Culture East Sussex

Culture East Sussex (CES) is a network of public bodies, cultural organisations, and individuals that is hosted by East Sussex County Council. It is subgroup of Team East Sussex (TES) and reports to TES annually. 

Culture East Sussex works across four main areas, it:

  • is a collective voice for culture across East Sussex
  • supports and develops the skills of all people working in the cultural sector in East Sussex
  • promotes the diversity of the sector and ensures equality of access to culture in East Sussex
  • encourages collaboration and mutual support within the cultural sector and works with its partners across a range of themes of mutual interest.

Culture East Sussex vision and mission

CES believes that culture is a route to positive change, creates new possibilities and enables diverse communities to live well.

Its mission is to advocate for culture so that together CES can create opportunities for positive change for all of East Sussex.

Principles and priorities

The work of CES is underpinned by a set of principles that are as follows:

  • Strategic - CES supports and endorses projects that are strategically driven, long-term, and linked to broader strategic objectives
  • Skills - CES will support projects that aim to develop the skills and opportunities for people within the cultural sector
  • Diversity and inclusion - CES will endorse projects that have diversity and inclusion at their heart, capitalising on East Sussex’s diverse population, culture and heritage
  • Collaboration - CES will look favourably at projects that are partnership-led, build networks and exchanges and are cross-sectoral
  • Wellbeing - CES will support projects that put local people first and support their wellbeing through cultural engagement and education and demonstrate long-term sustainability
  • Sustainability - CES will champion projects that demonstrate long-term environmental and financial sustainability.

The priorities of CES are linked to the East Sussex Cultural Strategy (2013-25) which has three key priorities:

  • Priority 1 - Create an environment where great cultural experiences are available to everyone to enhance their quality of life
  • Priority 2 - Create an environment which enables the cultural and creative economy to expand and enhances the ability to attract and retain other businesses
  • Priority 3 - Develop and promote well packaged cultural tourism offers which celebrate the identity of East Sussex, raises its profile and attracts more visitors and businesses to the County.

The CES Board works together to deliver the vision and mission of CES and ensure that the cultural sector creates opportunities and possibilities for everyone. They do this by managing the CES Culture Priority Pipeline, discussing topics of relevance and interest, and advocating for the sector.

How the Board is chosen

Depending on the category, individual places are either:

  • chosen by an open competition
  • proposed by certain organisations in consultation with the nominations committee,  or
  • co-opted.

Board members serve for a three-year term and can be re-elected every three years. On appointment, all Board members will receive an induction pack and will be required to complete a declarations of interest and protected characteristics form.

Appointments will be advertised online, and more information can be requested from the team.

Who is on the Board?

The CES Board is made-up of up to 35 members. This includes representatives of cultural organisations, independent artists and freelancers, representatives from East Sussex County Council, Eastbourne and Lewes, Hastings, Rother and Wealden District and Borough Councils, Team East Sussex, the education and public health sectors as well as co-opted members to improve representation of people with protected characteristics under the Equalities Act, and other national or county bodies that support culture in East Sussex.

Current CES members are listed below. Please note  members that are listed together hold a shared membership.

Rupert Clubb, East Sussex County Council (Chair)

Rupert is the Director of Communities, Economy, and Transport at East Sussex County Council.

Ami Bouhassane and Antony Penrose, Farley's House and Gallery

Ami and Antony are Co-Directors of Farleys House and Gallery Ltd which manages the Lee Miller Archives and The Penrose Collection.

Antony Penrose is the son of the American photographer Lee Miller and Roland Penrose, surrealist artist and biographer of Picasso, Miró, Man Ray and Tàpies. Antony has written numerous books, articles and two plays on the subject of his parents and their associates. The movie LEE to be released in 2024 starring Kate Winslet as Lee Miller is based on his biography The Lives of Lee Miller. He lectures widely and is a curator of photography, an artist and film maker in his own right.

Anthony Kalume, Diversity Lewes

Anthony is the Director of Diversity Lewes, a community organisation with a mission to celebrate diversity in its broadest sense and change the current mindset. He is also a curator at Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft with global connections, curating in Chicago, Berlin, and Kenya.

Ben Hook and Melanie Powell, Rother District Council

Ben Hook is the Director of Place and Climate Change and Rother District Council. Melanie is the regeneration manager at Rother, and the East Sussex Chair of the South East Creative Economy Network (SECEN).

Dawn Badland, Applause Rural Touring

Dawn is Executive Director of Applause Rural Touring, and has 20 years worth of experience in Arts Management. Applause is a cultural charitable organisation that collaborates with people across Kent, Sussex, Essex, and the wider region to create opportunities for creative experiences in their local communities.

