Margate’s Summer of Colour was one of the pilot projects identified in year one of Culture Kent’s ‘Cultural Destination’ project. Over the next few posts, Creative Programmer Emma Wilcox shares the approach, what was achieved and some thoughts on future plans.
About Summer of Colour
Turner Contemporary delivered an ambitious season for summer 2014 around the theme of colour. This included a blockbuster Mondrian and Colour exhibition, as well as works by JMW Turner and a new commission by Spencer Finch.
Taking its inspiration from these exhibitions and building on the pilot project from Summer 2013, Curious Margate, the Summer of Colour was developed as a town wide festival. The festival was funded through a grant from the Esme Fairbairn Foundation and as part of the Arts Council funded “Cultural Destinations” project for East Kent.
The festival aims were to:
- Deliver a successful Summer of Colour in 2014 which maximizes visitor numbers and engagement and is ‘on brand’
- Create a sense of festival, joy of being by the sea in the summer, and animate our exhibitions for a wide audience. Show Margate as a wonderful place to be.
- Focus on non-arts experts, and particularly engage audiences who live in East Kent, creating a greater sense of ownership
- Connect outside of the gallery with inside, creating a flow of movement from outside events to the exhibition and events inside the gallery
- To collaborate with a range of external partners including visual arts venues, dance, theatre and music organizations, higher education providers, local businesses and community leaders and stakeholders to deliver the programme.
The Cultural Destinations funding added some specific deliverable to the Summer of Colour plans including:
- Art where you least expect it – cultural interventions in shops, restaurants attractions and hotels
- First Friday – developing a package of activity with partners
- Media and Social media – in partnership with Visit Kent, to deliver national and regional campaigns to increase the profile of the town as a cultural destination
- Digital content – map and provide digital in formation on all of Margate’s cultural products across the summer
- Summer of Colour delivered 72 events over four months, including the creation of 15 new works, installations and performances.
- The festival was delivered by 45 organisations/individual artists across all art forms and work was taken out to Ramsgate, Broadstairs, Deal and Quex.
- Over 12,000 people attended Summer of Colour events.
- The Summer of Colour website received 9,625 unique visits
- The campaign logged 156 events on the website, of which just over half were led by Turner Contemporary and provided platform for partners to upload their own activity and use our social media campaign to promote their activity.
- Summer of Colour Press campaign was the most successful public programme PR campaign to date with a total AVE of 47 Clips:£446,251 and a total Circulation of 47 Clips:3,018,669
- The Summer of Colour festival enabled Turner Contemporary to secure funding from Kent County Council to deliver one of the Six Ways to Wellbeing pilot arts and health projects.
A standalone logo was created for Summer of Colour which reflected the themes of colour and the intention that we would engage audiences and participants through social media. Projects which were funded by Summer of Colour were required to use the branding and others wished to use it and the marketing platforms were free to do so.
In our partners’ survey 83% of the partners said that the branding was Very useful or Useful and that the branding portrayed the Summer of Colour well (either Excellent or Good)