Chalk Up’s first meeting

Chalk Up

DAD_chalkup_1920x1080The first Chalk Up Culture and Tourism Meeting was held on 15 September 2015 at the education centre at Samphire Hoe.

There was a wood burning stove lit by Paul Holt when we arrived on a cold blustery and wet morning and fresh perculated coffee laid on by Chris Howitt of Spindrift Catering.

After an introduction by Sarah Dance, Director Culture Kent, DAD presented, with the help of Steve Hunt from Artsinform, it’s new 2-min promo by Dominic de Vere and Poesis Techne.


Joanna then went on to introduce CHALK UP:

CHALK UP is the umbrella for a series of projects that bring cultural events into heritage and tourist venues to enhance the experience for visitors.  The arts can illuminate and enhance  and engage visitors in a host of new and original ways. For example at the newly opened Fan Bay Shelter we carried out a Full Moon artist’s walk and drop-in drawing workshops in association with The National Trust as part of the Up on the Downs summer festival. The results for the participants was experiencing the shelter and the White Cliffs from entirely new perspectives. We are looking to expand the amount of visitors coming to Dover for cultural events and benefit the tourist economy of Dover. We are funded by the Arts Council and all our projects need to meet their requirements of art of excellence in a programme that includes the visual arts, poetry and music. Chalk Up is about creating a dynamic programme of events to enhance cultural tourism in Dover District.

We are projecting 7 of Matthias Koch’s Dover photographs  that he took 2 years ago as part of DAD’s War and Peace project. Matthias Koch was the student and later assistant of the late Bernd Becher who with his wife Hilla founded what has come to be known as the ‘Becher school’ influencing generations of documentary photographers and artists throughout the world. I am reminded looking at these photographs how successful the Tonkin Lui Esplanade has been and how the Harbour Board, County, District and Town are to be congratulated for adopting such a dynamic work of excellence mirroring the shape of the white cliffs themselves. It really goes to show how popular ambitious public art can become with residents and visitors alike, as long as the artists work is specific and sensitive to where it will be placed. We are full of hope for the new Up on the Downs partnership schemes gateway commission for an artists work to mark the footpath up to the White Cliffs from Athol Terrace. Something else one notices in Koch’s detailed photographs is how much has changed in the last 2 years and we all know how much more change is coming to Dover. It seems Dover has always been changing and that it is this that gives Dover its rich layered history, leaving remains from different times so inspirational for artists and visitors alike. During our Chalk Up pilot we would like to build an arts and tourism network that can initiate, cross promote and support events of artistic excellence in Dover that will also benefit the local economy. 

A full listing of the Chalk up programme can be found on the Chalk Up project page .

The meeting was then handed over to Jessica Wood, who has joined the project on the marketing side, to chair an open discussion with all participants asking for ideas and ways that culture could enhance tourism in Dover District and benefit the town and local businesses.

Based on this first discussion we will have some real proposals to introduce at our next chalk up meeting in the new Year.


Joanna Jones, Dover Arts Development
Clare Smith, Dover Arts Development
Jessica Wood, Artsinform Communications
Steve Hunt, Artsinform Communications
Sarah Dance, Culture Kent project director
Paul Holt, White Cliffs Countryside partnership
Sarah Corn, Museum Development Officer for Kent & Medway
Alyson Hudson, Corporate Social Responsibility Officer, Port of Dover
Diana Baldwin, Treasurer, Dover Town Council
Cllr Keith Morris, Cabinet member for Community, Community Safety & Tourism, Dover District Council
Richard Morsley, Director, Betteshanger Country Park
Sarah Brown, Museum & Heritage Manager, Betteshanger Country Park
Ruth Tyson, Up on the Downs partnership scheme
Martina White, Leader of Dover Big Local Economy Focus Group
Jon Iveson, Head of Museums & Tourism, Dover District Council