A new family friendly extravaganza of festivities is taking place on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th April, when the area surrounding Sun Pier in Chatham will come alive with arts and culture between 11am and 5pm each day.
Overlooking the pier, Sun Pier House is opening the doors to the new Sun Pier Gallery and Tearoom for the first time. With panoramic river views, it’s set to become a scenic retreat in the busy town centre and will launch with a large exhibition of work by the 15 resident artists: ‘Presenting, Sun Pier House’ will incorporate a variety of art, craft and fashion.
The weekend also 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. On dry land you’ll find the inaugural Sun Pier Arts Market, a new outdoor market 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. It’s a weekend not to be missed!
For enquiries please contact Heather Burgess on 01634 812 805 or email@example.com
In the past two years, the Medway art scene has seen a massive boom of activity in the west end of Chatham, with Sun Pier House, Printed Wonders, Coalshed Press and the Nucleus Hub all based there. This is set to expand further, with news that Medway Council was successful in its bid for funding from the Coastal Communities Fund. Granted £598,525, the council bid states:
“This project aims to drive the regeneration of Rochester and Chatham High Street by developing business units within existing but currently redundant space around Sun Pier House and The Arches. The area will be provided with incubation space and social enterprise support provision for cultural/creative industries. The project aims to stimulate activity in the creative arts and provide specialist training for the unemployed through an innovative “Art for Work” programme, providing access to employment in this growing business sector.”
For join in a conversation about the fund, search #coastalcommunitiesfund on Twitter.
Guest blog by Stephen Jenner of GDS Productions.
The Kent Parent Carer Forum SEN children were special guests of Gillingham Dramatic Society Productions sell out production of Jack and the Beanstalk at the Brook Theatre during half term.
Special arrangements were made for the children and their careers to attend the Thursday Matinee, leading the chairperson of The Kent Parent Carer Forum to say: “A massive thank you to GDS Productions for making the day a success and enjoyable for the children”.
Bright and colourful costumes, amazing dancing and one-liners that appealed to all ages were just some of the lovely comments received from the public after the performances.
Madam Mayor, Cllr. Josie Iles, who attended the Friday evening show and thoroughly enjoyed herself, needed no encouragement to join in with the clapping and laughing. She particularly enjoyed the joke at Medway Council’s expense: The Dame said “that the Beanstalk needs chopping down, so she instructed Simon to contact Medway Council and get it cut down immediately.” To which Simon replied: “You’ll be lucky – it’s Medway Council, you’ll be waiting months!”
GDS Productions now move onto their next production which will be Hairspray, in October at the Hazlitt theatre, Maidstone. Keep up to date with them on their Facebook page.
A wonderful side effect from my involvement in the Rochester Literature Festival, was being asked by one of our exhibiting artists, Richard Jeferies, to write for his soon-to-be-published charity book, Goth on my Keyboard.
The Goth character has an adoring public on Facebook and beyond, and is now using her celebrity to publicise a good cause close to home. Myself and fellow writer, Alison Eley, have responded to Richard’s brilliant drawings and character in this book, and Richard himself also adds emotive words to his images, as well as deliver the short and sweet cartoons that are GOMK’s usual platform. It’s a true life mix of humour and poignancy and frankly, well worth your time to read it. I’m thrilled and honoured to be a part of it.
Most of us are free to express ourselves in any way we see fit, whether through our choice of music, art, or the way we dress. Sadly, even these days, there are those who seek to destroy anything they don’t understand, or like, or is different, and Sophie Lancaster paid the worst possible price for this.
The book is now published and all the proceeds go to the S.O.P.H.I.E Lancaster Foundation, a charity set up to help fight hate crimes, following the horrifying attack that led to her death. Kicked to death for looking different. In the 21st century, in a civilised, mainly tolerant society, how can this happen? The book, including VAT, costs just £2.39: Please buy it by downloading from the link, and aid this cause in the following aims:
- To create a lasting legacy to Sophie.
- To provide educational group-works that will challenge the prejudice and intolerance towards people from alternative subcultures.
- To campaign to have the UK Hate Crime legislation extended to include people from alternative subcultures or Lifestyle and Dress.
To find out more about the S.O.P.H.I.E Lancaster Foundation, visit the website here.
Stamp Out Prejudice, Intolerance and Hatred Everywhere. Thank you.