize nominee) Goshka Macuga at the Kantorbury Symposium on the University of Kent’s Canterbury Campus at Keynes College at 6pm.

The Kantorbury Symposium took place on 18th and 19th September, with 23 UK and international speakers, performances and film screenings organised by the The European Theatre Research Network (ETRN) on the Canterbury campus, in which the life and work of Polish theatre director and visual artist Tadeusz Kantor is celebrated 100 years after his birth. The Letter refers to the famous happening by Tadeusz Kantor carried out in 1967, but also to the potential tensions occurring between art institutions and the society. At the heart of these tensions lies the censorship in Polish art after 1989, the period sometimes referred to as the cold war of artists against the society, and marked by attacks targeted at artworks, artists, curators, directors, and institutions, often committed on anti-Semitic grounds. To document those difficult times, Macuga decided to embrace within the show also the hate mail addressed to Zachęta and its then director, Anda Rottenberg. The Letter is a testament to those struggles, as well as to the ongoing transformation in the society, which has to confront its fears and prejudices in order to fully accept artistic freedom. This is how the performance looked when staged in Poland
http://artmuseum.pl/en/kolekcja/praca/macuga-goshka-the-letter

About Goshka Macuga

Interdisciplinary artist, born in 1967 in Warsaw, Goshka Macuga is now based in London. In 2008, she was among the four nominees for the prestigious Turner Prize, awarded each year to the most outstanding young British artist.  Her practice moves beyond the artist’s traditionally perceived role into a form of ‘cultural archaeology’. Despite incorporating traditional media, such as sculpture, drawing, painting, photography and film, she creates installations in which she also appropriates the work of other artists, archive materials, ready-mades, combining them with objects of her own making. Macuga appropriates the techniques and tactics used by curators of exhibitions or archivists (because of this, her art is often compared to that of Marcel Broodthaers). Macuga has been exhibiting internationally at major museum and galleries since 1999.  In 2016 she has a solo exhibition at the New Museum, New York.

About Tadeusz Kantor http://www.cricoteka.pl/en/main.php?d=tkantor&kat=33&id=13

My Mind is Free – new play about human trafficking touring Kent – October 2015

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A new play touring Kent and South East venues in October 2015 performed by the Rah Rah theatre company, will let the audience experience a powerful theatrical interpretation of the degradations of human trafficking in an intimate community performance space.

Designed to raise awareness of the issue that is currently at the forefront of the news, My Mind is Free will disturb and provoke in equal measure. Funded by the Arts Council England, the Rah Rah Theatre Company has produced the play with Medway-based playwright Sam Hall to initiate discussion about the injustice of human trafficking within the UK.

There are an estimated 30 million slaves in the world, with approximately 13,000 in the UK. Modern day slavery victims include: women forced into prostitution, ‘imprisoned’ domestic staff, and workers in fields, factories, building sites and fishing boats. London based Rah Rah commissioned playwright Sam Hall to tell the stories of some of the people who have fallen into what can only be described as modern day slavery. Sam has done extensive research with anti-trafficking charities and a percentage of the proceeds from the tour will be donated to them.

Most of the shows will be followed by a post-show discussion with a representative from one of the anti-trafficking organisations, and the Rochester Lit Fest show will be followed by a Q and A with playwright Sam Hall.

As part of a tour of the South East, My Mind is Free comes to new cultural venue Margate House in Margate on 1 October, The Horsebridge Centre Whitstable on 2 October, Strood Gospel Mission Church on 5 October, and Rochester Literature Festival on 11 October. Click here for the full list of tour venues and booking.

Urban Expressions – New Street-based Arts Event – 27th-29th August 2015 – Chatham

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Urban Expression is an exciting new event aimed at celebrating different forms of streetbased arts, activity and creativity in locations around Chatham. A variety of activities will be happening in different locations around Chatham High Street, including: MC’ing, busking, parkour, dance, spoken word, street-art, eco-crafts, skateboarding and skating on the 27th and 28th August from 1-5pm.

Activities are aimed at young people aged 12 years plus – but are not exclusive to young people.

In preparation we will be running workshops over the next few weeks, keep an eye on our Facebook Page for more information.

Like and share the Facebook page to get updates on workshops and activities on the lead up to the event: https://www.facebook.com/urbanexressionsmedway


As part of Urban Expressions, The Urban Playground Team are bringing their parkour / dance performance STEAM: bOing! to Sun Pier, Chatham on the 27thand 28th August from 1-5pm.

As part of Urban Expressions, bOing! comes to Medway on Thu 27 & Fri 28 August this year, when the brilliant Urban Playground Team bring their energetic Performance-Parkour to Sun Pier, Chatham.

The Urban Playground Team will also be performing at bOing! (University of Kent) as part of the bOINg! weekend on 29 & 30 August.

STEAM

The Urban Playground Team are the original Performance-Parkour (2PK) company and are coming to Medway with an energetic dance-theatre piece unlike anything you’ve seen before.

In STEAM, The Urban Playground Team reimagine the life of a steam locomotive through scenes inspired by the silent movies of Buster Keaton, the gun fights of the old West and the rooftop stunts of James Bond.

Combining contemporary & urban dance with Parkour and physical theatre STEAM is brought to Medway by Gulbenkian as part of the bOing!2015 International Family Festival, Canterbury (29&30 Aug) and forms part of Urban Expressions in Chatham.

Performances will be at:

Thu 27 Aug – 1pm

Thu 27 Aug – 3.45pm
Fri 28 Aug – 1pm
Fri 28 Aug – 3.45pm

Recommended for all ages. Performance run-time: 20 mins.

Workshops and freeplay will take place between performances.

STEAM is presented in partnership with Medway Council.

Free Fun Palaces Workshop – 23rd July 2015 – Chatham

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Culture belongs to us all! Find out how anyone anywhere can make a Fun Palace, where everyone is an artist and everyone a scientist. Change the world with radical fun!

FUN PALACES AND NUCLEUS ARTS

Invite you to the Fun Palaces Workshop

23rd July, 6:30pm-9:30pm, Nucleus Arts Centre, 272 High Street, Chatham, Kent

Free, but please book your place here as space is limited: http://fpworkshopskent.eventbrite.co.uk

THE FUN PALACES MANIFESTO

WE BELIEVE IN THE GENIUS IN EVERYONE, IN EVERYONE AN ARTIST AND EVERYONE A SCIENTIST, AND THAT ARTS AND SCIENCES CAN CHANGE THE WORLD FOR THE BETTER.
WE BELIEVE WE CAN DO THIS TOGETHER, LOCALLY, WITH RADICAL FUN – AND THAT ANYONE, ANYWHERE, CAN MAKE A FUN PALACE.