Jenny Williams, Take the Space

Jenny is a creative consultant and founder of Take the Space, a creative diversity agency bringing together policy, production and practice to co-create inclusive spaces with artists, organisations and communities. Jenny has 28 years experience working in the Arts and Heritage sector 

Joe Hill, Towner Eastbourne

Joe has been director at Towner since 2018 and has led them through winning Art Museum of the Year in 2020, their centenary year and Turner Prize in 2023.

Julia Roberts, Culture Shift

Julia is CEO at Culture Shift, who deliver a diverse portfolio of projects, working with a wide range of beneficiaries including children and young people, disabled people, their families and carers. Julia is a theatre specialist with a portfolio of experience which includes working as a Performing Arts consultant for the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, Creative Agent for Creative Partnerships Sussex and Surrey and Programme Manager and Live Arts Creative Producer for Carousel; a disability arts organisation based in Brighton. 

Kate Adams and Helen Charlton, Project Artworks

Kate Adams is an artist, advocate and activist. She is Director & CEO of Project Art Works and has curated many responsive, collaborative projects with neurominorities, families, care services, artists and galleries. Kate co-founded Project Art Works in 1997 to explore an expanded concept of art that was and continues to be influenced by Paul Colley, her son, who has complex support needs. Their work embraces personalised studio practice, peer support and award-winning films, art actions, installations and exhibitions. Kate’s practice disrupts preconceptions about what people can and can’t do, who they are and how they live, revealing other ways of being in and seeing the world.

Helen Charlton, Development Director joined Project Art Works in 2019, having previously worked across social care and cultural sectors in project management, professional development, audience development, marketing, communications, and fundraising. She currently leads on fundraising across programmes and capital development at Project Art Works.

Laura McDermott, The Attenborough Centre, University of Sussex

Laura McDermott has been Creative Director at Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts since the refurbished arts centre reopened in May 2016.  The space (formerly Gardner Arts Centre) is an interdisciplinary arts hub connecting University of Sussex to Brighton & Hove and the wider national and international arts and research community. Previously, Laura worked as a Creative Associate with public art producers Situations on The Tale. 

Liz Gilmore, Hastings Contemporary

Liz has been director of Hastings Contemporary since it opened its doors in 2012. Previously, Liz worked as head of Visual Arts for the South East at Arts Council England. Liz is also a fellow of Westminster Abbey Institute for Morals and Ethics in Public Life, and former chair of Cultural Leaders network.

Nathaniel Hepburn, Charleston

Nathaniel is director at Charleston in Firle and the newly opened Charleston in Lewes, and previously director at Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft. Nathaniel has been the Chair of the tourism marketing organisation, Sussex Modern, since 2019. Sussex Modern led of the Sussex Wine: A Plan for Growth which was published in 2023. 

Peter Chivers, Create Music

Peter Chivers is the Director of Create Music, the county's music education hub, engaging with thousands of young people weekly.  He also serves as Director of Future Creators and Good space, two strategic programmes promoting volunteering experiences and cultural education partnerships locally and nationally.

Phoene Cave, The Musical Breath

Phoene Cave is a creative producer and project manager, performer, trainer, clinical supervisor and HCPC registered music therapist whose experience ranges across multiple organisations and diverse communities. Her pioneering work in singing for lung health began in 2008 at the Royal Brompton Hospital London. As Director of The Musical Breath  she has trained 320+ singing leaders worldwide.

Previously, Phoene's work includes Head of Music Services, Music Therapist at HMP Bronzefield, Arts Therapies Placements Development Lead at East London NHS Foundation Trust, Consultant on a feasibility trial into the efficacy of singing for lung health and joint author of multiple research papers. Creative producer and lead artist for TRANSIT an Arts Council England funded site-specific residency at Towner Eastbourne.

Sally Lampitt, Hastings Fat Tuesday 

Sally is Co-Director of Hastings Fat Tuesday, a not-for-profit organisation that delivers a year-round programme of activity to support the communities of Hastings and St Leonards. This includes the flagship Fat Tuesday Music Festival, biennial ‘Sonics’ electronic music festival and a range of live music events and community sessions and workshops to support musicians and young people, and provide engaging cultural experiences for all. Sally is also deputy director at Applause Rural Touring.

Steph Fuller, Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft

Steph has been Director at Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft since 2018. Ditchling Museum opened in 1985 to celebrate the rich artistic history of the area. Steph is also a member of the Disability Arts Online board, and previously worked as a senior manager at Arts Council England.

