Passion for creativity, art and culture generates new partnership

09 September 2015

Canterbury Christ Church University and visionary arts charity, the Creative Foundation, have joined together in partnership to support arts and culture in the Kent region.

Aiming to enrich local communities, the organisations will work together in a ‘Creative Partnership’ starting with the Folkestone Book Festival . The annual 10 day event, taking place in November, invites the public to listen to stories shared by the line-up of writers, join in discussions and debates, and attend creative workshops.

Sally Abbott, Director of Arts and Culture at Canterbury Christ Church University, said: “The power of art and education is transforming and regenerating the county. This is a new and important step forward in creating an artistically led research and commissioning partnership between two significant ‘thinking and creative’ organisations in the South East.

“It allows the Creative Foundation access to our huge reserve of untapped talent, academia and ideas, and gives the University an opportunity to reach out to new audiences illustrating the dedication that we have for Arts and Culture in the region, nationally and internationally.”

English Literature academic Sonia Overall, and Katherine May and Susan Civale from our Creative and Professional Writing team, form the creative partnership group for this year’s Folkestone Book Festival .

On Sunday 22, Christ Church academics will host Writing Clinics, a series of 20 minute one-off sessions to discuss and critique poems or book chapters written by members of the public. On Wednesday 25, Carolyn Oulton and Katherine Maywill host Gates to the Glorious and Unknown! A Victorian Adventure by Train , an intriguing tour on the railway of the historic stretch of the Kent coastline.

Chief Executive of the Creative Foundation, Alastair Upton, said: “Festivals are made not by a collection of singular events but by accumulated shared experiences. This happens via collaboration amongst the audience and the many people who give vision, ideas, finances, along with their time and the many talks. I'm very pleased that we have linked with Canterbury Christ Church University who are now our creative partner understanding, as they do, that books, ideas and debates come from stories that must be created.”

Other speakers at the event include English crime novelist, Mark Billingham, British broadcaster, Terry Wogan and Co-Founder of the Women’s Equality Party, Catherine Mayer.

Folkestone Book Festival takes place between Friday 20 and Sunday 29 November at the Folkestone Quarterhouse, Folkestone. For more information about Folkestone Book Festival can be found on the website, and on the University’s Arts and Culture section of the website.

Notes to Editor

Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With almost 18,000 students across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

  • 97% of our UK graduates were in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
  • We are the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent (2013 UCAS).
  • We are one of the South East’s largest providers of education, training and skills leading to public service careers.

*2012/13 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey

Creative Foundation

The Creative Foundation is an independent arts charity dedicated to enabling the regeneration of Folkestone through creative activity. This will transform the town making a better place to live, work, visit and study. Its remit is to manage a major project in the historic heart of the seaside town that will restore the area’s vitality by encouraging creative enterprise.

The organisation has acquired over eighty buildings in the old town, designated a Creative Quarter, and has recruited a range of creative businesses and artists as tenants. The Creative Foundation has commissioned and operates a performing arts centre, Quarterhouse, which hosts many of the festivals and arts events that are organised year-round by the Creative Foundation and its partners. The Folkestone Triennial and the Folkestone Book Festival are key elements of the Creative Foundation’s arts programme.

For more information on the Creative Foundation and details on spaces available for artists within the Creative Quarter please visit


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Last edited: 04/12/2017 23:10:00