Fun Palaces is an ongoing campaign for culture at the heart of community, with an annual weekend of simultaneous events every October. In 2015 the dates are the 3rd and 4th of October. Around the country, local people will be gathering to make and share arts, sciences, learning, games and FUN – this workshop is your chance to find out more and share the skills needed to make it all happen. You don’t need to be an expert to make a Fun Palace (and experts are allowed to make Fun Palaces too, if they want), and your Fun Palace can be as tiny or huge as you like.

Are you are interested in taking part, finding out what your neighbourhood is capable of, and sharing skills, knowledge and of course, fun? Then come along to find out more.

Don’t worry, by coming to the workshop you will not be signing up to anything, and taking part in Fun Palaces is always free.

2014 was Fun Palaces’ pilot year, and 130 free, local and very exciting Fun Palaces were created across the country (with 8 in other countries too). 3183 people took part in making a Fun Palace happen, and 40,000 took part over the weekend. Fun Palaces were made by big institutions small organisations, and groups of neighbours who had never done anything like it before.

You can find out more on our website: funpalaces.co.uk/ Or watch this four-minute video to find out what happened at Fun Palaces 2014: https://vimeo.com/107262132

Any questions? Prefer to book by phone? Get in touch! E-mail kirsty@funpalaces.co.uk or ring 0208 692 4446 ext. 203 and leave a message

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NEW creative programme in the School of Music and Fine Art at Chatham Historic Dockyard

Photo by Peter Hatton. Work by J Childs – Burberry Architecture 15

An exciting new  practice based MA Event & Experience Design (subject to validation), will be offered at the School of Music and Fine Art from September 2016.  Situated in the heart of the thriving Medway creative hub, the School of Music and Fine Art offers a range of degrees, postgraduate programmes and PhDs that include Fine Art, Music, Music Technology, Sound and Image, and Event and Experience Design in the dynamic and inspiring environment of Chatham Historic Dockyard.

The new MA Event & Experience Design covers contemporary culture delivered through live and mediated events that  may include live streaming, interactive networks and traditional terrestrial broadcast. The experience may be interactive, participatory or immersive or combinations of any of these.

This programme is ideal for Art, Design, Digital Arts, Performance and Drama (and other related subjects) undergraduate students who wish to study in an interdisciplinary environment. It is also aimed at professionals in the industry who wish to study part time(over 2 years)  for personal and professional development.

Modules are assessed on coursework and practical project outcomes with supporting research portfolios. The dissertation is 8,000 words or 5,000 words plus a publicly-presented element.

To find out more, contact: mfaadmissions@kent.ac.uk  or visit  http://www.kent.ac.uk/smfa/eventandexperiencedesign/index.html

Event & Experience Design End of Year Show at Chatham Historic Dockyard – 24th May to 1st June 2015

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The University of Kent School of Music and Fine Art presents a mix of exciting work from their final year Event & Experience Design students. The show, called 11 Degrees, is FREE to attend and open to the public from the 24th May till 1st June, 10am-5pm.

The venue is Room 101, Clocktower Building, Chatham Historic Dockyard, ME4 4TZ.

The only undergraduate degree programme in the UK dedicated to developing skilled practitioners for the creative events industry, the BA (Hons) Event and Experience Design teaches how to create events and experiences for entertainment, commercial, heritage, tourism and hospitality environments, encompassing creative, technical and managerial roles in this vibrant and expanding field. Students get the opportunity to collaborate on, lead and develop external projects with a range of partners, companies, galleries and museums in the region, as well as in London, with the support of world class staff who are industry professionals, resulting in a diversity of creative events, exhibitions, and performances.

For more information go to http://www.kent.ac.uk/smfa/eventandexperiencedesign/index.html

POP Creative Laboratory With Chris Van Beck – 5th Feb to 1st March 2015 – Chatham

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In February under the lead of the Medway artist Chris Van Beck, POP transforms into a creative laboratory incorporating a darkroom and an exhibition space.

Every weekend Chris and other willing creatives will be conducting a series of experiments, bringing different expertise together, learning from each other, discussing and showcasing the results.

All those who want to make connections, develop their artistic practice, investigate and experiment with the themes of photograms, collages, silhouettes and more are welcome to participate in this creative adventure.

Contact Chris Van Beck at cvanbeck@gmail.com

Outcomes will be documented and exhibited as part of the celebration event at the end of the month, marking the outcomes of the undertaken experiments.

Gallery opening time 5th February – 1st March:

Thursday – Saturday 12pm – 6pm

Celebration event:

Saturday 28th February, 5pm – 8pm

POP is at 64 High Street, Chatham.

(article attribution to Marta Patlewicz)

Medway’s Creative Spaces

Medway is lucky enough to have multiple arts spaces that each have something unique to offer. If you would like to book a days tour (for a small donation to the Creatabot project) please contact Natasha on natasha@creatabot.co.uk

Nucleus Arts

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Nucleus Arts is the Award Winning flagship arts organisation founded by the Halpern Charitable Foundation. The Foundation was the brainchild of the late Hilary Halpern and it was his dream to promote the Arts in Medway and Kent. Nucleus Arts has become the cultural and creative heart of Kent & Medway over the past 12 years and focuses on affordability, accessibility and excellence in the Arts. They run multiple workshops, events and training programmes.

The main centre is at 272 High Street, Chatham, where the gallery, conference room and main artists studios are based. The artists open studios are held here every 1st Saturday of the month for all to attend for free.

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Nucleus Arts also have creative studio space in Military Road, Chatham, Rochester High Street (which also includes retail space) and Lower Stone Street, Maidstone. All spaces have a lovely cafe managed by Cafe Nucleus.

Nucleus Arts are working in collaboration with multiple local charities on their Arts Inclusive programme to make sure the arts can be accessible to all.

Sun Pier House

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This Community Interest Company was formed in 2012 to support and promote the best of Medway’s talent, providing a base for established and start-up businesses in the creative sector.

Within the building, there is a large exhibition gallery, tea room, events space, hire rooms, artist studios, open plan creative office space with hot desk facilities, all enjoying a glorious panoramic view of the River Medway.

