Eastbourne arts hub gets £70,000 boost

Berlin-based sculptor Ana Rajcevic
Berlin-based sculptor Ana Rajcevic

An Eastbourne arts hub has secured more than £70,000 new funding to support the town’s cultural regeneration with an ambitious new arts programme.

Seaside-based Devonshire Collective is announcing the launch of a new exciting 16-month arts programme kicking off with a major exhibition of wearable sculpture by Berlin-based sculptor Ana Rajcevic (21 Oct-12 Nov) and the first in a series of Digital Weekenders (25-26 Nov)

– both curated by Ashford-based choreographers AΦE.

Threshold, the result of a successful bid for more than £55,000 funding from Arts Council England together with £15,000 from Devonshire West Big Local, will include an ambitious performance and visual arts programme, support events, and two workshops for the growing number of artists living and working locally.

There will be a new series of artist commissions to animate the town.

The programme aims to reveal a lively community of young families, professionals, and creatives who have an appetite for alternative and quirky art and culture, linking to the regeneration programme of Devonshire Ward and Seaside.

Devonshire Collective is providing a much-valued hub for the local creative community; to date supporting more than 100 artists and helping them to raise more than £15,000 for community projects.

Audiences of up to 2,500 have enjoyed exhibitions such as Animazing Children’s TV and the recent Seaside Steam Press printmaking event.

All of this has been made possible only through Devonshire Collective’s support to local people, helping them from start to finish to make things happen.

The funding has come as a result of Devonshire Collective’s hard work in responding to the needs of residents and local creative community.

Adrian Ley, Chair of the Devonshire Collective CIC Directors said, “This programme is a vital part of our project to help regenerate this part of Eastbourne. It will enable us continue to reach out to, engage with and really involve the wider community.”

Devonshire Collective’s Programme Development Manager Amy Zamarripa-Solis said, “The programme is fun, surprising and action-packed, ranging from new comedy by the loveable Jo Neary, explosive live and electronic music from pioneers including Tim Exile, alongside film, dance, talks and other performances.

“We will offer workshops for all ages such as tinkering with electronics and Lego and making glow-in-the-dark parade pieces for Boho Festival.

“Visitors will love playing with new sound art installation made by local young people and exploring other art interventions throughout the neighbourhood.

“Our thriving and inclusive artist network will also get a huge boost. The funding recognises the important but challenging work we are doing on the ground to support Eastbourne’s artists professionally and artistically.”

Devonshire Collective was established in 2016, when Eastbourne Borough Council and Eastbourne Housing Investment Company supported the transformation of three of its properties on Seaside Road and Seaside.

The resulting creative spaces were leased to the Devonshire Collective Community Interest Company for the benefit of artists and the community. With Britain’s seaside towns having been in decline for decades, economic regeneration remains high on Government and Local Government agendas.