Arts and music events at School of Music and Fine Art: Autumn booklet out now!

Creative and Art Events, Creative and Art News


Our first What’s On booklet is OUT NOW!  Print copies soon coming to a venue near you – but check out our varied – and FREE – events online here.

From lunchtime concerts to music masterclasses, social events to site-specific installations and performances – the School of Music and Fine Art, part of the University of Kent’s Medway campus, is a hive of creativity!

For up to the minute news on activities and events coming up, please check out our website.

Cover image credit for What’s On booklet: Alice Sitting by Monika Jakubowska

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

Creative and Art Events, Creative and Art News

Kent_Music and Fine Art small square

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:

Our courses:


  • 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

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

Creative and Art Events


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

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

Nucleus Arts


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.

photo 2-1

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


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


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

Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 20.22.23

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


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.

What A Young Artist Taught Me About Crowdfunding – By Crista Cloutier



It was Day 16 of the campaign and I had only cried in public once. Twice. Online crowdfunding is not for the faint of heart.

I’ve spent my entire career in and around the art world. I recently curated a touring exhibition of new work by Kiki Smith and Valerie Hammond. I have been a gallerist and a fine art print-publisher, collaborating with the luminaries of the international art world. I have sold artwork to nearly every major institution in the USA as well as thousands of galleries and collections.

But about five years ago I had what I refer to as a midlife “correction.” Desperate to become something different, I sold all of my possessions and used them as a ticket to a new life. I left my home in the states and moved to the south of France, devoting a year to discovering my own creative path, before moving to England where I really got down to work and became a writer and photographer.

Throughout my career I have seen how artists struggled and I knew it didn’t have to be so hard. So I began sharing with artists what I knew about how the art market works and giving them the tools necessary to create a successful career. I called my class The Working Artist and I have now spent the past three years teaching it throughout the world.

I’ve long wanted to turn this course into an online educational program, something that could be downloaded so that any artist, anywhere, can have access to this information at an affordable price. After spending nearly a year researching the options and putting a business plan together I decided to launch an online crowdfunding campaign to raise the monies it would take to film and edit the program.

The launch party was a huge success and I exceeded my initial goal in terms of donations. The next two weeks have been a whirling dervish of emotions and bloody hard work. At the computer constantly posting, begging, pleading, thanking. And when I’m not at the computer I am out on the streets handing out promotional materials, chatting with artists, lecturing, making connections, chasing leads. This month, it seems, will never end.

The biggest take-aways have been the lessons learned, the hard way, about staying balanced, about not being attached to the outcome, and about letting go of what other people think. Easy lessons none.

But it’s been difficult to keep the faith. Though I have been blessed with little moments of serendipity that give me cheer, each day that someone tells me “no” can bring my spirits crashing to the ground. And so Day 16 began. I was halfway through the campaign, I’d begged every friend, relative, and ex-boyfriend I knew and had raised just over half my goal. Now what? I was exhausted. Well-intentioned friends gave me advice about how I could be doing it better, but they only served to make it worse. I was having a crisis of faith.


I was on my bicycle whizzing down a hill under a bridge when something caught my eye. A little boy was drawing with chalk on the concrete wall. My camera was at home with a dead battery. But I have a phone, I reminded myself. I hate photographing with a phone and I don’t photograph children but something told me to turn back. I asked his mother if I could take a picture. I tried to get a shot of him as he drew, apologizing for not having my good camera. “So do you just ride your bike and take pictures of things that interest you?” he asked. I nodded and he looked impressed, “I want to be like you.” What’s that? “An artist,” he smiled.

He showed me some of his other, earlier, chalk drawings. There was a large piece called “People Pasture” of a unicorn eating people. “But I don’t think that’s my best work,” he said gravely. His name was Harrison and he was 8 years old. His drawings filled the walls with their childlike graffiti, he’d even written poetry. “Faith. Justice. Believers matter,” he wrote.