Sun Pier House CIC actively promotes the businesses working within Medway’s creative community, encouraging them to grow and develop to their full potential. Sun Pier House is right next to Sun Pier, Medway Street, Chatham.

POP Creative Space

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POP is an abandoned shop turned into a Creative space in the heart of Chatham, Medway. The shop has been funded by EU and Recreate and hosts various free events and exhibitions throughout the year. POP is at 64 – 66 High Street, Chatham.

Unravel and Unwind

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Unravel and Unwind are working to develop a “country cottage” style craft drop in centre for crafters of all abilities, ages, background and culture where they can come and craft while they socialise-practice-teach-learn.

Their aim is to create a friendly open environment,”a crafting home from home” ) where local crafters & families can practice, learn, teach and sell their crafts. A place where skills can be shared and new ideas encouraging community engagement, increasing social well-being, removing isolation and possibly mentoring transitions into employment. They are based at Intra Arts, 337-341 High Street, Rochester.

Intra Arts

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INTRA is a Medway based arts venue, hosting creative events, classes, activities and studios, and offering one of the best collections in Kent of specialist arts equipment accessible to the general public – especially specialist printing equipment.

The not for profit company Intra Arts Ltd. was formed in 2014 when they took on the former Spemco building in Rochester High Street. This Art Deco fronted, Victorian building is much loved in the historic area of ‘Chatham Intra’. Their aim is to provide an arts programme, creative opportunities and education in a space that welcomes people of all ages, abilities and circumstances. They are based at 337-341 High Street, Rochester.

Monday nights are literary at The Alex in Chatham

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Every Monday - live literature - poster
Every Monday – live literature

ROUNDABOUT NIGHTS is a new free live literary night for Medway, organised by Wordsmithery (the literature development organisation who produce ME4Writers and 17Percent). It will be held weekly on Mondays, upstairs at the Alexandra Hotel pub in Chatham. Getting to the pub is easy – it’s right next to Chatham rail station and about 5 minutes from the bus station. (Many buses also stop at the rail station.)

The event will showcase a rotating schedule of events including the relaunch of 17Percent’s She Writes showcase of short plays by women; spoken word poetry and stories; ME4-rum – a workshop/lit-chat where you can bring your writing and work on it in a shared environment, (think of it as a type’n’ gripe rather than a stich’n’bitch); and special guest programmers who will take over for the night.

Roundabout Nights offer an opportunity for writers to showcase their work, get feedback and talk to other writers. If you don’t call yourself a writer you are also welcome too to come along and be part of the audience!

Coming up, we have:

~ 18 August: Spoken word
~ 25 August: Bank Holiday – No show tonight
~ 1 September: She Writes – short plays about holidays
~ 8 September: Type’n’gripe at ME4-rum
~ 15 September: Spoken word
~ 22 September: Guest slot: Politics, plays and policies. Plays inspired by political themes
~ 29 September: She Writes – plays on a Byronic theme
~ 6 October: Type’n’gripe at ME4-rum

ROUNDABOUT NIGHTS
7-10pm
Upstairs at the Alexandra Hotel, 43 Railway St, Chatham, ME4 6RJ
Find us on Facebook: Roundabout Nights

*Please note that, regrettably, the upstairs room is not currently accessible for wheelchair users.

BESPOKE – Designer and Maker Fair – Apply to Exhibit – Medway

 

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Bespoke is a new international designer and maker fair being launched in Chatham, Kent. The 2014 event is the pilot of this new event in Medway offering designers, makers and artists a free opportunity to showcase their work to the public.

Artists from across England and France are being invited to apply, with the selection process hoping to create a diverse range of work on show. Coinciding with the Chatham day of the Fuse Festival the Fair will provide an added opportunity for visitors to the Festival to experience art and meet designers.  

The Fair is free for the public to enter.

VENUE

The outdoor fair will take place alongside the new creative venue Sun Pier House, in an area of the Sun Wharf car park; Medway Street, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4HF. Sun Pier House hosts a large public gallery, tearoom, artist studios and office space for creative industries.

APPLYING

Applications are invited across the UK and France from individual makers and craft based businesses. We require a CV and artist statement along with 3 representative images of work clearly labelled with title, medium and size. JPEGS are preferred. We accept applications by email and post. We will reply to all applicants to acknowledge your application. The selection process will be taken seriously and we will notify all applicants of our decision by Monday 2 June 2014.

DEADLINE

Applications are invited any time before 5pm on Monday 9th June 2014.

PITCH INFORMATION

As part of the 2014 pilot event all pitches are offered for FREE to successful applicants. We will provide;

  • One gazebo cover with sides, approximately 3m x 3m per exhibitor

  • Two tables and one chair for each exhibitor

Trading hours are 11am – 5pm; stallholders can gain access from 8am on the day to set up.

Stallholders must supply any other equipment required for their stall. Note: there are no power sockets or additional lighting.

Vehicles can unload/ load in the car park alongside their pitch and vehicles will be moved out of sight. One parking space will be provided per exhibitor.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

As part of the pilot scheme we are also offering all applicants the opportunity to attend a series of practical workshop aimed at small creative business. Topics covered throughout the course will be;

  • Work selection for fairs
  • How to present and display your work
  • How to price your work
  • Talking to the public and selling you work
  • Basic book-keeping and small business finance systems
  • Social media and marketing plans

The training will take place throughout the summer. Tailored to the feedback from exhibitors at Bespoke.

CONTACT INFORMATION

We prefer email communication where possible. If you have any questions please contact Heather Burgess, Event Coordinator, on heather@sunpierhouse.co.uk. If you are unable to use email or have an urgent enquiry please contact Heather on 07545 642 581. Office hours are Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm.

TERMS & CONDITIONS

  • All work must be original and by the exhibitor

  • Makers cannot sublet their space or any part of it to another party or maker without prior permission.

  • Makers cannot display work or services other than that which they stated in their application.

  • You are responsible for your own insurance for you work. We recommend joining a-n/ AIR.

  • All work displayed should ideally be for sale.

  • A few cards and postcards can be displayed and sold but must not dominate the space.

 

Bespoke 2014 is part of the Recreate project, selected under the European Cross-border Cooperation Programme INTERREG IV A France (Channel) – England, co-funded by the ERDF

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TONE Festival: The UK’s First Festival Of Contemporary Sonic and Visual Arts – 20th to 22nd June 2014 – Medway

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Venue: The Historic Dockyard, Fort Amherst, Gun Wharf, Sun Pier and LV21 PLUS MORE! 

