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Stop Press - Further empty shops funding announced.

The government has announced further funding to support towns hit badly by the recession.

Fifty towns will receive grants to develop meanwhile projects in empty shops and revitalise their high streets.

In the south, Eastbourne, Hastings, Gosport, Havant, Porstmouth, Southampton, Gravesham, Medway, Shepway, Swale, Reading and Worthing will receive grants.

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Empty shop becomes community hub

From selling rolls of carpet – to fulfilling a vital role in the community. That's Worthing's former Allied Carpet showroom.

A shop just off Worthing's Montague Street Precinct has already hosted a massive charity market, Scout group's Christmas Fair, a Real Ale Radio Roadshow, meetings and mask-making. It's The UpMarket, brought together by Worthing Lions Club, supported by national organisation the Empty Shops Network and by Worthing Borough Council. And it even has its own internet radio station, and is wifi-enabled.

But in December, while the charity market stays in place, a range of other events take place. The Revolutionary Arts Group have moved their annual Christmas Art Fair, usually at St Matthew's in Tarring Road, to the town centre venue. Around a dozen artists and makers will exhibit and sell affordable Christmas gifts, cards and decorations in a specially constructed Pop-Up Gallery. It's been made entirely from materials, timber and wooden pallets found onsite - and a £1 pack of nails from a local shop. The Christmas Art Fair is on Saturday 5th December, and runs from 10am-4pm.

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Getting creative with the National Gallery

An innovative art project developed by the National Gallery is giving a group of stroke survivors the chance to get creative .

The 'Ageing Creatively' outreach programme makes it possible for people who may be isolated, vulnerable or unable to visit the Gallery independently, to access and enjoy the art on show.

During November, members of the Greenhill Aphasia Group will take part in four outreach workshops at the Greenhill Centre in Newham. Aphasia is a difficulty speaking or understanding speech, reading or writing. It occurs following damage to the brain and is most common after a stroke.

Participants will work with artist Viyki Turnbull to create still-life drawings and paintings.

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Brighton Christmas Market fully booked

Organisers of the first Brighton Christmas Market, being held at the Brighton Centre on Sunday 20th December alongside the ‘Heart’ Winter Ice Rink, are pleased to report that the Market has now sold out. The event has proved so popular that there is currently a waiting list in operation, and organisers have had to extend the amount of space on offer to keep up with demand from exhibitors.

Co-organiser and the face behind ‘The Lanes Market’ events, Jo Reeder, says, ‘We are absolutely delighted with the response from exhibitors. This event is going to be a real celebration of businesses large and small, that are bucking the trend and operating successfully in a difficult retail environment.’ She adds, ‘The Brighton Christmas Market is taking place on one of the busiest shopping days of the year, and we are expecting a great turnout from people wanting a pleasurable, unique shopping experience with something on offer for everyone.’
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South coast town recycles empty shop

The biggest empty shop in a south coast town is going to be used by the local community in the run up to Christmas.

A massive shop just off Worthing's Montague Street Precinct which was formerly an Allied Carpets showroom is to be used by fifty local groups, clubs, charities and artists in a project brought together by Worthing Lions Club, supported by national organisation the Empty Shops Network and Worthing Borough Council.

The 1200 square feet shop in Buckingham Road, Worthing will be used for six weeks as 'The UpMarket', a market selling vintage, recycled and upcycled goods to support local charities. Already booked up are groups that help people with disabilities, find new homes for unloved animals, look after people with cancer and run home for the elderly.

Meanwhile, a wide range of artists and craft-makers will have spaces to exhibit and sell their work. Another area in the shop will be dedicated to community activity, hosting a range of workshops, meetings, talks, poetry performances and more.

Finally, for two weeks of the project the warehouse behind the shop will be used for a contemporary art exhibition by the Revolutionary Arts Group, which they promise will be 'a bit of Tate Modern by the sea'.

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Worthing Museum Exhibition - Trees and Towers

The current exhibition in the Studio gallery at Worthing Museum and Art Gallery mixes craft and photography in one show, and runs until 5th December

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Zombie Jamboree at British Museum

Performance, processions, storytelling, displays and much more will help visitors to the British Museum to celebrate Mexican festival the Day of the Dead.

The origins of this celebration can be traced back at least 3000. Contemporary festivals reflect a blend of native traditions and Catholic beliefs. These include building private altars, honouring the dead using sugar skulls, marigolds and the favourite foods and beverages of the deceased, and visiting graves with these as gifts.

There will be two key moments during the day when a vibrant procession of performers, musicians, dancers and Museum visitors will travel through the Museum. The performers will be dressed in carnival-style costumes made to look like skeletons, brnging with them Lady Death made of papel maché and featuring paper cutouts which Mexicans use to decorate the graves of their family and friends and their homes, streets and shops at festival times.

In addition to the processions, a mixture of music and dance performances will take place in the Great Court throughout the day and stiltwalkers will perform on the colonnade. A Day of the Dead altar will have been made by Mexican artist Adriana Amaya in the Great Court with the help of children joining in the half-term activities in the week running up to this celebration. Adriana will also be giving demonstrations of paper cutting during the event.
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Worthing artist runner-up in national competition

Worthing artist and college lecturer Maggie Tredwell has scooped a runner-up prize at prestigious Artist of the Year award ceremony

Each year Artists and Illustrators magazine run one of the most prestigious open art competitions in the UK, the Artist of the Year award. This year runner-up prize in the landscape category went to local artist Maggie Tredwell, whose award was presented at a ceremony held in Oxford’s O3 Gallery, earlier this month.

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19-year-old blues star to headline Worthing Assembly Hall

Until 2002 Oli Brown had never picked up a guitar, but this year he's been travelling the world with blues stars Jon Cleary and John Mayall. And on Friday 16th October, he's playing Worthing.

By 2006, after just four years of playing the guitar, Oli Brown had toured America twice as the opening act for blues royalty such as Buddy Guy and Taj Mahal. He had also shared UK stages with Paul Jones, Buddy Whittington and even the godfather of British blues, John Mayall.

Not only a guitar prodigy but also a singer, songwriter and consummate performer, Oli Brown formed his band in 2007 after meeting drummer Simon Dring and bass player Fred Hollis at jam sessions. By March that year they were playing their first solo gigs.
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Worthing Arts Council announce funding

 Worthing Arts Council has announced it will be giving away £17,000 to build on the best year Worthing's arts audiences have ever enjoyed.

It's been a bumper year, with four new festivals in the town attracting visitors from across the UK.  The End of The Pier International Film Festival moved to town, and was joined by the On Location Film Festival. The Worthing Artists Open Houses became a stand-alone event and September’s Made In Worthing brought edgy new art, theatre and music to town.

Worthing's artists, festivals and community groups can now benefit from extra funding as part of the regeneration of the town’s Splash Point. The funding will be used to encourage new work, support established festivals and get local people, as well as visitors, involved in a really exciting year of art exhibitions, events, workshops and festivals. The funds have been divided into three categories, which will be open to local groups, businesses and individuals.

Over £5000 titled the Worthing Arts Calendar will be used to support new activity at Worthing’s arts festivals which include the Sunny Worthing Arts Festival. Nearly £9000 in a Worthing Public Arts Fund will be dedicated to ‘art in public places’, which includes a programme of events around the regeneration of Splash Point.

And a £3000 Competition Fund will be used to run various competitions encouraging individuals to take part in events.