Community Engagement Projects

Unexpected Delights

A group of 13 local LGBTQ+ people worked together at Charleston to explore the House, Garden, and surrounding South Downs landscape with photography and words. They created a Zine that will be published on this page in early November 2018. Participants worked together, facilitated by Mark Richardson, to draw inspiration from Charleston’s Small Wonder short story festival, the history of the Bloomsbury Group at Charleston and Orlando at the present time – the first exhibition in our newly-built galleries. They worked with invited queer writers Juliet Jacques, Shivanee Ramlochan and Neil Bartlett who talked about their creative processes.

Some members of this group will be joining others from the local LGBTQ+ community to create a new LGBTQ+ Forum that will advise Charleston on future planning and programming, to ensure that a queer voice is present and visible across all of our work here. Our first meeting will be in December 2018 in Lewes. Please contact Mark Richardson (details below) if you would like further information or would like to join this group.

The Stories of the Statues in the Garden

We are currently working with a group of 10 people with learning disabilities in Newhaven at The Hillcrest Centre on Thursday afternoons during October 2018 using the statues that are in Charleston’s garden to create stories. We are bringing them to life using dance and drama.

Mark Richardson is leading this project and has been running drama and theatre projects together with people with learning disabilities for over 30 years. He is really excited about the work coming from this project.

Click here to see films and photographs from the project on our blog.


For more information or to join these projects, contact Mark Richardson, Community Engagement Officer. | 01323 815142

We are also planning further projects – watch this space!

Past Community Engagement Projects at Charleston include:

  • Small Wonder Creative Writing – a project with hard to reach young people from Eastbourne funded by Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England (2017)
  • Painted Furniture – a project with older people in Lewes funded by Garfield Weston Foundation (2016)
  • Ceramics in Nature – a ceramics project with isolated women from East Sussex funded by Garfield Weston Foundation (2016)
  • Healthy Walking – a walking and poetry project with people on low incomes from East Sussex funded by Garfield Weston Foundation (2016)
  • Painted Cows – a ceramics project with East Sussex Young Carers funded by Heritage Lottery Fund (2015)
  • Natural Garden Structures – a sculpture project with school children and members of the public attending Charleston (2015)

What's on

22 Nov
Bloomsbury Revisited Excursion

2-day excursion into all things Bloomsbury in London, including private tours and behind the scenes access to collections.

24 Nov - 25 Nov
Frost Fair

Come and do some festive shopping in our newly restored 18th-century barns.

02 DecTalk
Annie Sloan at Charleston

Spend a morning with Annie as she explains her unique relationship with Charleston. Get one ticket free by adding the code Annie2 at the checkout.

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