Discovering Crawley Stories on walks around town

An innovative new podcast series has been created with Crawley-based teenagers and local multidisciplinary artists.
Crawley Stories: Crawley teenager Ellee, right multidisciplinary artist Sarah PimentaCrawley Stories: Crawley teenager Ellee, right multidisciplinary artist Sarah Pimenta
Crawley Stories: Crawley teenager Ellee, right multidisciplinary artist Sarah Pimenta

Rachel Bellman, marketing manager for Theatre Centre, a charity that has just recently moved to Crawley, explained: “The project, Crawley Stories, is the first collaboration between three Crawley-based organisations, Creative Crawley, Crawley’s Creative Playground and Theatre Centre.

“Crawley Stories is a series of six podcast episodes made in collaboration with local teenagers and Sussex and Surrey-based professional creatives. The podcast explores young people’s thoughts, feelings and memories of their local area as they walk with the creatives on journeys around Crawley.”

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The podcast series is released weekly until December 14. More details on www.theatre-centre.co.uk/collaborations/crawley-stories; www.creativecrawley.com; and www.creativeplaygroundcrawley.com.

“Alongside the podcast, each creative has made an artwork inspired by their conversations and walks around Crawley

“The young people all live and go to school or college in Crawley, and they were each paired with a local creative. The podcast encompasses everything from their walk to school, the places they hang out, where they go for some peace and quiet and the places they feel most alive and connected. These journeys have unearthed how they feel about their hometown, the world around them, their hopes and what they feel is important.

“Crawley Stories is the first collaboration between Creative Crawley, Crawley’s Creative Playground and Theatre Centre. It also marks Theatre Centre’s first local project since they moved their base to Crawley and became the first Arts Council National Portfolio organisation to relocate from London through the Transfer programme.”

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Theatre Centre’s artistic director Rob Watt said, “It has been magical walking through Crawley with young people and artists. It has reshifted perspectives, eroded assumptions and helped us see the town in a new light.”

Crawley teenager Iffat said: “Being part of Crawley Stories was a phenomenal experience. Being able to have genuine conversation with another creative whilst showing them some memorable places in town was so special. I’m excited that people will be able to hear our conversation and perhaps relate to us and understand Crawley a little bit more.”

Creative Crawley is an arts charity championing creative people and making positive social change through the arts in Crawley.

A spokesman said: “We do this through collaboration, innovation and co-creation. We produce an annual programme of activities that happen in many spaces involving local, national and international creative workers. Our main objective is to celebrate Crawley as a creative place beyond its boundaries, supporting the people who live, work and learn in the town through creativity. We create unexpected experiences that make residents proud of where they come from and encourage them to try new things. We promote community spirit and act as the bridge between people and creative events and activities.

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Creative Playground is a new arts project in Crawley set up to engage more local people in arts and culture led by Manor Royal Business Improvement District and a consortium of other local organisations including Crawley LGBTQU+ and The Hawth. It is funded as part of Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places Programme and managed by Creative Crawley.

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