Can you help us financially? (Now it’s a question of Post-Covid19 Survival)
Despite some impressive achievements in the eleven years before the pandemic crisis, the evolution of facilities is ongoing, with many areas yet to reach their full potential and some major building works to complete. After the Public Health forced-closure (23rd March) we have had to make various changes to take care of the new hygiene / Social Distancing directives. Thankfully we received some vital financial support on 24th April, to help sustain our NFP Arts Facility for a few months, thanks to Swale Borough Council who have always supported Creek Creative over the years, but we face very challenging times ahead and need your support more than ever. Any donations will be gratefully received, and will help us cover the anticipated huge shortfall in income from reduced visitor numbers and sales from the 4th August onwards into 2021.
Please consider donating to Creek Creative CIC using the PayPal ‘Donate’ button above, and we will guarantee your financial input (however modest) will be spent frugally and often ingeniously on essential improvements. Most of the planned major works involve the Lower Ground Floor facilities including those listed below, while the #Coronavirus modifications and signage extend throughout the building:
- Lower Gallery needs structural reinforcement, damp-proofing, floor treatment, ventilation and heating.
- LGF Art Studios / Workshops need new canopies and/or a completely new roof, storage and heating.
- Create & equip a self-contained, hireable “OB Studio” for video sales/presentations & online conferencing.
The incremental conversion process of this late-Victorian brewery bottling plant at No.1 Abbey Street in Faversham began in July 2009, from what was then the core premises of a major joinery business (Frank & Whittome), thanks mainly to the vision and determination of partners and Creek Creative founding directors Anne MacLaren and Simon Giles. From modest beginnings with few resources and minimal funds, Anne and Simon went on to establish Creek Creative Studios as one of Kent’s prime locations for local artists and artisan makers to create and display their work. This journey was only possible with help from Faversham’s many champions of the arts, frequent interventions by skilled volunteers, and much friendly support from the community. Developments such as the award winning Gallery Kitchen Café (within the Upper Gallery) under the guidance of talented Chef Lorraine King since September 2011, and the charmingly quirky Artisan Shop, have helped the project evolve into a fascinating destination, creative work environment, meeting place, event venue, and popular asset of the town.
Creek Creative now has 30 affordable rented studios and 9 deskspaces shared by typically 45 local creative practitioners, including professional visual artists, silversmiths & designer-makers, writers & filmmakers, web & media designers, illustrators, musicians & theatre performers, and some who simply escape the rat-race by exploring their creativity in a vibrant studio environment. In addition there are hireable project spaces, event facilities, training workshop days, part-time courses, and public galleries for art or design exhibitions on a weekly basis (individual and group shows welcome – subdivision options and curation by arrangement).
Anne and Simon first discussed setting up a not-for-profit art studio complex close to Faversham town centre in October 2006, giving rise to a long research process. Their brainchild project was named ‘Creek Creative’ in March 2007, and registered as a community interest company (CIC) in September 2008. A Feasibility Report was completed in January 2009, followed by a lease agreement for No.1 Abbey Street, Faversham from the 1st July 2009. Conversion and renovation work started immediately, helped increasingly by local volunteers, supporters and sympathetic traders, and by March 2010 the first resident artists had taken up studios.
Archive Film Edit
Dating back nearly 11 years, here’s a 2:20 edit “Before it all Began” from Anne & Simon’s original Creek Creative site check (May 2007). It took until July 2009 to secure the lease and get the keys!
— Gallery Studios (@creek_creative) Tweet of video marking 10 years (May 25, 2017)
Creek Creative owes a huge THANK YOU to all the volunteers, contributors, and everyone who worked on the project or gave financial support over the years. Special thanks go to Lady Swire, Hilary Riva and Neil Flanagan (of Swan Quay LLP), Pat Doyle, Bob Lamoon, Tony Gosling, Nathalie Banaigs, Caroline Lamoon, Bruce Ure, and Jill Holder. We are also grateful to Arts Council England, The Swire Foundation and Kent County Council for significant funding support, and for those timely sums provided by Swale Borough Council, Faversham Enterprise Partnership, and members of Faversham Town Council.