Dates: 20 – 22 June 2014. Pre-festival events from 9 June 2014
Price: £18 (£15 concs.) per day
Website: www.tonefestival.com

2014 marks the first edition of TÖNE, the UK’s first festival of contemporary sonic and visual arts, taking place in its launch year in the unique and challenging setting of The Historic Dockyard, Fort Amherst and sites along the Medway River at Chatham, Kent from 20 – 22 June 2014.

This wide-ranging and stimulating programme of events will showcase a selection of the best new music and visual art on the international arts scene, marking the First World War Centenary through work that reflects the military and maritime location of Chatham. The festival’s theme A Meeting of Sound and Light also reflects the timing of the festival over the weekend of the Summer Solstice, an annual celebration of light that dates back to the earliest days of human settlement on the island.

 
Highlights include:
· 9 ambitious new national and international commissions challenging perspectives on the environment, heritage, and the future of public space.
· Choreographer Anna Koch and composer Mats Lindström will undertake an art residency on LV21, the last lightship built in the UK, currently docked at Gillingham Pier
· Australian artist James Geurts will build a solar light sculpture, marking Midsummer on Sun Pier
· Dan Ayling directs a cello tour around UNESCO world heritage site The Historic Dockyard Chatham, with Rohan de Saram, Lucy Railton and Olly Coates and the Musarc choir
· New installations at dramatic Fort Amherst, overlooking the River Medway, with ‘Twittering Machines’ by leading British sound artist Kathy Hinde, and Gunsgooffbythemselves by Ben Fitton and Dylan Shipton.
· New radio art commission from Sara-Mohr Pietsch
· DJ set by Max Reinhardt
· Morgan O’Hara, Jon Tilbury and Sarah Nicolls re-imagine the grand piano

James Geurts. Tidal Topography 10 2012. Dalhousie Art Gallery, Halifax. Light installation resize

Founded and directed by composer/sound artist Claudia Molitor and visual artist Julie Louise Bacon, the festival’s programme brings together local and international sound and visual artists, including nine new commissions, across sculpture, sound, dance, radio art and food art, as well as installations, broadcasts and public forums. A festival pre-programme will involve participants in a series of workshops, masterclasses and talks, linked into local arts and education activities.
@tonefestival

ReSilience – FREE youth theatre production and workshop

ReSilience

Little Fish are performing a new Arts council funded show at The Kings Theatre Chatham at 7pm – 8.30pm on Tuesday 13th May. This is suitable for age 14 and above.

It is free to attend, just contact suha@littlefishtheatre.co.uk or call 07967101396

‘Resilience’ explores mental health issues effecting young people and how they can be more supported.

Company background:
Little Fish Theatre Company was established in 2008. For the last five years we have provided high quality, specialized theatre, drama and related arts projects tackling key social and regeneration issues for young people throughout South London. Little Fish seek to challenge injustice and inspire young people to develop and grow. However, we do not consider it our role merely to deliver information. We believe there are more effective methods to communicate facts and figures about particular issues and it is implicit in the company ethos that theatre is a means of engaging young people regardless their social or economic disposition. One of our objectives is to effectively use imagery, narrative and empathy to challenge and motivate young people to reflect upon their own value systems and their place within society.

Rats Bay Shindig – Saturday 5th to Sunday 6th April 2014 – Chatham

 Rats Bay poster

A new family friendly extravaganza is taking place on the first weekend of the Easter Holidays. On Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th April the area surrounding Sun Pier in Chatham will come alive with a large celebration of arts and culture.

Between 11am and 5pm each day the weekend is host to variety of special art events and festivities. In the past 2 years the Medway art scene has seen a massive boom of activity and there is certainly a lot to celebrate in the west end of Chatham.

Overlooking the pier, Sun Pier House is opening the doors to the new Sun Pier Gallery and Tearoom for the first time. Launching with a large exhibition of work by the 15 resident artists; ‘Presenting, Sun Pier House’ incorporates a variety of art, craft and fashion. With panoramic river views the 2nd floor Gallery and Tearoom is set to become a scenic retreat in the busy town centre.

The weekend witnesses the launch of the first charter boat trips in a generation from the newly refurbished Sun Pier, with the Sailing Barge Edith May and Jetstream Tours providing unique River experiences for all ages.

The weekend will also mark the inaugural Sun Pier Arts Market, a new outdoor market that is set to take place regularly throughout the year. Stallholders will be offering a variety of work to buy, food to sample, activities to try and classic carnival games for all the family.

The Rats Bay Shindig has been instigated by the managers of new creative venue Sun Pier House, with the intention to bring some much needed life back to the west end of Chatham High Street. Over the course of the two days there is a full spectrum of entertainment on offer. Including; art workshops, live music performances, river trips, dance classes, exhibitions, history tours, evening functions and a Sunday night cult film screening.

A weekend not to be missed!

Chatham Intra Art Competition – Closes 28th February 2014

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Theme: Chatham Intra* and Lesser Known Chatham*the area between the east end of St. Margaret’s Bank, roughly where the railway bridge crosses Rochester High Street, and the Chapel of St. Bartholomew.

 

Entries will be accepted in any 2D medium, including photography Click here for an extract
from WOW Magazine
October 2013

PRIZES:

1ST – £1000

2ND – £500

3RD – £250

All entries will be considered for purchase by Richard Watts Charities.
In addition to the cash prizes RWC will be holding an exhibition of short-listed work at Nucleus Gallery in Chatham for 2 weeks from 4 – 17 April 2014.
Email fleur.boyce@richardwatts.org.uk or telephone 01634 842194 for more information.
You may apply via www.richardwatts.org.uk from 1 January 2014.
Closing date is 1.00 p.m. Friday 28 February 2014.
There is a £10 fee per entry with a maximum of three entries per person.Competition Rules