Stewart Drew, De La Warr Pavilion

Stewart is the Director of the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea. Primarily established as a visual arts organisation, DLWP has a reputation for innovative gallery and engagement programmes, commissioning new work, delivering large-scale installations, challenging interdisciplinary programmes and a high quality live programme. The organisation plays an important role in providing a platform for artists at all stages of their careers to develop their work, as well as being a catalyst for culture led regeneration of the region. Stewart is also the Chair of 1066 Country Marketing, and Chair of East Sussex and Brighton & Hove Music Hub.

Teresa Salami-Oru and Darrell Gale, East Sussex County Council Public Health

Darrel Gale is the director of Public Health at East Sussex County Council, and Teresa is Public Health lead for Arts in Public Health ( Creative Health), Research and Evaluation and Community Recovery.

Tim Slaney and Anooshka Rawden, South Downs National Park Association

Tim Slaney is the Interim Chief Executive Officer for the South Downs National Park Authority. He joined the Authority in 2011 as the first Director of Planning.  He set up and led one of the country’s busiest planning teams adopting a unique partnership arrangement with other planning authorities.  Prior to that, he worked at the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead as Head of Planning and Regeneration.

Anooshka Rawden is the Cultural Heritage Lead for the South Downs National Park Authority. She currently sits on Arts Council England’s UK Museum Accreditation Committee, and the National Lottery Heritage Fund London and South Committee. Anooshka’s background is in museums, and includes collections management and programme management, with stand-out experiences including having cared for the collections of the Society of Antiquaries of London. Anooshka has previous acted as vice chair of the Society for Museum Archaeology, where in 2020 she co-edited the first revised standards for the care of museum archaeology collections to be updated since 1992, and has mentored young people as part of Museum Futures.

Victoria Conheady, Hastings Borough Council

Victoria is the Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Place at Hastings Borough Council.

Secretariat team:

Sally Staples, East Sussex County Council

Sally is the Team Manager for Culture and Tourism at East Sussex County Council.

Kimberley Bulgin, East Sussex County Council

Kim is the Project Coordinator in the Culture and Tourism team.

Applications to join the board will be announced in late 2024.

The Culture Priority Pipeline (CPP) is a pipeline of projects that align to the priorities of East Sussex’s Cultural Strategy (2013-25) and principles of CES.

The pipeline allows CES to clearly identify projects that are investment-ready when significant funding pots become available. CES will then advise organisations of the opportunity and support the application, helping the cultural sector deliver the priorities of East Sussex’s Cultural Strategy.

The CPP is not a funding application or a bid. It is managed and kept updated by the Cultural and Tourism Team. 

If you are interested in viewing the projects on the pipeline, please contact Kim Bulgin.

Add your project

To tell CES about an investment-ready project, organisations can complete a short project summary and explain how it will meet the principles and priorities of the Cultural Strategy and investment principles.

Our subcommittee meets four times a year to discuss projects. You will hear back from us after our next meeting. If you wish to send us a submission to review, please send the completed document to us a week before our next meeting. The upcoming dates are:

  • 26th June 2024
  • 9th October 2024
  • 22nd January 2025

CES meets quarterly. The dates of CES Board meetings for this financial year are:

  • 4th July 2024
  • 23rd October 2024
  • 4th February 2025

CES Board meeting minutes

Download the last minutes of the CES Board meeting:

Annual statement

CES publishes an annual statement reviewing its activity for the year. The latest one will be prepared in 2024.

Terms of reference

CES terms of reference were updated in 2022:

Sub Groups

Culture East Sussex has four Sub Groups comprised of members and co-opted members. These groups meet regularly to discuss CES projects and the board are kept up to date on activity.

Culture Priority Pipeline (CPP)

The CPP subgroup meet to discuss submissions, give advice to organisations on funding, and decide which projects are placed on the Pipeline. You can find more information on the CPP page on the previous tab.

Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI)

The EDI subgroup build and report on the CES EDI Action Plan. Reporting at each CES board meeting, the group aim to increase and improve provision in Culture across East Sussex.

Eastbourne Alive

As part of the Turner Prize wraparound project, Eastbourne Alive worked to create a wider benefit to Eastbourne and East Sussex. Involving themes of skills, young people, and the visitor economy, this subgroup ended in April 2024.


The nominations group create the CES advert to ensure it is easily accessible and shared widely. They also review and accept applications to join the board, and identify gaps in representation.

Cultural Strategy

This task and finish group is working through refreshing the East Sussex Cultural Strategy. This group will start meeting from May 2024.


The East Sussex County Council Culture and Tourism Team