Cash boost to help Crawley stage large-scale cultural event

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A grant has been awarded to enable Crawley to stage a large-scale inclusive cultural event at the end of the year.

Crawley Borough Council has been awarded £12,580 by Arts Council England.

Creative producer Same Sky has been commissioned to deliver the high quality event created exclusively for Crawley and reflecting the town as a whole.

CHIME, taking place on Saturday November 24 from 2-5.30pm in the Memorial Gardens and town centre, brings together communities to ‘celebrate their common values and shared experiences’.

Drawing on rich influences, and using a unifying theme of light, the council says that CHIME will build a new, shared language for civic celebration in Crawley.

In a statement, the council says: “Many cultures have light festivals or references to light in community narratives and celebrations in winter months. CHIME will explore the common use of bells and sounds to produce a project that ‘chimes’ with the multicultural civic identity and will bring a new and bespoke event to Crawley. CHIME will incorporate the compass points north, south, east and west and how they relate to the people of Crawley.”

The event will also incorporate the turning on of the lights on the 40ft Queens Square Christmas tree.

Chris Mullins, Cabinet member for Wellbeing, said: “This Arts Council England funding will help us create an exciting event that builds on our thriving cultural offer. We’re looking forward to highlighting how the arts can be used to bring diverse communities together and celebrate.

“We hope it will be a genuine community celebration, showcasing the creativity and talent that exists in Crawley. There are a number of ways the local community can get involved from taking part in creative workshops or participating in the parade.”

The project will work with event partners and town centre cultural hubs, Crawley Library and Crawley Museum, and include the training and support of local artists.

Local group Diverse Crawley will be commissioned to provide food tasting sessions.

Following workshops in primary and secondary schools and community venues, Same Sky will co-ordinate a family parade featuring large, lit puppets that wind their way around the town centre followed by an afternoon of performances by community artists on the newly refurbished bandstand in Memorial Gardens.

The event will finish with a firework display.

Community workshops will take place between October 22-26 and in schools during November.

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