©Pete Jones

ABCD Activity Round-Up: May 2022

As we take a breath and start thinking about what comes next, it’s a good moment to summarise what’s been achieved so far.

The ABCD Cultural Recovery programme has come to an end of an intense period of activity, with 10 projects delivering in person and online, employing over 100 artists and creative freelancers, with 1000’s of people enjoying events like Third Thursdays and the Tarner Community Glow Festival.

As we take a breath and start thinking about what comes next, it’s a good moment to summarise what’s been achieved so far.


Delivered in partnership with the Brilliant Brighton Business Improvement District

The finale of Third Thursdays Brighton on 21 April was a fitting end to the pilot season.  Videoclub delivered five brilliant evenings, with the signature Film Trail leading ever larger crowds – Pied Piper like – through the lanes and forgotten places of the city centre.

“The event is fantastic, to be out with people experiencing culture in a safe way post Covid, with an eclectic mix of ideas and films.”

New work was commissioned from Brighton artists including Thomas Buckley and Seb Lee-Delisle, and community partners included Brighton Youth Centre, Little Green Pig, Oska Bright Film Festival and Creative Futures.  Thanks to the businesses who hosted activity, and the cultural partners who added to the Third Thursday programme including Fabrica, CCA, Phoenix and Brighton Royal Pavilion & Museum.  Sign up to the newsletter to hear about future plans.

Enliven Brighton Art Trail – The final piece of wall art – by Lee Eelus on the wall of Gresham Blake – is now complete, after a Covid interruption, so if you haven’t walked the trail yet, now is the time to do it.  The full map is on the Brilliant Brighton website and you can enjoy it right through the summer.



The Igniter Event Series has now concluded after four thought provoking events with a fascinating range of speakers.  All the recordings, along with individual speaker spotlights, are on the Culture in Our City YouTube channel.  Check out Bonnie Greer who was brilliant!  Her call to “Find your place and look after your place” really resonated.

The Creativity & Meanwhile Use sessions looked at the opportunities offered by pop-ups and other temporary use of space from all perspectives – including some really interesting insights from property owners and developers.  The recordings are on YouTube and a detailed toolkit is free to access on Culture in Our City.  There is also a Facebook group where people can continue the discussion.

The REGROUP ‘n’ RENEW Leadership Support Programme cohort have been meeting regularly and you can read about this exciting group of Brighton creatives on Culture in Our City.

The Brighton Creative Stories campaign created five short films featuring Audio Active, Afrori Books, ONCA Gallery, Marlborough Productions and Brighton Digital Festival.  Please help to share these great stories from the city with your networks and on social media.  They can all be found on Culture in Our City.

The refreshed Culture in Our City website itself has been live since March.  We hope you’ve noticed the changes and would really appreciate your thoughts via this quick survey.



The Alternative Tours of Brighton & Hove, developed by Sussex Dance Network, explored the city from perspectives not usually placed centre stage.  Local artists Ebony Rose Dark, Ram Samocha, Anna Des Clayes and Angela El-Zenid worked communities to foreground the experiences of visual impaired people, wheelchair users, refugees and mothers.

There are videos of all the tours on YouTube and Through the Senses also featured on ITV Meridan news on 13 March.

Community-led Events DevelopmentTarner Community Project marked the end of winter with their first Glow Festival in Tarner Park on Saturday 26 March, based around the theme of Light.  The event was led by local young people, working with Audio Active, South East Dance and others, and celebrated their creativity and achievements in the heart of their local community.

Safe & Equal Brighton – Born out of a discussion held by the cultural network What Next Brighton & Hove, and led by Co-Artistic Director of The Spire Faith Dodkins, this pilot project brought together women from across the creative & cultural sector and across the city, to discuss how to ensure safety for women working in the arts in Brighton & Hove.  A draft toolkit has been developed and there was a training session for night time economy partners delivered by A Good Night Out.  If you’re like to find out more, email Ewelina Gomola at [email protected]



We’re delighted to say that our partners at the council have been successful with an application to Coast to Capital LEP for funding from their Regional Projects Business Case Development fund to support the Space to Grow strand.  The funding will support a working group and significant research and evidence gathering to help articulate the need and build the case for support for creative space in the city.  Applications to join the working group have just closed and watch this space to see who will be tasked with taking this important issue forward.

So, as you can see we’ve been really busy!  An evaluation report on the programme so far will be ready in June and we are holding a Review & Reset meeting on 15 June, open to all, to discuss where next for culture in our city and how we get there.  Please get involved.


Polly Gifford

ABCD Programme Manager