Sevenoaks District Arts Council, funded by Sevenoaks District Council with an annual grant, exists to support, encourage and promote all forms of artistic endeavour within Sevenoaks District. It was set up in 1974 after the re-arrangement of the district boundaries when the Urban and Rural District Councils at that time became Sevenoaks District Council with the boundaries as they are today. The aim was to support the Arts in the area financially and otherwise and, importantly, to set it up with its own Executive Committee representing arts groups in the area and with District Councillors appointed annually to attend meetings if they wished and to receive all minutes and notifications of meetings. Cllr Alan Pett is currently our Chairman.
Over time we have grown to more than fifty affiliated member groups from all over the District from Swanley and Hextable to Sevenoaks, Westerham and Edenbridge and the villages in between. These cover a wide variety of activities including choirs, orchestras, dramatic and operatic societies, art studios, festivals and camera clubs. Any amateur arts’ organisation within the District may become affiliated and therefore entitled to apply for financial help for a specific production or event. This can be in the form of a grant or underwriting. Underwriting gives groups the financial security they need when starting up or putting on a show and, frequently, when the money is not called upon, that money is “re-cycled “.
We also exist to promote and encourage groups and to assist financially should disaster strike or a vital piece of equipment be needed. SDAC sends out a four-monthly on-line newsletter to all our affiliated members in which they can promote their activities and support each other’s endeavours and requests for help with loans of equipment. In addition, each affiliated group can send two representatives to the Annual General Meeting where everyone is welcome and those present can report on their activities during that year and their future plans. This is an invaluable forum for networking and always a very exciting and encouraging sign that the Arts are flourishing in our area.