Chatham Intra Hub for Estuary Festival 2021
In June 2020, we were thrilled to learn that Sun Pier House in partnership with Intra Arts were awarded one of four ‘Creative Estuary Commissions’, becoming a lead partner for Estuary Festival 2021, part of Creative Estuary.
Exciting new cultural commission announced for Chatham Intra
Two Medway based creative businesses, Sun Pier House CIC and Intra Arts, have been commissioned to create a programme of events to explore the history and stories of the Chatham Intra region in Medway.
The funding has been awarded by Creative Estuary – a partnership of public sector and cultural organisations working together to transform 60 miles of the Thames Estuary across Essex and Kent into one of the most exciting cultural hubs in the world.
The Chatham ‘Intra’ area is an often overlooked part of Medway, where the Chatham and Rochester High Street’s meet. Now this stretch is to be featured within the Creative Estuary program as one of four sites to receive funding, with the others located in Gravesend, Southend and Tilbury. Each of the innovative Creative Estuary Commissions will reflect the history of each area, with the Thames Estuary linking the four sites. The inaugural commissions form a central part of Creative Estuary’s commitment to supporting the region’s artists and engaging its communities, to further connect them with the huge amount of creativity that exists in this part of the UK.
Heather Burgess, of Sun Pier House says “We are delighted that the Chatham Intra area is being highlighted as part of the Estuary Festival. Our arts building is based within the Intra area and it is an exciting opportunity to explore our High Street’s quirky history, which has always been a rich cultural mixing pot.”
Chatham and Rochester residents and members of the local community will be invited to take part in the creation of artwork reflecting on the changes witnessed by the ancient river, and what the future of this rapidly developing town holds. The organisers also aim to capture stories about the High Street from local people and businesses over the coming months, with a final festival weekend in Spring 2021. The Ebb and Flow Festival will culminate on 21st-23rd May 2021 – the same weekend as the 108th Medway Barge Match.
Announcing the new commissions, Emma Wilcox, Creative Estuary Director says: “As we grow the region’s potential as a cultural and creative hub, we are committed to supporting artists who live and work in the Estuary region. In everything we do for the Estuary, we want to capture imagination, change perceptions and provide opportunities. Over the next two years, Creative Estuary Commissions will further support a range of cultural projects, with new funding for producers and artists, from small-scale activity to large scale projects.” “
The Chatham Intra area, from Sun Pier to Star Hill, has also been recognised as a site of significant interest in Historic England’s High Street Heritage Action Zone programme. Medway Council have successfully secured £1.6 million of government funding to revitalise this area of the High Street and support a new cultural programme of activity.
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