Akila Richards at Crawley WordFest 2020, before the Covid-19 lockdown

Arts in Crawley receive £30,000 boost

The Crawley Cultural Fund at Sussex Community Foundation has made its second round of grants to six cultural and arts organisations working in Crawley, totalling just under £30,000. They are:



Wordfest Crawley, an annual festival of literature and language, received a grant to widen the reach of next year’s festival by encouraging more venues and groups to stage events.


Brighton Marina Studios Foundation will be bringing their YES (Youth Empowered by StreetDance) dance project to partner schools and community groups in Crawley.


Crawley Festival received funding towards a micro-festival of cultural activity to remember, celebrate and explore the resilience of residents during lockdown 2020.


Culture Shift will partner students from Crawley College with local creative practitioners to produce five short films, and organise three mini career events via an online Creative Cafe.


Following feedback from young people, Crawley Community Youth Service will create a series of short films documenting the impact of the pandemic on different club members. The films will be displayed as part of Crawley’s 2021 festival


In partnership with local schools, Ensemble Reza will develop a new programme of community music and education work in Crawley



Sussex Community Foundation launched the Crawley Cultural Fund in 2019, in partnership with Arts Council England, as a pilot project to increase arts activity and community engagement in the arts for people in Crawley. Late last year, following the success of the pilot programme, Gatwick Airport committed a substantial £25,000 donation to support this year’s awards.

 “We are delighted to be able to make these grants, especially at a time when the pandemic has had such a profound effect on both communities in Crawley and people working in the arts” said Kevin Richmond, Chief Executive of Sussex Community Foundation. “These awards demonstrate that, even in difficult times, arts and culture can help to bring people together, provide new skills and employment opportunities and support people’s mental and physical wellbeing. Once again we received more applications than we were able to fund, and we very much hope the Crawley Cultural Fund can continue next year.”

Melanie Wrightson, Stakeholder Engagement Manager at Gatwick Airport, said: “As the home of Gatwick Airport, Crawley has a special role in the running of the airport with over a third of Gatwick staff living in the Crawley and Horley area. We were therefore delighted to support the Crawley Cultural Fund with our donation in 2019 and it’s wonderful to see these quality projects supported in 2020. The Crawley Cultural Fund improves prospects for the communities it supports and this will be vital as the town responds to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.”

Jayne Tyler, Senior Relationship Manager at Arts Council England, said: “Arts Council England is really pleased with the range and variety of projects supported in this round of the Crawley Cultural Fund. It is great to see so many exciting and meaningful cultural projects coming from Crawley in the current landscape and we hope that this will go on to encourage and support further opportunities around arts and culture in the town.”

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