DAD Fan Bay Moon Walk. Photo Sebastian Edge

A share of the £3million Cultural Destinations funding comes to Dover with the launch of Chalk Up - a scheme to bring the arts and tourism together in Dover.

Dover Arts Development (DAD) is pleased to announce the launch of Chalk Up, a one year pilot scheme designed to bring culture and tourism together in Dover District. The project is funded by Culture Kent, a project that was awarded over £300K by Arts Council England and Visit England as part of their £3million Cultural Destinations programme. Chalk Up is the third in a series of pilot schemes in Kent to test out how culture can boost tourism and business in the county.

The cultural tourism formula is straight-forward. Visitors come to see cultural events and visit galleries and museums, they eat in restaurants and stay in hotels and shop locally. So by investing in culture you invest in the regeneration of towns. The lead organisation of Culture Kent is Turner Contemporary, a gallery that shows how successful the arts can be in boosting local economy as the Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said: "Turner Contemporary is a fantastic success story - it has welcomed 1.6 million visitors from home and abroad, bringing in £40million to the local economy. It is not only helping the ongoing regeneration of Margate but it is also enriching lives by engaging people in the arts." Turner Contemporary is working with Visit Kent and partners to bring culture and tourism together through pilot activity, a data pool, cultural tourism research and knowledge sharing.

Two major projects that Chalk Up is involved with are Weathertime, a cross-channel arts project where artists on both sides of the channel document the weather over a thirty-day period. The result will be a film that will be shown with a live performance and later installed in a key tourism venue. The other project is an exhibition in summer 2016 of work by the Joined Up artists. The Joined Up project brings museums, heritage and the arts together: joining up contemporary artists with WW1 history. Dover Arts Development is leading this project with partners from the Dover Museums and Arts Group (DMAG). This major exhibition and concert will mark the opening of the new visitors centre and future mining museum at the Betteshanger Country Park on the redeveloped Betteshanger colliery site.

Sarah Dance, Project Director Culture Kent, said: “Culture Kent is an exciting three year programme and we are delighted that DAD are leading on one of the pilot projects. We look forward to helping local cultural organisations and tourism businesses work together to maximize the benefits for local people and the local economy.”

Sandra Matthews-Marsh, Chief Executive Visit Kent, said: “Kent is famous for its magnificent heritage offer - now with a growing number of exciting cultural developments, events and activities. Our aim is to position Kent as a leading cultural destination and to attract a new sector of the tourism market.”

Jessica Wood, director of leading arts agency Artsinform Communications Ltd. has been appointed to coordinate marketing and public relations for Chalk Up.  An initial programme of events has been drawn up and is available to see at

Invitation for partners: Local tourism businesses and cultural organisations are invited to get in touch with Chalk Up directly to discuss possible partnership and to attend events.

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1. Dover Arts Development

Dover Arts Development is an artist-led organisation that instigates projects of excellence within the visual arts, poetry and music in Dover District, across South East England and Europe. Set up in 2005 by two leading artists, DAD now works with a range of business partners including Culture Kent, Turner Contemporary, Jasmin Vardimon Company, University for the Creative Arts, Dover Museums and Arts Group (DMAG), Up On The Downs Landscape Partnership, Port of Dover, National Trust, Kent County Council, Dover District Council, Dover Big Local and Dover Town Council. Supporting artists’ practice and stimulating cultural activity are at the core of DAD’s work.

“We aim, with values of inclusiveness, thoughtful partnership and emotional responsibility, to strengthen communities and widen perspectives through creative thinking and actions.” Clare Smith and Joanna Jones, Co-Directors, Dover Arts Development.

DAD is joint custodian, with Dover Museum, of The Dover Cultural Survey and Framework prepared by muf art/architecture consultants and which provides the guidelines and principles for the delivery of projects and activities that enrich the cultural life of the town. In this role DAD acts as an advocate for arts and culture.

DAD have proved themselves to be a trusted partner that has worked tirelessly to enhance the Arts and Cultural scene in Dover through active engagement with the Community.”   Nadeem Aziz   Chief Executive (Dover District Council)

DAD was awarded £14,000 by Culture Kent for the Chalk Up project.

2. Culture Kent
Culture Kent is a three-year region-wide project, led by Turner Contemporary with Visit Kent, funded by Arts Council England and Visit England as part of the Cultural Destinations programme. Culture Kent’s vision is to increase the reach of our world-class cultural institutions and to reposition Kent as the UK’s creative county. Their overarching vision is to promote Kent as a national and international cultural destination. Over the three years, they aim to:

• Showcase Kent’s cultural assets and extend its reach by attracting new audiences as well as first time and accidental attenders.

• Create new strategic relationships between the cultural and tourism sectors in order to drive economic growth.

• Develop the information and knowledge core that strengthens the Kent Cultural Tourism offer.

The project involves a large number of partners and stakeholders including arts and cultural organisations, tourism businesses and local authorities, and a range of activities, including; cultural tourism research, pilot project activity in key locations, data collation, knowledge-sharing and training.

Culture Kent was awarded £300,500 in January 2014 from the Cultural Destinations programme; a £3million initiative that forms part of a three year partnership between Arts Council England and Visit England.

3. The Chalk Up Programme 2015-2016

Artistic excellence is at the heart of Chalk Up’s projects and there is an ambitious series of events to look out for:

Joined Up Exhibition. Ten artists are each allocated one of Dover’s museums and heritage sites where they research and re-interpret historical artefacts relating to World War One.

Weathertime. For this cross-channel project, selected artists in England, France and Belgium create a visual diary of the weather across the ‘maritory’ of the Straits of Dover during a 30 day period.  The artworks produced will be made into a film to be screened at The Port of Dover.

Gateway to the White Cliffs of Dover. An exciting commission to create a work of art to transform the entrance to the path up to Dover’s iconic cliffs from Dover town.

Fan Bay Shelter Tunnels art events in the recently uncovered Fan Bay tunnels include drawing workshops and an artist-led night tour.

Land & Sea Exhibition of rarely seen paintings on loan from the Port of Dover in the Royal Cinq Ports Yacht Club.

Betteshanger. A major site-specific and cross-platform exhibition and concert to mark the opening of the £40million redevelopment of this important Kent heritage site.

Culture meets tourism events. Events where arts organisations meet representatives from tourism businesses to chalk up ideas of how the two industries can work together to create arts projects of excellence to help drive the economy of Dover District.

Press Contact:  Jessica Wood, Artsinform 07939 226988


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