Chichester anniversaries and cultural celebration
A season of events, performances, live entertainment and community projects will be held in 2022 to celebrate culture in Chichester District.
Culture Spark aims to give everyone – including every child – the chance to participate in a cultural experience, and celebrate multiple milestones of some of its cultural organisations.
Celebrations will be taking place to recognise 60 years of Chichester Festival Theatre, 40 years of Pallant House Gallery, 30 years of Chichester Cinema at New Park’s International Film Festival, 10 years of The Novium Museum and the Festival of Chichester and 200 years of the Canal Trust. All the organisations will be holding their own events as part of the season.
Culture Spark will also bring together a wide variety of community groups, individuals, the university, colleges and schools from across the district to celebrate Chichester’s cultural offering.
It will showcase work by the next generation of local creatives and reach into the community to give everyone a chance to participate – thanks to initial investment into the project from Chichester District Council, Chichester Festival Theatre and Pallant House Gallery.
Caroline Sharman-Mendoza, Creative co-ordinator, says: “Culture Spark heralds a wonderful opportunity to harness the extraordinary supply of local talent and community spirit in our part of West Sussex. We also hope to animate our town centres and draw in visitors from further afield with a number of free, headline events called ‘Ignite!
“We are embracing those that already form part of our rich cultural heritage such as the summer festival in Petworth, Denmans Garden, The Weald and Downland Living Museum and individual creative artists by inviting them to join us as Bright Sparks.”
Culture Spark events – names, dates and details
Events will take place throughout the district from March to October, starting with First Spark! in Chichester, Midhurst and on the Manhood peninsular which promises teasing cultural tasters.
The Carnival of Lights event will take place on the evening of Friday 10th June. This will involve a parade of lanterns created by local schools, groups and artists from across the district, moving through the streets of central Chichester to the Canal Basin for a waterside extravaganza of music and dance, culminating in a canal-side festival of food.
Other lantern parades, events and festivities will take place in Petworth, the Witterings, Midhurst and elsewhere across the district later in the summer as ‘Homecoming Light’ events with further music and festive celebration.
A photographic exhibition ‘We the People’ will also be held to celebrate the generosity and commitment of the many volunteers who devote vital time and expertise to the district’s cultural organisations and events. Led by Chichester College’s photography and media students, the exhibition will open at Petworth House during Volunteer Week. It will then tour around the district and will be displayed at Midhurst Old Library, Chichester Cathedral and the Witterings. Each photographic panel will be accompanied by audio interviews with the volunteers about their work.
Cllr Roy Briscoe, Cabinet Member for Community Services and Culture at Chichester District Council said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase and celebrate what our cultural organisations and partnerships offer.
“We are so lucky to live in a location that has such a rich and diverse offering of cultural and heritage experiences, as well as internationally renowned organisations. After what has been has been a very challenging couple of years, we are hoping that these events will bring a spark of excitement to the district.”
Event contact information
People who want to host their own creative event as part of Culture Spark and businesses/individuals interested in support or sponsorship opportunities, contact [email protected]
The full programme will be announced later this spring. For more information, visit www.thegreatsussexway.org/culture-spark-2022