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Inspiring Creative Futures in Dover 

Date Created: 15th Feb 2024

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Artswork’s Creative Producer Apprentice, Lucy reflects on her experience at the Creative Careers Café event at EKC College Dover, 26th January 2024.  

In partnership with the Reawakening the Maison Dieu Project and EKC College Dover, Artswork invited students aged 14-25 from colleges and secondary schools across Dover and East Kent to an exciting event to explore creative careers in the arts and heritage crafts. 

Local artists facilitated a range of unique workshops, giving the students a taste of the roles existing within the creative industries. A Stone carving workshop with Carrie Horwood and sgraffito clay tile making with Freyja Crow were just two of the workshops influenced by the heritage of the neighbouring Maison Dieu (Dover town hall), which is undergoing a £10.2m Lottery funded restoration. 

Throughout the day there were hard hat tours of the Maison Dieu building, led by Haverstock Architects and Coniston LTD. These tours as well as the heritage craft workshops were an exciting reminder to the students that there are arts and heritage jobs on their doorstep!  

A photography workshop led by the Positive View Foundation also took inspiration from the Maison Dieu, creating a range of cyanotypes using negatives of gothic architecture and lost objects (see photograph). Other workshops with local artists included children’s book illustration with Hannah Bryan, synth music with Cherif Hashizume and eco fashion with Eirinn Hayhow; a designer who recently featured in vogue. Plus, Collaborative graffiti walls were made by the students with cartoonist and tattoo artist Tim Rebels and will be displayed around the Maison Dieu site for the public to enjoy. 

As a creative apprentice, the day felt relevant to my career journey too. I was amazed by the breadth of the industry and the niches that lie within it. The workshops were inspiring, giving me a new passion to keep pursuing a creative career and illuminated the pathways I can take to achieve this. It was a fantastic opportunity to learn from professionals in Dover’s rich network of creative industries, each professional shared a unique journey of how they built their career.  

It was energising to see the payoff of the event in the responses from other young people. The purpose of the event was to inspire, educate and engage young people. Throughout the day I saw students captivated and asking questions. The students “Loved it” and said the day was “Extraordinary”. The successful event will repeat annually, at the Maison Dieu upon its re-opening in 2025. 

The Careers Cafe was part of our Young Cultural Changemaker programme in Dover – to find out more about this programme in Dover, click here. 

 

This project is supported by public funding from Arts Council England.  

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