Louise Blackwell

The ABCD for Cultural Recovery in Brighton & Hove

In mid-March 2020 the cultural offer in Brighton & Hove was put on hold, a national lock-down began and the cultural workforce and those in the immediate supply chain experienced significant impact. Our live events offer that attracts international, national and local visitors, informs Brighton’s reputation and accounts for 40% of the City’s economy was unable to operate. From freelancers with 100% loss of paid work to organisations with 100% loss of income and a need to furlough staff quickly. No two individuals or organisations shared the same experience, yet many people came together to find ways to collaborate, support and to start to re-imagine. We want to build on this energy for this short term project.

Brighton & Hove Arts and Creative Industries Commission, EPIC & What Next? Brighton & Hove have been commissioned to work with the creative community to produce an action based recovery plan for culture in the City.

Our ambition is that the plan outlines investment-ready, ethical products and services that support the economic, social and cultural recovery of Brighton & Hove.

Phase one of the project ran between August 2020 and February 2021. Between 14th and 25th September seventeen meetings took place with a range of participants from the cultural industries in the City. Since then the Management Team have been working with the Outside Eyes to distill the many, many ideas discussed. We are currently exploring five main ideas as part of the plan. We are also working out how we can take some the other ideas forward as part of our networks. The draft Action Plan was shared with participants in November for feedback and a further series of feedback conversations took place in January and February 2021.

The final report can be downloaded here: The-ABCD-for-Cultural-Recovery-Brighton-and-Hove designed by DogFish Design

Phase 2: ABCD for Cultural Recovery 2021-2022

Three Working Groups (Enliven Brighton, The Engine Room and Creative Communities) have now been set up and will develop specific targets for recovery, guided by the ABCD Cultural Recovery Plan and deliver against those targets.

Polly Gifford has been appointed as the freelance Programme Manager for Phase 2. We have recruited Working Group members for 3 of the 5 groups plus Co-Chairs who will form the Governing Board alongside the founders.

You can read Polly’s blog here and sign up to the Culture in Our City mailing list at the bottom of their website to keep up to date with the progress of the recovery plan.

We are currently seeking a CO-CHAIR for the ABCD for Cultural Recovery GOVERNANCE GROUP. Deadline 17th Sept. More HERE.


1. First Thursdays – Producing organisation
To support a series of new outdoor commissions in partnership with Brilliant Brighton from November ’21 – March ’22 hosted under the banner of ‘First Thursdays’. The chosen producing organisation will support a programme of small, agile interventions that respond to the urban geography of Brighton. The contract is to produce 5 events and commission 15 artists over 15 projection sites in the BID area. The total budget for the project is £23,000. Find out more here.

3. Igniter Event Series – lead organisation
To support a series of free, online events inspiring ideas, new ways of working and re-imagining resilience for cultural workers in the City. A minimum of 4 events will be produced between Nov ’21 and March ’22. The total budget is £18,000. Find out more here


4. Equipment suppliers community network – lead organisation
To create a network of event equipment providers and training for local people to use it. At least 4 suppliers will form part of the network and 4 community meetings will take place plus training between Nov ’21 & March ’22. The total budget is £15,000. Find out more here.

Phase 1: November 2020

Aimie Rae, Alex Murray, Alex Proctor, Andrew Comben, Anna Alverez, Ann Backburn, Anna Dumitriu, Anna Moulson, Anne Marie Chebib, Ann-Marie Williams, Becky Stevens, Ben Price, Bern O’Donaghue, Beth Burgess, Bobby Brown, Carmen D’Cruz, Charlie Royce, Dan Lake, David Sheppeard, Donna Close, Ebony Rose Dark, Elena Italia, Ella Burns, Emma Higham, Erin Barnes, Faith Dodkins, Freya Wynn Jones, Harriet Morris, Jackie Alexander, Jacquline Rana, Jamie Wyld, James Turnbull, Jane Finnis, Jane Olser, Jane McMorrow, Jess Starns, John Varah, Jonathan Suffolk, Judith Hibberd, Julie Stacey, Ian Baird, Karen Poley, Kate Shields, Katy Beinart, Laura McDermott, Leonardo Lami, Lex Hollingworth, Lisa Creagh, Lisa Newnham, Lisa Norman, Liz Porter, Liz Whitehead, Lizzie, Coates, Louise Blackwell, Lou Rogers, Lucy Stone, Marina Norris, Mark Brailsford, Michelle Donkin, Naomi Alexander, Natasha Britton, Nicky Crabb, Nicole Monnay, Omeima Mudawi-Rowlings, Paule Constable, Peter Chivers, Phillippa Barr, Phil Sparkes, Poppy Heron, Rebecca Halifax, Rosa Firbank, Rosia Garcia, Romy Elliot, Sarah Pickthall, Subira Wahogo, Tamsin Sasha, Tanushka Marah, Thomas Buckley, Tim Benson, Toby Park, Tristan Sharpes, Zoe Toolan.

There were 94 participants in total.

Lizzie Coates

Kerry Dowding, Lou Cope, Lauren Craig and Tarik Elmoutawakil

Saad Eddine Said and Shaun Romain

    Management Team

Andrew Comben, Ian Baird, Louise Blackwell, Marina Norris

Actors of Dionysus, Amaze Sussex, Audio Active, Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, Babyoke, BELTA, Brighton and Hove Arts Council, Brighton and Hove Arts and Creative Industries Commission, Brighton & Hove City Council, Brighton Artists Network, Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival, Brighton People’s Theatre, Brighton Photo Fringe, Brighton Pride, Brighton Shakespeare Company, Cast Iron, Choir With No Name, Creative Future, C3 Productions, Cultural Baggage, Culture 24, Dreamthinkspeak, EPIC, Fabrica, Hangleton & Knoll Project Hybred Events, Ironclad Creative, Komedia, KP Projects CIC, Little Green Pig, LOOKOUT Brighton, Lout Promotions, Melting Vinyl, Onca, One Inch Badge, OOPS Festival, Marlborough Productions, No Stone Unturned, Phoenix Arts Space, Parable Dance, Paradoxical Frog, Powerful Thinking, RAPT Theatre, Same Sky, Smart Power UK, South East Dance, Spymonkey, Swallowsfeet Collective, Theatre Royal Brighton, The Creative Post, The Green Door Store, The Spire, Tick Tock Bridget, University of Brighton, Vincent Dance Theatre, We Are Not Saints, Windmill Young Actors CIC, ZAP Concepts.


Arts Council England, Brighton & Hove City Council, What’s Next?