Thursday, May 28

Project Brighton: There’s something for everyone at the Attenborough Centre For The Creative Arts

- February 8, 2018


Attenborough Centre For The Creative Arts has now been open for almost two years and is about to head into the Spring 2018 season. The programme is accessible to all and this season includes sound installations, a classical music festival, contemporary music gigs, one-off film screenings, debates, performance, dance and workshops for all ages. Since ACCA opened in 2016 it has presented a wide spectrum of work, hosted artists to create new projects, enabled events and even developed its first off-site ventures.

Just 10 minutes by Brighton and Lewes by train, or a short cycle, car ride or bus journey from both – why not go and see what is going on in 2018?
When you get to the University of Sussex, ACCA is very easy to find, one of the first structures you see when coming from Falmer Station, hopping off the bus or parking up your chosen vehicle as you arrive on campus. The building is Grade II listed, designed by Sir Basil Spence, originally opened in 1969. It ran as the Gardner Art Centre before closing for a 9 year refurbishment in 2007.

The fully refurbished space contains a flexible 350-seat auditorium, which to date has seen many high profile contemporary artists from across the region and from the national and international music, performance, dance and film circuit grace the stage. A highlight this season will be when Tune-Yards visits for the Brighton date of their upcoming tour, and to date digital artists, composers, thinkers and makers have all respectively brought the house down.

ACCA is a great space for families and has hosted events over the Easter break and half term moments. The spacious outdoor areas give kids ample space to stretch little legs after a show or enjoy the Sussex sunshine. This season, ACCA will host a unique interactive performance created by Ant Hampton, Crazy But True, on 18 February, to round off the winter half term.

When the artistic programme is not running seasonally, the venue is still busy behind the scenes. A regular venue on the Sussex and national conference circuit, businesses and organisations use the space, enjoying the high spec equipment and attention to detail from staff.

Artists in residence also make use of ACCA, which is something very special. The beautiful Steinway piano the centre owns, the large studio spaces and spacious auditorium allow a curated series of artists to think and to make between public events. So far, ACCA has hosted artists including Anna Meredith and Felix Thorn.

Unusual experiences and special arts events are something that ACCA has brought to the arts ecology of the region

Unusual experiences and special arts events are something that ACCA has brought to the arts ecology of the region. Its first off-site project, back in June, took place at Newhaven Fort, where a choral installation which considered conscientious objection and the legacy of WWI took place, with local male singers. This season, David Attenborough’s sound recordist Chris Watson brings a special ‘under the sea’ experience directly to the venue, from 27 March-13 April. It’s a Brighton-specific experience for locals and visitors, running over the long Easter weekend break.

ACCA has forged many partnerships across the city since it opened, with partners like Cinecity, Brighton Festival, artists based in Sussex and many more. This season it will be working with Carousel and Screen Archive South East to premiere new film work by young learning-disabled filmmakers. Meanwhile, South East Dance will present Candoco Dance Company’s Face In / Let’s Talk about Dis, a dramatic and powerful new double bill challenging notions of identity, appearance, intimacy and imagination, presented as part of the city-wide Undisciplined festival.

You can come to ACCA as part of a day out on the South Downs to enjoy the café-bar. It is open Monday-Friday between 10am-6pm – step through the doors to enjoy time amidst the retro sofas, classic Basil Spence furniture and much-loved plant and cacti collection and relax with a warm drink, sandwich or sweet treat. Well behaved canine friends are also very welcome and there is plenty to choose from for veggies and vegans too.

Almost all of the shows at ACCA have an allocation of Pay What You Decide tickets – see one of the shows and pay what you choose to afterwards. ACCA hopes that this means you can dip your toe and try something new, so that there are no barriers to enjoying the art we bring to Sussex.

Find out more: / 01273 678 822


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