  1. Artists must be 16 years or over.
  2. The theme of the competition is ‘Chatham Intra and Lesser Known Chatham’.
  3. Entries will be accepted in any 2D medium, including photography and must be no larger than A1 (594mm x 841mm) once framed.
  4. Submissions will only be accepted as digital files uploaded via our website from 1 January 2014.
  5. Digital submissions should be of a resolution between approximately 1024 x 768 and 1920 x 1080.
  6. Artwork submitted must be original and created by the artist(s) named in the application.
  7. Price must be included in the application form, maximum £1000.
  8. Deadline for entries 1pm on 28th Feb 2014.
  9. There is a £10 fee per entry. Unpaid or unidentified entries will not be accepted.
  10. Payment can be made via the application form online, by cheque or cash at: Richard Watts Charities, Administrative Offices, Watts Almshouses, Maidstone Road, Rochester, Kent ME1 1SE. Monday to Friday 9.30am-4pm. By BACS to: RICHARD WATTS CHARITIES, Barclay’s Bank PLC, Medway Towns Branch, Sort Code: 20-54-11, Account: 60931373. Please use your full name as reference.
  11. Maximum of three entries per person.
  12. The application form, submission upload facility and an optional online payment facility will be available on this website from 1 January 2014.
  13. Successful entrants will be notified by email / telephone by 14th March 2014. If you are not contacted by 14th March please assume your submission has not reached the short-list, however your work may still be purchased by Richard Watts Charities.
  14. Short-listed work must be delivered to Nucleus Art Gallery on the afternoon of Thursday 3rd April 2014 by 5pm or on Friday 4th April 2014 by 10.30am. Unsold work must be picked up Thursday 17th April between 1-5pm. Please contact Nucleus 01634 812108 direct if you are unable to deliver or pick up during these times.
  15. Work to be supplied framed, strung and bubbled-wrapped to prevent damage.
  16. Each entry to be clearly labelled on the back with name of artist, title of work, medium and price.
  17. Exhibition dates – Friday 4th April – Thursday 17th April 2014.
  18. Nucleus Arts will take 25% commission on all sales from their gallery.
  19. All sold artwork must remain in the gallery until the closure of the exhibition.
  20. Works submitted for the exhibition remain at all times, the liability of the artist who should arrange insurance to cover from transit, exhibiting and on to collection if unsold.
  21. Entry is taken as consent to re-produce entrant’s artwork. Artwork will only be used for purposes connected to the Richard Watts Charities Art Competition.
  22. Artwork will be exhibited for sale as part of this competition, and entry is taken as consent to exhibit and sell.
  23. Entry to the competition will be deemed as acceptance of our terms and conditions.

A poem dedicated to the memory of Hilary Halpern

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I moved to Medway some time ago

This place inspires me, as you well know

I wanted to help with the amazing creativity

To help it be seen by more, to prevent exclusivity.

 

But fortunately I had somewhere to start

Someone had already helped Medway’s art

This man was someone who needed a studio himself

But was happy to share space with someone else.

 

So he looked for a place that would be just right

And in Chatham High Street he found just the site

There was room for lots of artists, not just him

And this is where Nucleus arts was to begin.

 

He saw in Medway there was a need

So in making studios for artists he took the lead

Him and his daughter made lots of studios and gallery space

At last creatives in Medway could find their place.

 

All that happened in 2002

And the arts centre just grew and grew

And now as the arts scene here continues to boom

Nucleus arts continues to bloom.

 

Over 400 artists have been there to create

The effect on Medway has been great

I know I will never forget what Hilary done

So Medway creatives, let us make sure the work he started, carries on.

By Natasha Steer

 

Dedicated to the memory of Hilary Halpern – founder of Nucleus Arts Centre.

It was Hilary’s wishes that donations should be made to Nucleus Arts  – click here for more details.

Rochester Film Society – To The Wonder – Thursday 16th 7.45pm

 

 

 

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This week at the Rochester Film Societies regular Thursday night screening at the Odeon Chatham. Terrence Maliks’ latest film – To the Wonder –

Tickets available through the Odeon website or on the night at the cinema box office.

All students presenting a current student card for any Rochester Film Society screening at the Chatham Odeon can take advantage of the special ticket offer to receive 2 for 1 tickets on the concession rate, which makes the price £3.25!

Film introduction and post-screening discussion over a drink, hosted by festival programmer and film writer Nick Walker

Director: Terrence Malick

Cast: Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel McAdams. Javier Bardem

Synopsis: After visiting Mont Saint-Michel, Marina and Neil come to Oklahoma, where problems arise. Marina meets a priest and fellow exile, who is struggling with his vocation, while Neil renews his ties with a childhood friend, Jane.

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Rochester Film Society Screening – Stoker – 9th May 2013

The Rochester Film Society invite you to their screening of – Stoker – this Thursday 9th May 7.45pm at the Odeon Chatham.

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Film introduction and post-screening discussion over a drink, hosted by festival programmer and film writer Nick Walker

Director: Chan-wook Park [Oldboy]

Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, Matthew Goode

Synopsis: After India’s father dies, her Uncle Charlie, who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her unstable mother. She comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives and becomes increasingly infatuated with him.

Joining The Docks – 2013 Degree Show At The School Of Arts – 26th May to June 1st 2013 – Chatham

Joining The Docks - Degree Show At School Of Arts - 26th May to June 1st 2013 - Chatham

Where art meets history. Where music meets industry. Where time meets creativity. This May the University of Kent proudly presents this year’s Degree Show, ‘Joining the Docks’.

www.joiningthedocks.co.uk

Description
Joining the past with the present to commence their future, the University of Kent School of Arts students collaborate to produce the 2013 Degree Show. Showcasing an array of practices, Joining the Docks promises an eclectic display from Fine Art (BA, MA & PhD), Creative Events and Music Technology students.

Ranging from painting, sculpture and performance art to ambisonic installations and interactive set design, the collaborating students invite you to participate in their educational journey thus far as they embark from their degree experience at the Chatham Historic Dockyard into their future careers and figure out just what it means to be Joining the Docks…

Exhibition Times:

25th May *Private View* | 2 – 9 pm
26th May – 1st June | 10 – 5 pm
Closed 28 May

degree show - back invite

Survived – Chatham Clinic – Open 19th May 2013

Chatham Clinic - Open 19th May 2013

The clinic will be open in Chatham on May the 19th 2013. Book at www.survived.eventbrite.co.uk

A unique theatre experience is taking place at Sun Pier House, Chatham, on the 19th May.

Entitled “Survived”, the event is described as “site responsive interactive theatre”, which means you as the audience get to walk around the performance taking place throughout the building, and engage with the performers.

Set in the distant present, Survived is a clinic for people who have survived a nuclear explosion and need treatment for their radiation poisoning caused by fallout. You, the visitor, are in this case, the patient needing help.

This is the perfect opportunity to see how empty space can be used for unique types of theatre, as well as an example of collaboration within the community. The event is aimed to be inspiring and educational. 

Expect gas masks, steampunk and bizarre medical instruments.

