Spotlight on an Arts & Cultural Organisation in Kent: Creative Foundation

Image Creative Foundation

In this blog post, we are going to learn more about Creative Foundation, located in Folkestone, Kent.  One of Culture Kent’s Pathfinders, Creative Foundation has had a positive impact in arts & culture in Kent.

 1.) Name of organisation: Creative Foundation (Folkestone Creative Quarter, Quarterhouse, Folkestone Book Festival, Folkestone Triennial, Folkestone Artworks)

2.) Type of organisation: Arts Charity

3.) Year founded: 2002

4.) Tell us a little bit about your organisation and what it offers tourists:

The Creative Foundation is a visionary arts charity dedicated to enabling the regeneration of Folkestone through creative activity. Working with the people of Folkestone, partners and other stakeholders we will transform the town making it a better place to live, work, visit and study.
The Creative Foundation believes in the power of creativity to transform people, places and communities. We are passionate about this, and believe it will inspire others to be curious and imagine a changed future. We will enable or collaborate with them to make this vision happen. This will be fun but requires specialist knowledge; at times we will be radical and irreverent, but we will take on the challenges and risks our work demands.

Image Creative Foundation

Established in 2002, the Creative Foundation has a remarkable record of success having already transformed the most run down part of Folkestone. Ninety buildings have been restored in the Creative Quarter, and Quarterhouse, a performance venue for music, theatre, dance and comedy has been built. The area has been animated by three internationally acclaimed visual art Triennials, a collection of significant and permanent contemporary public art, a full performance programme and an annual book festival. The area is populated by artists and home to creative industries and is home to higher education study and research; all this has created more than 300 jobs.

Image Creative Foundation

The Creative Foundation aims to attract visitors to Folkestone from throughout Kent and nationally and potentially inspire people to move to the town, start a business and become part of our thriving community. The Triennial attracts a significant number of tourists every three years and we aim to use Folkestone Artworks as a tourist attraction in its own right to encourage repeat visits to the town alongside experiencing the shops, restaurants and galleries of the Creative Quarter and attending events at Quarterhouse and the Book Festival.

Image Creative Foundation

5.) What are some concerns your organisation has related to tourism?:

Folkestone Artworks is a fascinating collection of contemporary art that is needed to maintain Folkestone’s visual art reputation between Triennials, and so attract visitors to Folkestone. While the collection strengthens after each Triennial, the fact that the works come from a previous Triennial limits the publicity and therefore impact that can be gained from it. Over the next seven years the development of the collection’s management, interpretation, archive, and marketing and education programme will be continued, however something additional will be needed for the Artworks to deliver the desired impact.

6.) How will the efforts of Culture Kent address your concerns?:Image Creative Foundation

Culture Kent can play an important role in how we use Folkestone Artworks collection to its full potential as a tourist attraction through its efforts to establish an open data source and especially how digital technologies can enhance the visitors’ experience. We would like to work more intensively with other tourist attractions, transport providers and the food and drink industry in the region on marketing and PR campaigns that will invite people from Kent and nationally to experience the best that Kent has to offer. Culture Kent is best positioned to orchestrate such an effort and undertake research about existing and potential audiences.

Image Creative Foundation

Thank you to the Creative Foundation for telling us about their organisation and their aims for tourism growth!

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