“Sometimes,” he confessed, “I have doubts about my work.” Harrison wanted to be a famous artist. We spoke for a long time. He told me how it hurts when people don’t like what he does. I pointed him back to his own words, “Believers matter.”

I told him what it is to be an artist, how it’s important to always take chances, to make your life an expression of your work, of your self. I spoke of integrity. He drank my words in thirsty gulps. I told him how fame is a false prophet and how his life’s work, as an artist, is to work hard to develop that which lies inside and to always look for ways to express it, leaving everyplace he ever goes more beautiful for him having been there. “Like you do with these walls,” I told him.

He said, “It’s so good that I met you.” But it was I who was blessed. I told Harrison about my crowdfundung campaign and he encouraged me not to give up. “Look how much you have helped me today,” he said. “This is your work.”

I asked to take his picture with my phone and he made me wait so he could put on his glasses. As I left, he told me that he would be back tomorrow, making another drawing, should I want to visit him. “I will photograph you again,” I promised.

“Bring your good camera this time,” he said.

By Crista Cloutier

Crista Cloutier’s crowdfunding campaign ends on March 30th. Visit to see how you can participate.

Featured Creative: David Faltrego – Surreal Artist


les citroen

I love surreal art, Dali is one of my favourite artists in fact. So when I discovered David Faltrego’s work at Medway Open Studios last year I was excited to find a local artist creating surreal artwork. I thought everyone would be interested to find out more about David, who lives in Medway,  so here is a little interview with him…

So David, tell us more about your background and how you ended up creating surreal artwork?

Just prior to leaving school I was briefly interviewed by a recruitment representative from Maidstone Art College who wasn’t impressed. I had insufficient supporting grades, my portfolio was apparently of an unexceptional calibre and my “bolshie” attitude probably sealed my fate! I seriously doubt I would have lasted the course anyway as I don’t listen or rather I take on board only what interests me.

Today I paint whatever I please, as and when I please…

Other than an “A” Grade O Level, I’ve no further art qualifications. I have no awards and since I never submit to competitions I never will. Paradoxically my greatest delight in winning any award would be in politely declining it!

As a surrealist it can be a struggle both selling work and gaining acceptance into a gallery, since this particular genre is generally frowned upon and receives little credibility within the art world, particularly in the UK. Never the less I continue to plough a lone furrow quite simply because this is what I enjoy.

cattle of an udderworld

I began painting as a hobby, doing quite a lot of commission work throughout the 1980’s. However, by the end of the decade I’d become thoroughly bored with it all, I never really enjoyed commissions – but it funded some travelling at the time. This coincided with several galleries declining to show my work, leaving me totally disillusioned with the Art world. It was a further 12 YEARS before I picked up a brush, following persistent badgering from an ex work colleague who was into the “arts”. This time I was determined to do it differently – No more commission work and no appeasing others tastes. Self-indulgent? Absolutely!

I gradually amassed a small body of work to compliment my older material. By chance in passing, I stumbled upon the Nucleus Gallery in Chatham and I asked if I may hire their gallery for an exhibition. For the very first time I received a positive response without the stuffy, elitist attitude.

I had my first solo exhibition in May 2010, followed by two more in 2011 and 2012 and the feedback has generally been very good. Of course I cannot hope to please everybody, after all art is essentially subjective. You wouldn’t expect an opera lover to attend a punk rock concert but it’s still all music of sorts.

magic roundabout

Is your art your main income?

I know I’ll never make a living from painting, therefore it has always remained something I do in my spare time because I enjoy it. To pay the bills I have always worked in the printing industry as a Finisher, for a number of different companies in Kent.

Who inspires you both locally and universally?

Locally I would have to say several people connected with Nucleus Arts who have offered me encouragement particularly at the shops in Rochester and Maidstone.

On a much wider scale – since much of my work makes references to my childhood growing up in the 60s-70’s then my parents must take some credit. We certainly never had the material things but we did have everything that really matters, resulting in some of the best times that live on in my memories and sometimes resurface in my works.

Anything that messes with the logical way of thinking, the absurd, random thought process, etc – that’s what fascinates me!

