In the news

2023 Book Choice Announced in Hastings Independent Press

Read about the choice of book for ATownExploresABook23 in the Hastings Independent Press.

Exploring The Diddakoi

The 2022 A Town Explores A Book festival centres around Rumer Godden’s The Diddakoi on the 50th anniversary of its publication. Festival director, Gail Borrow outlines what’s in store in this Hastings Independent Press article.

Iron in the Soul

The artistic director of this year’s A Town Explores a Book (ATEAB) festival, Gail Borrow, shares the insights of two of the key artists involved in this Hastings Independent Press article.

Good news for Gensing Gardens

On Friday 25 March, local residents, Councillors and the ATownExploresABook team gathered to mark the 150th anniversary of Gensing Gardens. Hastings Online Times’s Erica Smith, who is also involved with ATownExploresABook, was there to share the plans for celebration through the spring and summer. Link.

Searching for Kushti

Searching For Kushti is a exhibition of photographs by Hungarian Roma photographer, Béla Váradi and New Traveller, Jules Earl, who have been investigating how their own wider communities continue to preserve identity, culture and community, writes Hastings Online Times reporter/photographer, John Cole. Link.

Searching For Kushti: 50 Years of The Diddakoi

Visit this exhibition running from 2-18 April at Electro Studios. Details here.

Hastings Independent Press covers 2022 Choose2bKind Project

The Choose2bKind Project is a creative writing competition. Read more here.


Pick up your Free Mini Zine

The festival mentee team include artists of Romany and mixed race heritage. Their zine, created by Esme Fisher and supported through Artist Digital fringe funding that Esme was awarded in the 2021 AltPitch Arts and Technology Online Festival, is available at Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, The Bookkeeper Bookshop and Creative Businesses adjacent to the bookshop in Kings Road. It offers a variety of entry points into the festival which takes place from 1st -18th April. Read more.

Model Making Art Trail

“He made models, chiefly of ships, sometimes sail, sometimes steam; he never spoke to the village children, nor they to him – they were afraid of the eyebrows and moustaches – but he made a model church, big enough for a child to creep into, and over Christmas it stood at the house gates.” Rumer Godden’s Admiral Twiss inspires the festival neighbourhood art trail. Read more.

One of Britain’s most prominent Gypsy activists, Sherrie Smith

Drive2Survive campaign activists have offered perspectives in the shaping of #ATownExploresABook22’s curation. The book choice is #RumerGodden’s #TheDiddakoi, 50 years after publication of this children’s book.

As we have prepared for the festival, the development of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill has proved that heritage books can and do elucidate contemporary experience. Co-founder of the Drive2Survive movement, Sherrie Smith discusses the political landscape in gal-dem.

Jake Bowers argues for the rights of travelling peoples

ATownExploresABook22 artist Jake Bowers is currently exploring public sculpture with Hastings Academy students. In creating sculpture of mixed race child Kizzy, the protagonist in Rumer Godden’s The Diddakoi, he raises the question how many public sculptures in England are of Romany subjects. His work will be hosted by Hastings Borough Council in Gensing Gardens during the festival. Read his article in New Internationalist here.

Apple Orchard Planting

Ahead of the festival projects themed on apples and orchards, festival schools and community groups have planted a community apple orchard at the site of festival outdoor art planned for April’s delivery. Thank you to Hastings and Bexhill Mencap’s Active Arts, Arts on Prescription and Christ Church C E Primary Academy.
Link: Hastings Online Times

Book Choice for #ATownExploresABook22

2021: Edward Lear, An Introduction

2021: A Town Explores A Book Festival in full bloom!

2021: Hastings festival celebrates famous Owl and Pussycat poem

2021: Nonsense Automata

2021: Owls Galore as the Town Explores Lear’s Nonsense

The spirit of Edward Lear will be here

Exploring Accessibility in the Creative Industry

Read Esme Fisher’s article in the Hastings Online Times.

Poetry Writing Competition

Read about our poetry writing competition in this week’s Hastings Independent Press.

Hastings Independent Press.

Nuts About Lear

Read about our Nuts About Lear Doodles project in this week’s Hastings Independent Press.

Hastings Independent Press.

Hear My Tree Project

Head to Gensing Gardens this February to take part in a new project that celebrates St Leonards-on-Sea’s ’secret’ park – hidden from view yet running alongside London Road.

Ruby Colley will create a new sound composition from these offerings which will be featured as one of the ATownExploresABook21 festival projects in April, honouring Edward Lear’s close relationship with nature.

More info:
Hastings Independent Press.

Create a song with local song-writing teacher Anna Page

Ed Boxall

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