Creative Crawley Presents the Right Here Festival

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Taking place in a shop in County Mall, the Museum, online and on the streets of Crawley, this two-day festival will showcase the talent and creativity of the town in more than 20 events.

From DJing on doorsteps to audio tours, to storytelling for toddlers and sing-a-long for people with dementia, from writing to photography to a light sculpture installation, the festival represents and caters to the diverse talents and tastes of the community, as well as curious audiences from elsewhere in the online programme.

Curated by Crawley born-and-raised Louise Blackwell and West Sussex artist Sinead Emery, the festival is split into four sections:

Happenings: events happening all over town, including 12 new light sculptures, a stunning visual art window display entirely made of donated objects, an audio tour with recorded stories about local people’s favourite walks, a history of the music of Crawley and live streamed poetry and music.

Workshops: interactive sessions for people of all ages, from storytelling for toddlers, creative writing for mums of young children and sing-a-longs for people with dementia

Talks & Film: young people including Crawley Community Youth Services and Manor Green College have created films to be shown online, and creatives of Crawley including actress Grace Saif (Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why) and drag queen Seb Livingstone will talk about what inspires them and how they got into a career in the arts.

In Your Home: live music streamed direct to your home from Songbirds Virtual Choir and Dormans Youth Arts Centre, and DJing taking place across at least ten different streets in the town. There will also be a recipe of the day to follow along with, and the Crawley Camera Club share their 2020 images.

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Speaking about the festival, participating artist Sarah Maple said “Crawley has especially taken a hit during 2020 so I am really excited to have this festival as something to lift our spirits and get our creativity flowing. We have a lot of community spirit and talent here and I can’t wait to see it shine!”

Katie Gledhill, Principal Librarian – “We know that Crawley has been really hard hit by the pandemic and so the positive investment in the town, that Creative Crawley and the Right Here Festival represent, feels urgent, hopeful and very welcome.”

Vicki Illingworth, Principal, Crawley College and Creative Crawley advisory group member “The Right Here Festival is an exciting and innovative showcase of arts and culture across Crawley. There are so many creative, skilled and talented groups and individuals in our community, Creative Crawley is passionate about showcasing breadth and depth of artistry and opening imaginative opportunities to engage more people. The programme is vibrant and dynamic – we’re looking forward to January!”

Creative Crawley is a grouping of local stakeholders who aim to place creativity at the heart of Crawley. The town has faced significant challenges in 2020, in part because of its links to the fortunes of the airline industry; the festival will celebrate the spirit and resilience of its people, connecting local organisations such as libraries, youth groups and shops to benefit the wider community.

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