Inspiration maybe stretching it but my art tutor at school could take some credit for allowing me virtual carte blanche to express myself rather than push me into the “traditional” route as he did with most others – although I’d have probably done as I please regardless! Universally, Artists I admire – Dali and Magritte (obviously), also Brueghel, Bosch and Vermeer who weren’t surrealists.

The music of the Beatles (post 1967) and Pink Floyd has influenced my thinking certainly. I’ve long since found inspiration from the surreal humour of Python and more latterly Eddie Izzard as well as the dark tales of the Brothers Grimm. Anything that messes with the logical way of thinking, the absurd, random thought process, etc – that’s what fascinates me!

serving the master

What are your plans for the future?

The future?, who knows. Currently I’m nearing completion of a whole new set of work due for exhibiting in August 2013 at Nucleus Chatham. Ideally I would like my work to be acknowledged with more credibility but I won’t hold my breath. A wider audience would be nice – that’s all.

Are there any other skills you would like to learn?

Other skills – not really. I’ve already discovered what I enjoy most and indeed what I do best. I simply wish to continue improving on what I’m already doing. As long as I have the ideas and desire to paint I will do so, but if or whenever I feel my standards are falling or I become disillusioned again, I will stop.

Are there any website you enjoy looking at?

I view Deviant Art, Red Bubble and Saatchi Gallery from time to time.

Thank you so much David for talking to us, we are really looking forward to seeing more of your work at the exhibition in August!

toys in the attic

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Wigmore Arts Weekend – 30th June to 1st July 2012 – Wigmore – Kent

Creative and Art Events

St Matthew’s Church and Community Centre will be holding an arts weekend on the 30th June and 1st July. Over 100 artists and crafts people will be exhibiting and demonstrating their work. Paintings, crafts, dance and live music feature throughout the weekend. Entry is free to the general public and the event will be start at 10.00am (to 4.30pm) Saturday and 11.00am (to 4.00pm) Sunday.

The art show will be held in St Matthew’s Church and the demonstrations and workshops in the community centre and grounds. About “100 metres run” of art will displayed in a variety of media, including poetry, ceramics, and all paint media. The art show will fill the church. Also on Saturday as the art show is in progress there will be some live music entertainment. Outside, there will be demonstrations of Morris Dancing, Fire Breathing, Fire Poi, Belly Dancing and some Bollywood Antics!! A lot of fun for everyone.

Children are well catered for with puppet making, face painting, lino cutting and plenty of other activities to keep them interested.

There will be a Variety Show on Saturday featuring many of Medway’s talented people and on Sunday a recital by David Griffiths (accompanied by his wife Christine). They are internationally acclaimed musicians from New Zealand and they will perform Schumann’s Dichteliebe (Op 48) and a range of songs from New Zealand.

There will be art workshops taking place and a few places are still available, but be quick and book a place.

We hope you will agree that there is something for everyone. Do come along and put Wigmore on the Arts map!!

A full programme is available, so e-mail, sae to 42 The Goldings, Rainham ME8 0AX or telephone 01634 372508

To book a place on a workshop e-mail or sae/telephone as above.


Paul Warren of St Matthew’s Church, Wigmore.
Wigmore Arts Weekend organiser

Area:   South East

Billy Childish – Frozen Estuary Exhibition – Review


Cult labels can obscure the viewer’s perspective of the artist’s work, with associations of niche celebrity given meaning by sycophantic fans and media observers. Childish is touted as a ‘cult’ figure in his latest exhibition at Chatham dockyard. This could scream popular or ‘cool’ to the ‘right’ people or celebrate an alternative and underground status. Childish’s character(s) loom large, set on pleasing themselves before courting the crowd, perhaps at the risk of eclipsing his work. In a 2010 video for the Tate’s ‘Sound and Vision’ series, he dons the costumes of painter and musician to playfully interview himself, with respectably awkward questions. When the artist asks about his influence on the musician, the answer is ‘no’ followed by a wistful smile.

