Spring Newsletter 2020

A Spring Newsletter for a new decade and a world in the middle of a pandemic.

We are thrilled to announce that our bid to Arts Council England’s Covid19 emergency fund for 6 months of activity was successful.

With one founding director seriously ill & both founding directors getting older, Dover Arts Development (DAD) urgently needs to consider its legacy & undertake succession planning.

What we do in the next 6 months will evidence DAD’s collaborative, porous structure through direct experience and help identify successors who will safeguard DAD’s future, affirm DAD’s ongoing strategic & partnership work & continued delivery of collaborative projects.

In itself the virus holds no moral brief but it has brought the world to a halt. In this lockdown period between the world as we knew it and an as yet unknown post-Covid-19 world, we have a chance to imagine afresh our communities, ecologies and environment and the role the arts play in that vision.

Our activities & joint & individual discussions will raise awareness of DAD as a network resource & support structure, and consider how DAD’s advocacy for the arts & dynamic artistic vision for Dover can be sustained.

We aim to set the criteria for a collaborative framework going forward that upholds DAD’s mission statement, strengthens DAD’s ethos & secures DAD’s existence for the next decade. We set DAD up to create a world that we could understand and feel at home in, a world filled with art and artists. Now we are looking for artists who will bring new ideas & innovation to the DAD project and business model, while remaining true to the ethos of collaboration, inclusivity & relevance, acknowledgement & generosity: practitioners who see DAD as a potential vehicle to realise their dreams and ambitions for Dover and have as much fun as we have had over the last 12 years.

Being unable to use our physical spaces (i.e. the residency space for visiting artists and the Dover Urban Room for salons & meetings), we will move to online spaces & develop & expand our digital capability to deliver our programme:

DAD are joint custodians of the Dover Cultural framework with Dover Museum. Together we will be working on updating the Dover Cultural Framework, extending it to the whole of Dover District & setting guidelines & strategy for the next decade.

We will engage locally and hyper-locally in a series of Zoom salons, bringing together artists, thinkers, residents & representatives of organisations for curated conversations about collaboration and ongoing partnership working, the role of a local arts organisation post Covid-19, climate change, a changing world, creative resilience & environmental responsibility.

We will support artists through these challenging times by providing opportunities & outlets for their work & connection with other artists. Our new Instagram hashtag #covid19artistsathome has already attracted well over 1000 followers worldwide.

We will be working with artist Louisa Love on DAD ARTISTS AT HOME. She will be inviting artists who have worked with DAD over the last 12 years to share their lockdown activity in the form of videos, photos and/or text to be featured & promoted via DAD’s website and social media platforms.

We are delighted that Alice Bryant is coming back to CHALKUP21. She will be asking for contributions of photos, poems, videos featuring the CHALKUP21 Art & Architecture coastal trail from Folkestone to Deal for posting to the CHALKUP21 Facebook page & Instagram. Among other things encouraging people to share their photos and videos taken while on their “permitted daily exercise” along the trail on instagram, using the hashtag #chalkup21 and tagged @dover_arts @chalkup21

We will be commissioning 3 curators to curate 3 online exhibitions to be promoted through our website and social media platforms. Once venues open again there is potential for these to be physical exhibitions.

We will be working on an online DOVER PRINTFEST with Future Foundry & the Dover Studio Collective. The printfest is part of the 8th Fete de l’Estampe. Working with Future Foundry will enable us to share resources and jointly develop and nurture talent. We will run 2 artist-led Zoom print workshops and show work via #DoverPrintFest on Instagram.

Once again we will be delivering the annual family-friendly DOVER BIG DRAW with Dover Big local. Participants will be invited to respond to the Climate of Change theme and to upload their drawings to Instagram using the #DoverBig Draw hashtag and tagging @dover_arts and @dover.big.local. The drawings will be used to create an animation and printed drawings will be made into zines.

For now Keep well and Stay safe and please do get in touch if there is anything you would like to talk with us about.

Clare and Joanna