We fire 10 questions to Dover Arts Development, one of the Culture Kent pilot organisations, about their project Chalk Up and cultural tourism activity..
1.) Name of organisation: Chalk Up
2.) Type of organisation: Pilot for Culture Kent led by Dover Arts Development
3.) Year founded: 2015
4.) Tell us a little bit about your organisation and what it offers tourists:
Chalk Up was set up to bring culture and tourism together in Dover District to enhance the cultural tourism industry in the region. The project is led by Dover Arts Development, an artist-led organisation. It is the third pilot organised by Culture Kent (Summer of Colour in Margate and the Folkestone Triennial were the first two). Chalk Up brings cultural events into tourist/heritage venues that illuminate, animate and enhance the tourist experience. We do not have a venue or a festival. Instead we are running a programme of events where artists engage visitors in a host of new and original ways.
6.) Tell us about your projects:
We have a whole range of projects across the district where artists and musicians are working at heritage and tourism sites. For DMAG Joined Up, artists have been working in residence at the Dover museums to offer contemporary interpretations of their WW1 collections. The final exhibition is due to be shown in the new Betteshanger Heritage building next year. The White Cliffs are Dover’s most famous natural landmark and we are organising a commission for an artist’s work to transform the entrance to the path to entice tourists to walk or bicycle up to the iconic cliffs from Dover town and port. Weathertime is our cross-channel project, bringing together thirty selected artists from England, France and Belgium to create a visual diary of the weather across the ‘maritory’ of the Straits of Dover. The artwork produced will be brought into a film for screening at a tourism site. Earlier this year, we organised a Land & Sea Exhibition of rarely seen paintings on loan from the Port of Dover in the Royal Cinqe Ports Yacht Club. The newly opened Fan Bay Shelter Tunnels are a remarkable and emotive place and we worked with the National Trust to offer a drawing workshop and an artist-led experiential walk at Full Moon. In spring 2016 we are organising a concert to be held in The Maison Dieu (Dover’s Town Hall). The theme of the specially commissioned music is Dover itself: its unique environment and history.
Throughout the year we have been hosting culture meets tourism events where artists and arts organisations meet representatives from tourism businesses to chalk up ideas of how the two industries can work together cultural projects that help drive the economy of Dover District.
7.) What will be the impact of your organisation on tourism in the district?
Our aims are to increase the numbers of cultural tourists and the lengths of their stays; we want more overnight visitors and want to get the word out that Dover District has an enormous tourist offering both in culture, heritage and as a place of outstanding natural beauty.
8.) What challenges does your organisation face in relation to tourism?
Our concern is how to make an impact on tourism in just one year. The challenge that we face is, with the many different organisations in the district, how to ensure that tourism as a whole (including the existing organisations and businesses) benefits from our actions and initiatives.
9.) How will the efforts of Culture Kent address your concerns?
Culture Kent is a very impressive organisation. We find their staff, expertise, ambition and energy highly motivating. As well as devising an innovative programme, Culture Kent is gathering data of immense importance to the cultural tourism sector. Until we know who our audiences and potential visitors are then we cannot programme and market effectively.
10) How do we find out more about you and get involved?
We welcome partners in the tourism and heritage sector who would like to find ways for culture to enhance their offering. Please find details at www.chalkup.dadonline.eu or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you to Chalk Up for telling us about your organisation and your aims for tourism growth!