Survival wear is optional.

There are two clinics, one at 7.30pm and one at 8.30pm. Each clinic lasts 45 minutes.

Tickets cost £5 and must be pre-booked at www.survived.eventbrite.co.uk

Disabled access disclaimer: Unfortunately, due to the current nature of the building in use, we are unable to provide access to this event for the disabled.

Call For Traders For New Outdoor Market In Chatham! – Sun Wharf Market – Sunday 24th March

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Pitches are available to take part in the first Sun Wharf Market, a new quarterly outdoor market in Chatham.

The market is new for 2013 and pitches are available for a variety of makers. The first Sun Wharf Market will be held on Sunday 24 March in the Sun Wharf car park, Medway Street in Chatham.

 Market organiser and local resident Heather Burgess, 27, hopes to create a complimenting combination of stalls including art, craft, local produce, jewellery, fashion, antiques, vintage and collectibles. Limited pitches are available now for £15 each, trading hours will be 10am – 4pm. To avoid disappointment early applications are recommended, closing date for all applications is Monday 4 March 2013. All enquiries should contact Heather by emailing heather.sunpierhouse@gmail.com

Area:    South East    Medway   Kent

A TALENTED PHOTOGRAPHER: HANNA – By George Langridge

If you can remember a while back I did an article about going out with a friend and -kind of- teaching her a little about photography and how to use a DSLR.

Recently, we have met up, once again to discuss photography, as is the creatives way. Since I published that article she has come a very long way, she has even developed her own style.

Not like your standard photographer? 

With this photograph I quite like how not all of Faith’s (the model) body is in shot, not only that but I like the way that with the addition of the large sunglasses we do not know whether or not she is looking at us or at something different. I am no fashion photographer but I know that it is keeping me rather engaged with the image. Personally in post production I would have lowered the highlights, however I feel that the highlights add to a possible harvest theme – based on the ideas that the shoot is in a corn field before harvest and very warm).

Hanna’s long term goals are to become part of the engineering industry and work with a top firm. I can’t help but think she’d be a great professional photographer, however, I can understand many of the things holding her back from following a photographers career.

Angles, angles, angles.

One thing I absolutely love about Hanna’s work is her interesting use of angles, I have thought this ever since I first saw her photography. When I’ve seen her shoot I have witnessed her move all over the set/location and find some pretty awesome photographs. I guess I am a little envious of this absolute angular skill. I also like the use of black and white here even though I am not much of a lover of black and white. Truth me told this picture may have converted me (Hanna, it’s your fault). Personally I would have lightened the shadows, added a little grain and pumped the contrast a smidge (what exactly is a smidge?)

I was surprised to discover that Hanna only uses a little Panasonic or Fuji bridge camera, can you imagine what work she could do with a Canon 5d mk 2?

I came across a few of her floral photographs and immediately  became amused.

Looks like film?

When I first saw this I thought Hanna had been at the film. However, she reassures me that all of her -recent, photographic- photography is digital. This photograph seems fairly intimate with the insect. It also has just the right aperture, as to give slight depth of field, many photographers would have just blown the background right out. I can’t deny that I would have probably missed this opportunity or if I had got it would have taken three different shots at different apertures, two of which would have probably blown the background in to space. The crushing of the blacks really works here as it makes the main focus (the insect) stand out subtly, sometimes when blacks are darkened it is done too much as to make everything else appear to bright. Again, here I would have probably dropped the highlights slightly to add some more detail to the insect.

If you would like to partake in a photowalk with Hanna, myself and other talented photographers (both digital and film) leave a commenthere (http://www.facebook.com/creatabot).

I am currently looking for some interesting places to shoot some street photography in London. If you know anywhere good, drop me a tweet or email: @georgelangridge   ,   georgelangridge95@gmail.com

Working For An Indie Record Label – Part 4: Making Sense Of Social Media – By Luke Crook

So, one of THE most important parts of being successful either as a band, a label or even a brand is how you connect with your fan base and demographic. Despite what people say, there are pretty much 2 major ways of getting in touch with your fan base to let them know what’s happening, Facebook & Twitter. Most of the courses I end up on are either about Social Media full stop, or have a massive section dedicated to it.

It’s all about social media. You can’t get away from it, try as you might. The problem is, both the main social media platforms operate completely differently so different strategies are needed. Twitter never changes. 140 unadulterated characters of text to use and abuse as best you can, tag people in it and share that Instagram photo of your dog with your sunglasses on (don’t deny it, we’ve all thought about it). Facebook allows you to present music, videos, photos, competitions and all sorts of lovely things internally (you don’t have to leave Facebook to see them), but the buggers keep changing the format every 4 months, and by the time you’ve worked it out, they sweep the rug out from under you and change it all. Not to mention all their restrictions on advertising inside the website. Don’t put anything in your bands cover photo that tells someone where to buy a product. Facebook will take your page down without telling you. By all means say its out or available though! They do however have some insanely good (albeit slightly 1984/Orwellian) marketing devices. We’ll get to that later.

There are, of course, other ways of engaging your fans. That lovely website you spent £4k on development and that amazing feature that no-one else has done yet for example. The problem is, you’ll find it very quickly becomes a holding page for you to link to from your Facebook/Twitter account (We were actually talking about this in the office after I wrote this). However, it is an amazing way to archive your work and keep things neatly organized in a way that other places don’t. A good example is your gig list. Myspace makes it looks ugly in my opinion and that puts people off reading it. Keep it on your website, drive a bit of traffic that way and lay it out in a way you would like to see it. It’s your website after all!

Also, lets not forget the newsletter. Now this is still pretty effective, just don’t ever look at the stats, they’ll depress you. If memory serves, the average for people opening the email sits at about 9% and the average people that actually click a link in your newsletter is about 2/3%. Most good newsletter systems will give you a link to your newsletter too, so you can share it around to people to read in their browser. Some will even allow you to link up your Facebook or Twitter (Starting to see a trend here yet?) so you can spread the word further. Completely customisable from layout to content, its yours to design and make.

