arts and culture
Cutting-edge galleries, arty enclaves and cracking cultural connections
In Kent the arts are an impetus for change. Contemporary art galleries revive classic seaside towns; theatres and museums get dramatic new leases of life.
In the Kentish resorts where Turner and Dickens found inspiration, 21st century artists are keeping invention alive. Top billing goes to Margate's Turner Contemporary; the acclaimed arts organisation that teams the traditional with the avant-garde, putting the town firmly on the world's modern art map. Contemporary culture is also breathing new life into Folkestone's Creative Quarter, with funky shops and cafes springing up among artists' workshops and galleries.
The Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury is fast becoming the south east's top stage. As well as putting on big touring shows, it showcases innovative contemporary works in its studio. Kent also rejoices in state-of the-art galleries, such as The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge and No 1 Smithery; while the light-filled exhibition spaces at the Maidstone Museum and Bentlif Art Gallery excite the interest of curious minds.
In Kent, you can also get inspired by top-class events. Each October, the Canterbury Festival draws 60,000 people to 200 free and ticketed events, ranging from music, theatre and dance, to exhibitions, walks and comedy. Literature lovers love the Folkestone Book Festival. This 10-day feast of words transforms the town each November. In August, Broadstairs Folk Week sees a vast range of performances at the resort's concert venues, pubs, beaches and streets. While, each October, the Tenterden Folk Festival brings a four day extravaganza of music, song and dance to this ancient Wealden town.
There are superb museums and themed attractions, as well as countless creative activities; many will see you working with locals in distinctive venues along Kent’s Creative Coast.
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