The frozen estuary series offers something pleasantly different. The dockyard exhibition gives some space to history and personal mythologising – displays of album covers, books and memorabilia to greet the audience. Maybe this is a triumphant return to a place he left with little love lost.

13 oil and charcoal on linen paintings cover the main walls, some with the paint still wet. Despite featuring friends and family, the subject seems less personal, the focus is the river itself, depicted in vivid blues and whites and frozen in time and canvas. Inspired by photos of the winters of 1895 and 1947 when both estuaries froze over, Childish captures a stark landscape, where workers pose with boats locked in ice, dominated by blue skies and glaring white. Details run in earthy browns, a muck upon the landscape, as wet paint dribbles down many of the canvases, forming icicles of dirt and snow.

Here is something about place rather than person, escaping the ‘cult’ cliché and exploring the relationships between time, place and identity. A full size nude stands by the entrance, leading visitors through the memorabilia to something else entirely. Something brave.

The exhibition is on at the Historic Dockyard, Chatham, until 30th September 2012. Details are available at:

By Roy Smith


Guest Writer

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Whatever Floats Your Boat – Open Air Family Theatre – Medway – June 2012

Creative and Art Events

Taking place during Medways Fuse Festival “Whatever Floats Your Boat” is an open-air family theatre show presented by Students of Drama, Applied Theatre and Education (DATE) from London’s Central School of Speech and Drama.

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A Medway Vision 8: Monster Ambition


Taken by Phil Dillon

It’s so often not just about the talent.  It’s about work rate too.  The distinctive artistic blossoming of the Medway Towns, that vibrant feeling that something special is happening, the ‘Medway Vision’ as I call it, can’t merely happen from wanting it to happen.  Work goes into it.  A lot of sweat needs to be leaked if you are going to get your art seen or heard.  If hard work brings rewards then up-coming Medway band Crybaby Special and the Monsters will be reaping heap loads very soon.

The band only came into being in September last year but have already played in virtually every venue the Towns have to offer culminating in the release of their first ever EP ‘Man in the Woods’.  And let’s not forget all their London and other Kent gigs.  Starting out as an acoustic two piece (Josh Carson, Jason Stafford ) they wrote a few songs and spent one day rehearsing (yes, ONE day, these boys want things done fast) before debuted them at an open mic night.   In the words of Josh Carson “it’s been non-stop ever since, with Lewis Crennell joining the band on drums at the end of January 2012”.  Before this, the band was just one man, singer Jason.  He performed solo as Crybaby Special for the best part of a year before deciding he wanted to play as a band.

And so, endless gigging led to their first EP ‘Man in the Woods’  The EP was recorded in February 2012 with Mik Whitnall (Babyshambles guitarist) and Adem Hilmi (who also records Babyshambles and Peter Doherty solo). Mik even plays on three of the 6 tracks.  Their sound has been described in a number of ways.  As Josh points out “Bob Dylan on Crack…Creepy, Eerie, Spider, Jiggery…Folk Punk sung by Fagin…our favourite though is probably Exuberant Garage-Folk-Punk from the Medway Delta from Bug Bear promotions who put on gigs in London” Oddly enough those descriptions sum up their sound pretty well.

However, seeing as Mik Whitnall from Babyshambles produced the EP you can’t help but hear the Pete Docherty influence too.  Add to that, if you will, a bit of ska as imagined by Midnight Oil and you’re getting the picture.  But, as cute and cool those Babyshambles/Ska tracks are it’s their most original sounding work that excites me most. The almost middle-eastern tinged title track feels most vital.  It’s not only the best track on the EP, but, if there is any justice, it will be on repeat play on radio stations throughout the summer.

