The Eastbourne Arts Circle, formerly known as The Friends of the Towner, has gone from testing times to outstanding success.
When the new Towner Gallery was built, the ‘Friends’, as they were then known, found themselves without a home for a long time.
But in the years since then, the organisation has been built up into one of Eastbourne’s finest and most active arts groups.
One Friday a month Eastbourne Arts Circle (EAC) present superb art talks by first class lecturers. These are so successful that they are always sold out weeks before.
EAC also presents many other events in all the arts including ballet, literature, music and song. These take place in the Birley Centre.
In 2015, EAC founded an important art bursary in memory of a respected committee member Geoffrey Williams. This bursary is now entering its third year and has been a great success with many young artists expressing their appreciation for the monetary help they have received.
Apart from the bursary, the Towner Gallery is the main recipient of EAC fund raising. Consequently the group has contributed £100,000 towards the building of an exciting new auditorium within the Towner gallery due to be completed in 2017.
Until recently, Elizabeth Muir-Lewis has been at the helm taking up the chairmanship when the organisation was going through some challenging times and was in need of modernising.
The new chairman is now Dr Helen Rufus-Ward together with Elizabeth continuing as vice-chairman. Today, becoming a member of the Eastbourne Arts Circle is to join a group of like-minded people who love the arts. Members can participate in many of the gallery activities, and also get a special discount on tickets for the events.
The organisation presents up to two or more events each month and prides itself of being a mini arts festival. Coming soon is a talk about English landscape painters by Dr Prasannajit De Silva, and after that a recital by Tenor Ben Johnson accomapnies by pianist James Southall.
Eastbourne Arts Circle has made great progress so far, and when the new auditorium is up and running this will mark even more exciting events to come. To join call secretary Christine Gawad on 01323 504086.
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