Year founded: 2008
Organiser: Creative Foundation


The Folkestone Triennial is one of the of the most ambitious public art projects to be presented in the UK.

One of the of the most ambitious public art projects to be presented in the UK, the Triennial is a three-yearly exhibition of works which are specially commissioned for public spaces throughout Folkestone.

The Triennial is conceived by curator Andrea Schlieker and aims to examine changing notions of art in the public realm. The inaugural Folkestone Triennial in 2008 included both temporary works and a number of permanent works. This pattern will be repeated in subsequent triennials so that, over time, Folkestone will become a centre for contemporary art of the highest calibre.

The East Kent coastal town of Folkestone has long been a creative centre. Historically it has attracted figures as diverse as Charles Dickens, Derek Jarman, Jimi Hendrix, Marcel Duchamp and a host of 20th century literary figures from H G Wells to George Bernard Shaw and Samuel Beckett. The Folkestone Triennial forms a major component of the creativity and arts-led regeneration of Folkestone, which is being driven by the Creative Foundation, chaired by leading UK philanthropist Roger De Haan, former chairman of Saga.

Other elements of the regeneration programme include a Foster + Partners masterplan for the redevelopment of the harbour and seafront, a new city academy specialising in the arts, a new University Campus with a strong focus on arts courses, a new performing arts centre and a Creative Quarter with over one hundred artists already established in a growing number of refurbished studio, living and retail spaces.

The Creative Foundation is an independent  arts charity dedicated to enabling the regeneration of Folkestone through creative activity. Working with the people of Folkestone, partners and other stakeholders, the Creative Foundation is transforming the town making it a better place to live, work, visit and study. Established in 2002 the Creative Foundation has a remarkable record of success having already transformed the old town of Folkestone, around the scenic harbour, into a Creative Quarter populated by artists and home to creative industries and a university outpost. Three hundred jobs have been created and ninety buildings have been restored in the Creative Quarter and the Quarterhouse, a performance venue for music, theatre, dance and comedy has been built. The area has been animated by two internationally acclaimed visual art TriennialsFolkestone Artworks is a significant and permanent contemporary art collection, a full performance programme and an annual Book Festival.