Dover Arts Development concieves, manages  and delivers ambitious projects of artistic excellence within the visual arts, poetry and music. Together with the artists DAD works with, DAD connects and contributes to the lives of people in Dover Town, Dover District, across South East England and Europe and beyond.

As Cultural producers Dover Arts Development are committed to:

  • Acting as catalysts for cultural/artistic activity (innovation)
  • Developing long-term relationships that nurture inclusive cultural partnerships (co-creation)
  • Inspiring an arts and cultural approach to building community resilience (sense of place)
  • Nurturing the talent in individuals (development/growth/sustainability)

DAD now works with a range of business partners including Culture Kent, Turner Contemporary, Jasmin Vardimon Company, University for the Creative Arts, Dover Museums and Arts Group (DMAG), Up On The Downs Landscape Partnership Scheme, Port of Dover, National Trust, Kent County Council, Dover District Council, Dover Big Local and Dover Town Council, DFDS Seaways, Eurotunnel, South Eastern, National Trails, White Cliffs Tourism Alliance, Morlowe.

DAD has established a successful, impactful and recognisable design language and continues, with graphic designer Edda Salander-Jones, to adapt future project-specific design work in line with DAD branding.

After initially operating as an unincorporated 3 way partnership for 2 years with Christine Gist , DAD incorporated as a company limited by guarantee (not for profit) in 2008 with artists Joanna Jones and Clare Smith as directors.

In the Kent Creative Awards 2016, DAD won the Arts Organisation of the Year Award.

“Your energy, dedication and enthusiasm is extraordinary – and captures the imagination of others….You are masters of bringing people from varied, and one might assume opposing, parts of society together to bring energy to new ways of thinking about how we see the world and its possibilities. Your generosity with shared contacts, time and energy is extraordinary and makes others generous with each other”. Helen Lindon (Artist)

“One of the biggest challenges for PhD students is locating and gaining access to research participants. In my case, the time, imagination, and resources afforded to me by Dover Arts Development was invaluable in overcoming this obstacle. By contacting former Buckland Paper Mill workers about my project – itself ispired by their 2011 feature documentary Watermark –  I was fortunate enough to benefit from DAD’s ties and reputation within the local community, with former workers only too happy to talk to me about their time at the Mill thanks to my association with the organisation. I look forward to working with DAD in the future.” Paul Cook (University of Kent)

“DAD have proved themselves to be a trusted partner that has worked tirelessly to enhance the Arts and Cultural scene in Dover through active engagement with the Community.”   Nadeem Aziz   Chief Executive (Dover District Council)

“DAD has been brilliant in getting all sorts of people in Dover (who don’t “do” the Arts) involved in some brilliant and rather lovely projects. From wild planting on the seashore to giant round tables and miles of knitted bunting, Clare and Joanna have made Dover a better and brighter place to be. Behind the fun are 2 serious arts practitioners who bring gravitas and wonderful connections which Dover wouldn’t otherwise benefit from. We have been working together for nearly five years and look forward to many more.”  Allison Burton Town Clerk (Dover Town Council)

“The more I work with DAD, the more I see how everything they do fits together and complements each other. They are working towards a vision that is intrinsically linked to, and embedded in, a number of tourism, heritage, regeneration and art initiatives through which DAD are committed to working with and for the benefit of their local community. It is exciting to reveal another piece of this picture each time I learn more about the work of DAD.”  Sarah Corn (South East Museum Development Programme)

“Kent Arts and Culture Service have worked with Dover Arts Development (DAD) over a period of nearly 10 years in a highly productive partnership that has achieved significant growth and resilience in the Dover cultural sector. DAD have always delivered added value to projects beyond initial expectations of delivery and are one of the County’s outstanding creative producers. We highly recommend their work.”   Tony Witton  Arts and Culture Manager (Kent County Council)

“I am delighted that ever increasing recognition is being given to the cultural and heritage base across the area and the contribution that this offers to the sense of place and coastal living for incoming investors and employers, businesses and visitors alike.” Tim Ingleton, Head of Inward Investment (Dover District Council)

“Dover is the closest I’ve got to having ties to a place. DAD has provided a way of making art practice, including public realm work, part of my life, and a way of bringing together my emotional and cerebral worlds. The non-verbal has found a place”. Clare Smith

Dover occupies an important place in my own story. When I left England as a child every summer for France, we left via Dover. It was the place my mother began to let go of her reserve and regained her vitality. The gateway to another world, an indelible memory brought into the NOW with DAD.” Joanna Jones

DAD is joint custodian, with Dover Museum, of The Dover Cultural Survey and Framework prepared by muf art/architecture consultants and which provides the guidelines and principles for the delivery of projects and activities that enrich the cultural life of the town. In this role DAD acts as an advocate for arts and culture.

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DAD presents at Authenticity Symposium

We were invited to present at a Symposium organised by Dr Jane Lovell called “Reimagining Authenticity in the Age of Post-Truth” held on 19 June 2018 at Canterbury Christ Church [...]

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Devils on Horseback

Devils on Horseback was quite wonderful. The whole experience. Nice parking attendants, friendly guidance, excellent cast, brilliant script, evocative location, talented singer and surprisingly moved. An altogether enriching experience! Audience feedback [...]