Now the major advantage of Facebook is the marketing aspect. No other social media does it as well, so if you’re looking to make some money and sell some product, its the place to be. Their marketing ability is spectacular, if not slightly bloody scary. The beauty of it is, is that you can spend as little as you like on it. £5, see how it does. If it does well, pump some more money in. If it doesn’t, you’ve only spent a fiver. You can tailor it to a fine point too. Target people that like similar pages. Show the punter that their friend likes that page too. The scariest aspect of it though, is the way you can target advertise through keywords. There’s a little text box in the Ad’s section where you can tap in keywords that, if people mention it in their status, relevant Adverts will start appearing in their news feed. “Oh fudge, I broke my bike chain” will soon become a little square box on the right hand ad feed saying “Cheap bike repairs in Chatham”. Incredibly clever, but a bit creepy at the same time. (It’s worth mentioning that you can turn all of this off, but it’s a bit of a ball ache (surprise surprise). It’s your privacy, think about it.)

So there’s a bit of an intro into Social Media. You might notice its heavily Facebook based, but that’s where you have to most control over what you can do. Twitter is much more to the point, so it’s fairly straightforward. Facebook is where you’ll make money from driving sales.

Oh, a few final things in this whirlwind social media ride, which were in fact my point in writing a blog on the topic.

There’s a technique that has various names but I’ll call it The Rule Of Thirds here. It’s very simple, and will prevent you losing followers and likes (although its rather difficult to mass unlike things on Facebook. Another advantage…). Don’t constantly spam your demographic with messages to buy your wares. People will quickly grow tired of this, especially Twitter followers (Twitter followers are much less forgiving than Facebook Followers. They tend to be a lot savvier and will drop you like a stone). So the trick is to make roughly every third message a marketing one. Buy the album, get my tour tickets, blah. Every third is also a minimum. I try and go for every five or six personally. Don’t forget to reward either. Free tracks or posters or a personal video of the band saying “HI WERE ON TOUR!!!!!  *cough*to support our new album*cough*” work very well, people love them, and are technically marketing without shoving it in the consumers face. Also, keep it relevant and not stream of consciousness type barrage of messages.

Which leads me into my final point. Keep it personal. If it sounds like you are directly talking to that fan, they’ll like it more. Now, for a label or a brand I can appreciate that might be a bit tricky, but for an artist its imperative. Make it first person. I can’t stress this enough. You do NOT want to make it sound like someone is writing your tweets for you. Don’t con your fans. One of them will work out that you can’t have tweeted that, because you were either onstage or being interviewed live. They are much smarter than you think. If it is someone else doing it for you/them, set up a little system that lets the fan know when its you and with its you’re assistant (E.g. Tom Cruise. His Tweets end TC, his teams end TCHQ…I think. You get the point.).

So there you go. A quick, scatterbrained take on social media. Feel free to leave any questions below and I’ll try and dig the answer out of my seminar notes! I’ll come back later with another article about social media thats a bit more targeted, but this should (hopefully) get you moving in the right direction.

By Luke Crook

Area:   UK   Britain   East of England   East Midlands   London  North East   North West    Yorkshire    Scotland    South East                South West    Wales   West Midlands

Working For An Indie Record Label – Part 2 – By Luke Crook

Hello again!

So, the last article was a bit of a ramble aimed at some of the tech/admin steps you go through at a label to take a release from X tracks on a CD-R or Pendrive and getting it out to digital and physical retailers worldwide.

This time, lets talk about something that’s a little more…well, creative!

Artwork.

Next to the music itself, artwork is in my opinion the next more important part of a release. Before streaming music became so incredibly popular, all you had to go on was if you’d heard it on the radio and how awesome the front cover looked!

So, where do you start?

Well, first things first, you need an idea. Whilst it might sound stupid, you can waste a lot of time if you don’t have some direction, because more often than not, the music is more or less done before the artwork starts, and no-one wants to rush. Following that, you need a designer to put it all together. This can take some time too, so make sure you’re looking out for one. Check out other CD designs you like, artwork, even book covers. Students are good, as they are cheap! Friends are even better! Discussions about whether you can gloss finish, matte finish, pantones/fluros (neon colours), metallic effects, how many pages you want in your booklet/inlay, how you want your digipack to fold and open will follow that. Lots of fun!

Then, once you’ve got a designer working on your great idea, you need to work out formats. CD/Limited Edition CD/LP/Digital/Magical Unicorn Edition.

Now, on the surface, a pack shot (Album Cover) is a pack shot, but format changes everything. CD’s are fairly straight forward and versatile. If it’s a jewel case, your inlay/booklet doubles up as your pack shot! Yaaay! All you need after that is your artwork for under the tray (where the CD slots) and artwork for the back of the case, which more often than not has the track listing. Digipacks are slightly different, because it’s all printed onto one piece of card and then folded. It can be gatefold, 2 fold, 3 fold (Rammsteins latest release opened out 5 ways if memory serves!). You need to remember where the slot for your inlay (if you have one) is going if you have one too!

Now, before I go any further, I’ve forgotten to mention one of the most important aspects of artwork. Label Copy. Label copy is essential the bible for the release. It’s a document containing everything about the album/single. Catalogue number, artist, title, track listing, publishers, copyright and publishing rights, collaborators, thank yous, websites and loads more. Most of this will go into your booklet and back cover for legal and information reasons.

Great, that’s the CD covered. Oh…what about the LP? No booklet there (Unless you’re feeling fancy!). So, you’ve not got to go back and ask your designer very nicely if he/she can do you a whole new template. Front and back sleeve (And center if it’s a gatefold) and stickers for the vinyl. This leads me back to my point about making sure you know all your formats before you go to design, otherwise you’ll: A. Irritate your designer or B. End up having to pay more for another format design. LP’s tend to have a far more stripped down label copy on them, purely for the sake of space.

Digitally, its pretty simple. Just a packshot. Bliss. Through iTunes you can also get a digital booklet to go with it if you want, as an added extra.

All of that, when all most people will ever see is the pack shot, when they walk past it in the shops or scroll past online. That’s your one chance to catch their attention and get them interested. The rest, that’s their reward for picking it up.

Always run it past your artist for approval. They don’t need to see it at every stage, just when there is a significant change or update.

Oh, and don’t forget to proof read it. Lots!

by Luke Crook

Area:   UK   Britain   East of England   East Midlands   London  North East   North West    Yorkshire    Scotland   South East    South West    Wales   West Midlands  

Nucleus Artists at Nucleus Arts Centre – Medway Open Studios – 7th to 8th July 2012

Nucleus Artists will be opening their doors and studios to the public for one weekend running 7th – 8th July 2012 as part of the Medway Open Studio & Arts Festival. 15 resident artists and craftspeople will be opening their studios, and up to 14 associate artists, designers and craftspeople will be displaying their work in the conference room of the art centre.

