Some 250 guests from the communities of culture, heritage, local charities, business and education gathered in Horsham’s Capitol Theatre to enjoy an evening of live entertainment and film to launch the start of the Horsham District Year of Culture 2019 on Wednesday evening (September 27).
The County Times is the official media partner for The Year of Culture which will feature a key event for each month of 2019, taking place somewhere across the district to celebrate the many facets of culture that make Horsham district unique.
As well as the monthly key event, there will be an extensive programme of Year of Culture fringe events which will be promoted and celebrated.
The official launch event featured a specially commissioned film celebrating what the Horsham district has to offer culturally which received a great response.
The film posed the question ‘What is culture?’ to numerous members of the public and the results were the foundation of the footage which can be viewed above and on the Year of Culture website, www.hdculture2019.co.uk.
Live entertainment included performances from a host of local talent including celebrated violinist Andrew Bernardi, fire dancer Lady Alex “Bound”, vocalist Julie Stardust,a dance routine featuring digital visuals by award winning games studio Creative Assembly, a reading of Hilaire Belloc’s “The South Country” by James Dinsmore and a sketch starring James Bolam and Susan Jameson.
The evening ended with an address by local children’s laureate Julia Donaldson MBE who is the Patron of the Year of Culture.
As the project’s sponsor, Horsham District Council is coordinating the Year of Culture, working closely with advisors representing arts and heritage throughout the community.
Commenting on the evening Cllr Jonathan Chowen, Deputy Leader of Horsham District Council and Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure said: “I am both thrilled and delighted at the response we have had to our launch evening which was a true showcase of some of the best our district has to offer in terms of cultural diversity.
“The Year of Culture for 2019 presents a massive opportunity for our district’s community partners and businesses to nurture our unique blend of culture which, as we have heard, means so many different things to different people.
“The 12 months of celebration mark a significant investment in our district’s culture, heritage and the arts, which in turn will benefit the growth of our local economy.”
Encouraging local groups to take part, he added: “We now really want you to start thinking about how you could get involved with the Year of Culture – what have you wanted to do with your community group, art club or society that would be new or exciting? What would drive people to come to your events?
“Talk to our Year of Culture team about it and we can see if we can make your plans possible with you.”
All groups are now invited to apply for funding to help with any project which has a direct association with the Year of Culture.
Anyone wanting to organise events should apply for grants by filling in an expression of interest form which is available from the website www.hdculture2019.co.uk. Applications are open until 30 November 2017. Please see the site for information and guidance on applying.
Businesses wishing to be involved by sponsoring events or becoming official partners of the Year of Culture, please go to the website, or contact Year of Culture team directly email firstname.lastname@example.org