Arts and culture in the city

Introducing Culture In Our City, your one stop shop for Arts & Creative Industries information and exchange in Brighton & Hove.

What's on the Culture In Our City website

We've designed the Culture in Our City website to support the arts sector in Brighton & Hove.

On the website you'll find inspiring information about:

  • resources
  • training
  • creative networks
  • funding
  • other opportunities

Find us on Twitter or join our mailing list.

Logo for Brighton & Hove Culture Alliance

About Brighton & Hove

Brighton & Hove is known internationally as a centre of creativity. We're one of the most dynamic and innovative creative clusters in the UK. We're at the forefront of advances in artificial intelligence and augmented reality.

We're home to hundreds of artists and creative producers. We host over 60 festivals a year, including the largest annual arts festival in England.

The city attracts artists and creative people. This is because of its:

  • fantastic setting between the sea and the South Downs
  • much-loved Georgian architecture and heritage
  • liberal and cosmopolitan attitude, shown by its diverse day and nightlife

The city is home to 35,000 students. The city also has a strong civil society with:

  • over 2,300 third-sector organisations
  • one of the largest populations of freelancers and homeworkers in the UK

The Arts Development team

The Arts Development team at Brighton & Hove City Council supports the vital industry of the arts by:

  • championing its strengths
  • facilitating strategic projects
  • advocating for the central role it plays in the city’s life and economy

We consult and collaborate with others. We create and communicate about initiatives such as:

  • Culture in Our City
  • the Brighton & Hove Culture Alliance

Brighton & Hove Culture Alliance

The Brighton & Hove Culture Alliance wants to promote collaboration. We want to create more, fairer, opportunities across the creative and cultural sectors in the city.

The Alliance has grown out of the ABCD Cultural Recovery Programme. The ABCD programme ran from April 2021 to December 2022 in response to Covid-19. It raised over £500k for creative projects in Brighton & Hove.

The environment we’re working in now is different but still challenging. Working together is as important as ever. It's important that the sector drives this next phase. We also want new and more diverse voices to join the conversation. 

Arts, culture and creativity are essential to the identity of Brighton & Hove. We want to encourage creative organisations and workers to work together. That way, workers in the creative industries can all contribute to the success of the city.

Aim of the Culture Alliance

“Given the extraordinary challenges we all faced with the pandemic, its impact and ongoing cost of living crisis, we have all valued and continue to learn from the ABCD programme.

The Culture Alliance builds on this collaborative way of working as a platform to devise and deliver programmes addressing the long and short-term challenges and opportunities that affect the cultural and wider community in the city”.

– Brighton Dome & Festival, Brighton & Hove City Council, University of Sussex, core funders of the Culture Alliance.

ABCD, COVID-19 and our creative industries

The impact of COVID-19 on the creative industries in the city has been significant. The loss of income caused by lockdowns has left most of the sector in financial difficulty.

Many self-employed workers have not been eligible for government support. Others have received a fraction of their previous income.

ABCD programme for cultural recovery

As a response, the ABCD programme for cultural recovery brought the cultural and creative sectors together.

In September 2020, the programme facilitated 2 weeks of conversations. The 17 conversations included over 100 freelance and salaried creative workers including:

  • award-winning artists and new artists
  • leaders
  • frontline staff of organisations large and small

With a common purpose, they focused on how the arts could:

  • recover from the crisis
  • find more sustainable and inclusive ways to grow in the future

The pandemic gave us an opportunity to look at the city’s cultural offer and build new ways of working that:

  • encourage good growth and inclusion
  • address historic gaps, inconsistencies and challenges

In restarting the cultural economy, it was important not to reinvent the city’s approach to culture. We want to build a better, brighter future that addresses the new and unexpected world we now inhabit.

The success of ABCD has now led to the foundation of the Brighton & Hove Culture Alliance.

Read The ABCD Cultural Recovery Plan

Read the evaluation of the ABCD Cultural Recovery Plan.