Judging by the continuous cycle of gigs then the EP seems to have cemented their following.  But you know full well that these lads are not going to be happy with that.  There is an ambition here, a desire to get to the top.  This is already a touring band, a band that develops its sound the more it interacts with its audience.  Josh confirms “our plans for the future are to too just carry on as we are by playing at every given opportunity and anywhere we can”

It’s ambition; it’s hard-work; it’s about having a vision.  A Medway Vision.  Crybaby Special and the Monsters will carry on growing and adapting and reaching out to whoever wants to hear them next.  I think it was Paul Weller that said something like the people who ‘made it’ are the ones that didn’t give up.  If true then you can be sure that sometime soon, Crybaby Special and the Monsters will have ‘made it’.

‘Man In The Woods’ EP is available to buy from iTunes:

Mr Young

Independent Filmmaker

Area  South East

Fuse Festival Programme Released – Medway – 15th to 17th June 2012

Creative and Art Events

The timetable for Fuse Festival 2012 has been released and you can now plan your  inspiring weekend!

Area   South East

Summer Arts Carnival – 14th July 2012 – Maidstone – Call For Artists – Stepping Stone Studios

Creative / Artist Wanted, Creative and Art Events

Stepping Stone Studios are holding an Arts Carnival on Museum Avenue , Maidstone, on the 14th of July. They are joining up with local businesses and want to involve the town’s art groups.  This is the call out to get stall holders and performers involved. 

They are thinking bunting, hot food, arts and crafts stalls, performance. If anyone has any suggestions simply pitch your ideas in!

Here are some things to get you started:

1. Pitches and Stalls going for £6! Be one of the 15 stalls taking part.

2. Ideas for entertainment / food / performance. Know any awesome musicians or street performers? Pass the details on – the more acts the better!

3. Exhibit over the week! With all the fuss of the carival, increased footfall and a summer of exciting events it’s pretty good exposure in town centre.

4. Fabric donations required! For bunting workshops to start in June!

The event will kick off at 12pm

Please get in touch via

Area – South East

Half An Hour At The Beach – Photography Feature By George Langridge


Every Friday I go out and take some photographs, usually based around a theme. My original theme this week was ‘anti-fun’, however this week I found myself at the beach with my camera, and no tripod. This is a far cry from the ‘anti-fun’ theme I was supposed to be basing my shooting around. So here are a few of my favourites from the trip. The rest are on my Flickr in beautiful full resolution.

Half An Hour At The Beach

By George Landridge

As I was walking along the path just off of the shingle, I noticed this little plant growing from the cement. I was almost amazed at how out of place this little group of plants looked. Just after I took this photograph a gentleman stood flat on the plant which must count as anti-fun, no?

Further along the beach I saw this sign, instantly it was ‘anti-fun’. Also further back I had seen a dead fish so it was almost ironic. I love the way that the sign points down along the length of the beach, and as you look further down the beach it looks ever more out of focus.

As we were walking along my sister found this little shell, which I instantly stole and took a photograph of, in that way that I do. This image shows everything to love about abandoned beaches; the wood, stones, sand and shells. The warmth of the photograph also makes the beach seem nicer than it actually was. In that half an hour the light changed very quickly.

Next weeks theme is “Education” – in which I will be teaching a fellow photographer how to use manual mode on a DSLR.

All full resolution photographs from “Half An Hour On The Beach are here.

By George Langridge


Attribution-NonCommercial-Sharealike (CC-BY-NC-SA) George Langridge

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Call For Artist / Creative – Exhibition In Orpington – July 2012

Creative / Artist Wanted, Creative Opportunities

Chloe Robinson is a young composer from Orpington in Kent who is currently planning an exhibition involving her recordings at the ArtStyle Gallery in Orpington.

Chloe plans to use a collage of voice recordings that reflect the way we discuss our life through social media and how we share  information about our private lives. She is looking for a creative person to collaborate with from any field – priority being that the space of the gallery is used in the most fulfilling way.

The gallery is already booked for 6 days from the 10th of July so all costs involved for hiring the gallery have been catered for. This is a fantastic opportunity for a creative to gain exposure of their work and experience the productivity a collaboration can bring.

