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Community Engagement Projects


Unexpected Delights

We are looking for a group of local LGBTQ+ people to meet together with writers at Charleston. You would explore the House, Garden, and surrounding South Downs landscape with photography, creating a series of ‘Unexpected Delights’ that will come together in a scrapbook style book – or zine. The project will also draw inspiration from Small Wonder, Charleston’s short story festival, and Orlando at the present time, the first exhibition in our newly-built galleries. 

If you identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community and are interested in working together with others to create a short scrapbook/zine, get in touch. You do not need any specific experience – just enthusiasm and a willingness to learn or share skills. 

This project will take place on four Mondays in September and October 2018.

We are are also very keen to find ways we can work with local LGBTQ+ communities, as an established museum and arts organisation. We would like to have discussions about how Charleston can be useful, and hope that ‘Unexpected Delights’ might lead to the creation of LGBTQ+ Forum to advise Charleston on future programming. 

The Stories of the Statues in the Garden

Working with a group of people with learning disabilities, we will use the statues that are in Charleston’s garden to create stories – and bring them to life using dance and drama.

Mark, our Community Engagement Officer, has been running drama and theatre projects together with people with learning disabilities for over 30 years and is really excited about working on this project.

If you like acting and dancing then get in touch!

This taster project will take place over four Thursday afternoons in October 2018, at The Hillcrest Centre in Newhaven. You can come to all of them or just some of them.

Apply for ‘The Stories of the Statues in the Garden’ by the 18th of September.


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

Small Wonder Festival 2018 at Charleston 28 Sep - 30 Sep
Small Wonder Festival 2018

The Small Wonder 2018 website is now live – visit the festival website for full information. More

13 OctPerformance
The Marlborough Theatre Presents Cabaret Orlando

Revel in a rebellious performance art cabaret that breaks the gender binary with Nando Messias, Marisa Carnesky, Travis Alabanza and KUCHENGA.

10 NovFilm
Difficult Love | Zanele Muholi

Film and panel discussion Difficult Love, co-directed by photographer and activist Zanele Muholi, is a compelling More

17 NovTalk
Transgressive Identities

Join curator of the Museum of Transology, E-J Scott, dress historian Dr Jane Hattrick and trans Muslim dandy Sabah Choudrey

Get involved