Chichester Culture Spark 2022: the community is celebrating a wonderful season of events to mark the anniversaries of many cultural venues
By a strange coincidence, 2022 marked the various anniversaries of some of our most beloved cultural institutions in the Chichester district. Our fabulous Chichester Festival Theater celebrated its 60th anniversary; the Chichester Festival and the Novium Museum each celebrated ten glorious years; Pallant House Gallery has unveiled its magnificent 40th season; we recorded 30 Years of Chichester Cinema at the New Park International Film Festival; and 200 years of the Canal Trust was a historic milestone. For good measure, it’s also 75 years since the National Trust acquired Petworth House. Even your Chichester Observer – which has faithfully reported on the activities of all these organizations – had its own anniversary. The newspaper was founded 135 years ago on the occasion of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.
How fitting then that all of these wonderful places have come together – along with many more – to create Culture Spark 2022 and present an unparalleled series of events open to the entire community to officially mark these many and varied anniversaries. Chichester District Council was particularly supportive – how lucky we are to have a local authority that prioritizes the arts in this way.
As the season drew to a close, the cake was cut, the wine was drunk, the speeches were made, and it was time to reflect on a great year, to thank everyone who 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, Culture Spark’s creative coordinator, said there was a huge range of events over the season. “We had a lantern procession that went through the town, we had a volunteer photography exhibition, an artist in residence at Denmans Garden…and the year was marked by the gathering of local artists. The focal point was probably The Art in Chichester exhibition at the Novium which explored the past 60 years.
“What excites us is what’s going to happen next. This is definitely the start of Culture Spark because what’s happened this year is all these partnerships – and it’s got people thinking. realize that if you do it together, you can achieve more.”
The celebration followed a huge literary event at Chichester Cathedral on Thursday 13 October, when international No. 1 bestseller Kate Mosse launched her new book: Warrior Queens and Quiet Revolutionaries; How women have (also) built the world.