Liz Gilmore, director of Jerwood Gallery has taken up the post of chair of the Hastings and Rother Cultural Leaders group.

Paul Barnett, Liz Gilmore, Cllr Kim Forward,
Cllr Peter Chowney

Gilmore said “Hastings and Rother house a vibrant arts scene and a diverse plethora of creative people. The area is at an interesting point in its development and our job is to look to the future and ask questions such as what will the area need in five, ten or twenty years? What infrastructure will be needed? And how do we make sure everyone’s voice is reflected?”

The Hastings and Rother Cultural Leaders Group champions and supports the cultural development of the area  across all art forms, working with the council to help inform their cultural strategy and support its delivery. The group is made up of individuals and representatives of organisations operating at a strategic level within the cultural environment and within regeneration at a local, regional or national level who have influence and/or invest in the cultural environment of the area. They meet regularly and discus a mixture of standing items, such as development of arts education locally, and specific issues such as the future of the White Rock area. The group played an active role in the ROOT 1066 Festival, working with Polly Gifford, Festival Director, on bringing a range of art forms into the programme.

“As a group we also think about visitors to the area; who comes and who doesn’t at the moment.” says Gilmore. “At the Jerwood Gallery we have six years of data on our visitors so we have a great deal of intelligence to contribute to these discussions. Overall, looking to the future I think we’ll be able to measure our success when key leaders such as Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England, cite Hastings as a prime example of a key cultural hub nationally and internationally. We are nearly there and I know Hastings is very much recognised by Sir Nick and his colleagues. We should all be proud of that.”

Gilmore has been director of the Jerwood since it opened six years ago.  Gallery She replaces Arts consultant Paul Barnett, who has chaired the group for the last two years.

We will follow up later in the year with more information on the Cultural Leaders Group and its ambitions for the cultural future of the area so watch this space.


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