If you are interested please email Chloe Robinson on

To find out more about Chloe visit

Area   South East

My Favourite Things – Building Confidence In Speaking – 1st June 2012 – 7PM

Creative and Art Events

“My Favourite Things” is an opportunity to discuss your favourite “things” to other people in a relaxed atmosphere over tea. Talk about things that inspire you! The aim is to strengthen your public speaking skills so that you can express yourself better as a freelancer. Or you can just listen and learn something new! If you are happy to present your favourite “thing” then just pick one “thing” and discuss it with others in the room. Be prepared for others to ask questions (you can always Google 😉

Subjects could include books, films, music, art, food, animals, people…anything you love talking about.

The event will be held at 161 High Street, Rochester, Kent, ME1 1EH on 1st June at 7pm

After the workshop many  local creatives will be going to “Moogie Wonderland” at the Singapora Lounge on Rochester High Street. Moogie Wonderland is an artist run club night.

  • Please note, our venue ( is a very old bank building that is being slowly shaped by a community of individuals for long-term Community Interest. Sadly the startup project is in its infancy and being run on limited funds so the building currently has some accessibility issues. If you have specific access or disability requirements and would like to participate in an event or activity please let us know at least 5 days before the event date so that we can do our utmost to resolve any potential problems to accommodate.

Medway Open Studios – 7th to 13th July 2012

Creative and Art Events

Medway Open Studios and Arts Festival is a community arts festival celebrating the wealth of creativity in Medway. The event will take place throughout the Medway towns between the 7th and 13th of July.

The festival will include work from a full spectrum of artists, including jewellery, sculptures, print, paint, photography, and performance. Over 70 local artists in total will open their doors to visitors displaying their work in various venues, including 26 artist studios and 11 creative spaces.

Guide available HERE

The festival aims to highlight the quantity of artistic talent in the area, promoting a positive opinion of Medway as a creative hub. In the future the festival hopes to become an established annual event.

Heather Burgess initiated the festival, and with 2012 as the first year, the response has been enthusiastic, turning an idea into a full time project.

Speaking about the event Heather says “In the past I’ve managed open studio events in London and have always thought Medway was a perfect place for such a festival, with so much going on in a comparatively small area. If you’re an artist, there’s a whole other world to Medway that you’re involved in which can go completely unseen by others. I wanted to open that side of Medway out to the general public and show more of what Medway has to offer. I hope that no matter if you are a regular customer or a complete novice to an open studios event, everyone can learn something that they didn’t know before about their community.”

Open studio festivals are successful across Britain, with the same central framework to each – local artists and craftspeople open their doors and invite the public into their homes, studios and workshops. It’s a great opportunity to learn first-hand how different art forms are shaped, talk to the artists about their craft and see the creative spaces in which art is made.

To view images from all of the 2012 participants please visit

Free festival guides can also be found at various venues in Medway and surrounding Kent.

Twitter @MwayOpenStudios or ‘Like’ the Facebook page and be entered into a raffle for £20 voucher to spend with any of the artists –

Area: South East

Garden Poetry Party – Launch of Rochester Literature Festival – 22nd July 2012 – Rochester – Kent

Creative and Art Events

A brand new festival for Rochester will launch in July under the banner of the Rochester Literature Festival.

With the inaugural Festival planned to coincide with National Poetry Day in October 2013, a number of fringe events will take place beforehand, the first of which is The Garden Poetry Party, on Sunday 22nd July, at Eastgate House Gardens.

Celebrated Medway Poet Bill Lewis will be joined by storyteller and founding RLF (Rochester Literature Festival) member Philip Kane, The James Worse Public Address Method and singer songwriters Abigail Zeiring-Delmado and Didi Bergman. Comperes for the afternoon will be stand up comics CO Jones and Mat Wills.

Among the entertainment will be at least one open mic session and a children’s creative corner, with more activities available for visitors to join in with.The event will take place between 12 noon and 4pm and there will be refreshments available to buy, courtesy of Dot Cafe, Sonya’s Cupcakes and The Cocktail Club.

Should it rain, the event will be held inside Eastgate House itself. A Medway Archive exhibition entitled ‘Metal Men of Medway’ is taking place inside at the same time, which looks at the stories of the art and memorials of Medway’s streets.