With artists ranging from painters, photographers, sculptors and jewellers this event will present an unequalled opportunity for art lovers, gift hunters or just the curious.

An affordable art deposit scheme is available by arrangement so why stick to the “high street” when you can have original art by original local artists.

Nucleus café will also be open both days for delicious cakes, tea, coffee’s and cold drinks.

Nucleus gallery will also be open with an exhibition by Val Weller 

(see www.nucleus-arts.com for more details).

Event address – Nucleus Arts , 272 High Street, Chatham, Kent ME4 4BP

There is partial Disability Access across the Nucleus Art Centre & Studios (details available on request)

Resident artists open studios:
Katie Blench Photography
Sian Bostwick Jewellery
Alex Cooley
Jon Gubby
Marissa Mardon
Maggie Osborn
Pete Reeds
Christopher Sacre
Deborah Saunders
Sophie Jongman
Anne Taylor
Donna Chapman
Angie Berkley
Alexandria Welch
Sarah Langstone

Area – South East

Short Films of Mr Young – Screening – 26th May 2012 at 4pm – Chatham

To celebrate the release of the new compilation DVD ‘Caged Fire – The Short Films of Mr Young’ – the UCA Pop-Up Gallery, Chatham, UK, present an evening devoted to Mr Young’s short films.

Mr Young has seen 6 of his films broadcast on UK TV and screened at over 30 festivals and screenings over the world.

The event and DVD release draws a line under past achievements for Mr Young who is currently developing two new feature films.

Is this the end for Mr Young’s short film adventures?  Probably not.  Two new short films have already been written and there is a couple of new music videos in the pipeline with up-coming Medway bands.

The DVD release will contain a new version of his very first film, plus a rare chance to see the first ever video by Brighton indie band The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster.

Mr Young will present each film and there will an opportunity for a Q&A with the acclaimed filmmaker and copies of Mr Young’s first feature film DVD East 3, his CD collaboration with 7th Adventure Recordings and the new Caged Fire DVD will be available to buy.

Location – UCA pop up gallery – upper level of Pentagon Shopping Centre – Chatham

Time – 4PM on 26th May

Area – South East

Evolution Of Consciousness – Exhibition – 1st April to 31st May 2012 – Chatham

 

The UCA gallery in Chatham is holding a collaborative exhibition that explores how if we want to survive as a species on this planet we desperately need to develop our consciousness.

Artists featured include Allegra Ally, Augustinas Neslenas, Carolyn Birchall,  Curt Wilhelm Ostlund, Dane Horsley, Helen Butler, Joseph Webb, Luka Lukasik, Michal Janowski, Michael Turley, Natasha Steer, Philip Kane, Simon Pruciak, Vesko Nickolov and Winifred Baker.

The exhibition also features a short film by Mr Young called “The Moon The Eye”

Here is a sneak peak of the exhibition!

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The UCA pop up gallery is on the upper level of the Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham.

Area – South East

Artistic Solutions – Exhibition – 28th May to 2nd June 2012 – Historic Dockyard Chatham

Artistic Solutions is an exciting showcase of artworks by University of  Kent Fine Art students in their final year of study. The debates brought to issue show that this is just the beginning of the artists creative explorations. Through installation, film, sculpture, painting and drawings, they exhibit contemporary arguments and re-examine older ones, which narrate our 21st Century culture.

For more information please visit any of the following links –

Tumblr page is http://kentdegreeshow.tumblr.com/

Twitter page is https://twitter.com/#!/Kentdegreeshow

Area – South East

Celebrate Medway’s Creativity On 23rd June 2012

Medway is the centre of a flourishing creative community and on June 23rd the Nucleus arts centre in Chatham welcomes everyone to join them in the celebration of their 10th anniversary. The day of celebrations will run from 11am to 11pm throughout the town centre and will include a mixture of exhibitions, open artist studios, street performers and live music.

The Nucleus arts centre in Chatham, which resides next to the Trafalgar centre on the high street, opened its doors to a variety of artists in June 2002. Since then over 400 creatives have used the valuable work space to produce their work as well as exhibit to the local community.

10 years ago local sculptor Hilary Halpern found there was a limited amount of creative working space available in the Medway area. After speaking to local artists it was established that there was a great demand for such a place and this evidence was taken to Medway council and the arts council. These authorities gave the go ahead and Hilary found 272a/b in Chatham High Street which was the perfect building for the concept. Previously used for a number of businesses including a health food restaurant, bakery and even a builders yard, Hilary and his daughter developed the building into artist studios and exhibition space. A month after opening the Nucleus cafe was opened at the same site which added a social and community dimension to the studios.

Since then Nucleus has extended its studios in Chatham and also runs a shop in Rochester and Maidstone. In the future Nucleus want to hold more workshops and educational projects which can support more people within the community. They are also planning to involve themselves more in media such as You Tube and hope to soon have an online store for their artists.

See you on the 23rd of June for the anniversary celebrations!

About The Day

On the stage at the art centre there will be local bands playing for you for free until 8pm. They have a fantastic Stones tribute band, a Jazz band, Acoustic and Folk bands and alternative rock to keep you entertained throughout the day. They also have comedian Nigel Adams and book readings from Wolf Howard and Jim Hill at the Centre. There will be arts and craft stalls along their driveway and portraiture/cartoon drawings as well as face painting and Henna/glitter tattoos for the children.

The Rochester Coffee Company will have food and drink to keep you refreshed including an outside bar and a scrumptious BBQ!! 😎

Along the High Street at various times there will be performances by Circus Street Performers Jugglez and Street Theatre too.

In the Central Theatre between 1pm-4pm they will have the Kent County Choirs and Musicians, Walk Tall Theatre Group, Force 10 and dance groups Dance Alley and Medina Belly Dancers. All of these acts will be performing for you and the whole of this event is FREE.

Finally, upstairs in the Pentagon there will be theatre and dance acts from the Central Theatre performing for you between 1.30-4.30pm.

Here is a slideshow of how the Nucleus art centre has developed over the last 10years.

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Area – South East

Potential New Community and Creative Centre – Chatham

A community group in Chatham have been looking for a new hub for their events and groups, and they have found just the place! The Magpie Tavern in Magpie Hall Road has remained abandoned for some time and the group is looking for extra funding through Natwest community force to get the place up and running. The pub has the potential of being a local hub for creative groups and events in the area so it is worth while that local creatives vote for the new centre at http://communityforce.natwest.com/project/440