Look back at 2019: A celebration of Brighton’s community
18 Dec 2019
We are proud to have worked with our city’s communities and hosted events with and for the people of Brighton & Hove. Here’s a look back at our most memorable community events of 2019.
In collaboration with Brighton & Hove Black History and Brighton Museum & Art Gallery we hosted our annual celebration of African and Caribbean culture and heritage. The day kicked off with music from DJ Task and African Night Fever and continued with a West African drumming workshop with Bucarr Ndow, Banyan Tree's singing workshop and Ali Bangura’s dance workshop. Visitors also had the chance listen to West African griot stories, learn about Thomas and lots more.
In September, we opened our doors for our annual Heritage Open Day, with this year’s theme exploring People Power and the role Brighton Dome has played in affecting change both nationally and within the local community during our 216-year history. The day kicked off with a talk by Phillip Morgan discussing how to Royal Pavilion Estate was saved by the people of Brighton, an organ recital with Michael Wooldridge and a stables exhibition
In March, Brighton Dome, Brighton Women’s Centre and Brighton Museum joined forces for our annual celebration of International Women’s Day. A specially curated programme of inspiring speakers and activists exploring intersectional feminism, LGBTQ+ stories and justice for women. The event also featured workshops delving into various topics including body positivity, yoga, British Sign Language and coding.
Miss Represented is an arts collective of artists, support works and young women who face challenging life situations. Miss Rep create a safe, creative space to build positive relationships and explore life experiences. This year, the Miss Rep girls exhibited Mirror Mirror a visual and sound exhibition at Lewes Depot. Using photography, sound, music and installation Miss Rep presented a thought-provoking insight into the lives of young women in today’s world. Additionally, Miss Rep’s documentary Can You See Me Now? by filmmaker Lauren Joy Kennett screened on the big screen at Lewes Depot, including live performances and a Q+A with the Miss Rep team.
In June, we hosted Sanctuary on Sea’s annual Refugee Week event, Together to celebrate the contribution that refugees and migrants have made and continue to make to Brighton & Hove. This year’s theme was ‘You, Me and Those Who Came Before’ and was organised by refugees and groups working with migrants. The day featured an art installation by Gil Mualem-Doron, a photo exhibition, a screening of State of Limbo documentary, inspiring talks by authors, refugees as well as workshops and book readings and so much more.
In March, we welcomed visitors to join us for a discussion with disabled people across the arts community. The day kicked off with a talks and Q+A with Paul Richards from Stay Up Late, followed by a talk on ‘Dancing beyond Ability’ with Three Score Dance and a discussion from Jenny Skelton from Disability Pride Brighton. Throughout the day, there was a chance to meet community organisations such as Amaze, Disability Pride and Brighton People’s Theatre and a screening of short films from Oska Bright Film Festival.
In June, we took part in a UK-wide arts initiative to mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Artist Ai Weiwei’s commissioned flag was flown at Brighton Dome to support the 70th anniversary. To raise awareness, we had a series of free workshops with local schools which focused on the topic of human rights and key historical moments at Brighton Dome.
This August, we opened our doors to celebrate Brighton and Hove Pride. An opportunity for those celebrating Pride to stop by and escape the crowds the day featured music, drinks, face painting, workshops, an art exhibition and a low sensory area. Following an open call to local artists, we commissioned Brighton-based artist Ella Morris to create an illustration to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, which was displayed on the building’s New Road hoardings. Illustrator, George Lee was also commissioned to create artwork for our Pride Open Day.
Umbrella Club is Brighton Dome’s club for children and young people with life-shortening conditions, their siblings and carers. Umbrella Club focuses on providing access to the arts for these families and giving them the opportunity to make memories. This year, Umbrella Club offered tickets to 18 shows from our year-round programme and 437 tickets were taken up!
This year, Umbrella Club joined forces with Sussex-based charity Forward Facing, who support families whose children are living with long-term or life-shortening conditions or have experienced bereavement. They teamed up with Umbrella Club for a circus-themed memory making day, where children got to learn circus tricks and perform on stage. Forward Facing members also joined us at Brighton Dome to take part in a spooky Halloween photo shoot. Umbrella Club also worked with Chestnut Tree House Hospice to deliver a mosaic workshop at the hospice with children who have experience bereavement.