Chichester Culture Spark 2022: Community celebrates a wonderful season of events to mark the birthdays of many cultural venues
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By strange coincidence, 2022 marked the various anniversaries of some of our most beloved cultural institutions in the Chichester district. Our fabulous Chichester Festival Theatre reached its 60th birthday; the Festival of Chichester and the Novium Museum each celebrated ten glorious years; Pallant House Gallery unveiled its 40th magnificent season; we recorded 30 years of Chichester Cinema at New Park’s international film festival; and 200 years of the Canal Trust was a milestone of historic proportions. For good measure it was also 75 years since the National Trust acquired Petworth House. Even your Chichester Observer – which has faithfully reported on the activities of all these organisations – had a birthday of its own. The newspaper was founded 135 years ago on the occasion of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.
How appropriate it was then that all these wonderful venues came together – along with many others – to create Culture Spark 2022 and present an unrivalled series of events open to the whole community to formally mark these many and varied birthdays. Chichester District Council was especially supportive – how fortunate we are to have a local authority that prioritises the arts in this way.
As the season came to a close, cake was cut, wine was drunk, speeches were given, and it was time to reflect on a terrific year, to thank everyone who had made it possible and to look to the future. There was also the chance to enjoy a private view of Glyn Philpot: Flesh and Spirit at Pallant House.
Caroline Sharman-Mendoza, Creative Co-ordinator of Culture Spark said there had been a huge range of events during the season. “We had a lantern procession that went through the city, we’ve had a photography exhibition of volunteers, an artist in residence at Denmans Garden … and the year has been about local artists coming together. Probably the centre point has been The Art in Chichester exhibition at the Novium which explored the last 60 years.
"What we are excited about is what is going to happen next. This is definitely the beginning for Culture Spark because what has happened this year has been all these partnerships – and it has got people realising that if you do it together you can do more.”
The celebration followed a huge literary event at Chichester Cathedral on Thursday, October 13, when international No.1 bestseller Kate Mosse launched her new book: Warrior Queens and Quiet Revolutionaries; How Women (also) built the world.
Read Phil Hewitt’s interview with Kate Mosse about her new book https://www.sussexexpress.co.uk/whats-on/arts-and-entertainment/chichesters-kate-mosse-explores-how-women-also-built-the-world-in-major-new-book-3853506
See the difference the artist in residence made at Denmans Garden https://www.sussexexpress.co.uk/arts-and-culture/art/how-the-extraordinary-magic-of-one-of-sussexs-finest-gardens-has-inspired-a-compelling-new-exhibition-3855793