A number of book and craft stalls will also be in the garden. Enquiries on how to secure one can be made to

Promotions Director Jaye Nolan outlined the aims of the festival: “The Rochester Literature Festival wishes to bring writers, performers, directors, producers and film makers together, anyone, in fact, whose work has creative writing at its heart.

We’ll be looking for challenges and events, and the chance to collaborate with likeminded folk.

Rochester has a fantastic reputation for festivals incorporating dance, music and art, and, of course, our most celebrated author, Charles Dickens. We’re sure he would approve of a dedicated literature festival, especially one that will bring Medway’s huge variety of writers, old and new, to the fore.”

To keep up to date with all the news from the Rochester Literature Festival, visit their website here follow them on Twitter @RochLitFest  and like their Facebook page:

Area: South East

Billy Childish Art Exhibition – Historic Dockyard Chatham – 1st June to 30th September 2012

Creative and Art Events

Billy Childish is a local cult icon, internationally celebrated painter, writer and musician who was born in Chatham, Kent.  He has spent the last 35 years developing an impressive body of work that is staggering in both scope and scale. 

As a young man Billy Childish spent six months in 1976 working as an apprentice Stonemason in Chatham’s Dockyard, and in 2011 he returned to the Dockyard as its first official Artist in Residence. The culmination of this residency will be an exhibition of new paintings, drawings and prints at the Dockyard’s gallery – No.1 Smithery: The Gallery, whilst other work made during this period will be sent around the world and shown in solo exhibitions in London, Seoul, Berlin and then Los Angeles. 

Curated by London based Steve Lowe, the Dockyard exhibition – Frozen Estuary and Other Paintings of the Divine Ordinary – will also show a selection of Childish’s recorded and written work along with other background material relating to his life and times in the Medway area. 

The exhibition will be displayed in the NO.1 Smithery. For opening times please visit

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Join a French Theatre Company and be part of the Fuse Medway Festival 2012

Creative and Art Events, Creative Opportunities


As part of the annual outdoor festival’s commitment to the local Medway community, it is offering a very unusual opportunity to anyone up for a new challenge.  French theatre company Houdart-Heuclin is bringing their new piece of theatre to Medway and Fuse would like to bring a group of people together with the company to produce a stunning piece of outdoor entertainment.

If you’d like to try something new (you never know, you may discover a hidden talent) then do read on.  Fuse and Compagnie Houdart-Heuclin are looking to develop a ‘roving’ piece of theatre called ‘The Padox’, which will perform at the Festival during the weekend of the 15-17 June.  Workshops will take place at Gillingham Adult Education Centre from Wednesday 13th to Friday 15th  June (9.30am to 2.30pm) in preparation for the big weekend.  Participants will learn new skills from the renowned company such as theatre, singing, use of puppetry and other animation techniques. Best of all, they will play a crucial role in this year’s Festival.

The Padox have been developed by Compagnie Houdart-Heuclin and are an incredible collection of characters never seen before in the UK.  They perform everyday acts within the crowd, but they stand out and make us see our surroundings as never before.

Padox participants will appear at the Opening Parade on Friday 15th (4.30 – 5.30pm) will stroll around Chatham town centre on Saturday 16th at the Street Arts Day (12 noon to 5pm) and then wander through Rochester Castle Gardens on Sunday 17th (12 noon to 5pm) There will also be an opportunity for the group to work on a full show of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.

Participation is free and all those who fancy a challenge should contact Fuse’s Artistic Director Lélia Greci by emailing or by phoning her on 07594 578 646.  Places are limited, so please call by Wednesday 23rd May at the latest.

About Fuse

Happening over the weekend of 15-17 June, Fuse Medway Festival brings the very best artists together, taking the colourful and unusual onto the streets of Chatham, Rochester and Gillingham, bringing people together for fun and celebration. Events are free and no tickets are required.  For more information go to the website at or join them on Facebook or Twitter.

Area – South East