CT20 is a contemporary visual arts and cultural platform championing high quality contemporary art and diversity from the margins, and a producer of diverse contemporary cultures.
CT20 is an independent non-profit BAME-led visual arts & community organisation based in Folkestone that delivers high-impact contemporary arts & heritage programmes to diverse ‘non-art’ audiences & marginalised communities in Kent, championing outstanding talents from the margins.
Unique in the region, we use radical & pioneering methods that break the mould & engage a wide audience, colliding high quality international art with hyper-local heritage projects, opening up ‘normal’ Britain in non-traditional & unprecedented ways.
What do we mean by ‘Creative Excellence’…
CT20 are producers of original diverse cultural content that pushes boundaries and transcends cultural barriers.
CT20 aims for consistency of quality and high impact of delivery, which is achieved through developing in-house expertise, knowledge & professionalism supported by a network of partners who are leaders in their field.
CT20 nurtures, supports, promotes and collaborates with outstanding individuals who are committed to their art, regardless of their chosen disciplines or backgrounds.
CT20 cares for the well-being of artists and works closely with them to create bespoke support structures to realise the next stage of their creative goals.
CT20 is committed to creating a more ethical and sustainable cultural ecosystem built upon fairness and trust.
CT20 delivers high level of professional conduct through all members of its team, as well as our extended network of collaborators, artists, partners, audiences and participants.
What do we mean by ‘MARGINS’
CT20 is an independent arts organisation that promotes the under-represented to create new perspectives that challenge existing paradigms dominated by mainstream visual cultures.
Based in Folkestone on the south-eastern coast of Kent, poised on the edge of UK and mainland Europe, CT20 occupies the geographical and social margins where culture is embroiled within wider debates surrounding identity, place, political turmoil, and the rapid urban transformations experienced through gentrification, migration and technology.
Site-specificity is key to our programming. CT20 commissions radical art that is immersed in its times and responds to its place, transcending disciplinary, geographic and cultural boundaries.
What do we mean by ‘DIVERSITY’…
CT20 was previously known as HOP Projects, founded by Nina and Tomas, Chinese and Chilean diasporas who have made the UK their home. Since 2022, Nina has spearheaded CT20’s unique vision and ethos that combines her passion for the arts and their need to better represent multicultural dialects in Britain. Being a woman of colour and from working class backgrounds, she sets an example in opening up new perspectives by embracing diverse talents, voices, tastes and cultural accents.
Hybrid Cultures = International Diversity + Hyper-Local
CT20’s cultural productions synthesise divergent aesthetics and cultural traditions. It brings high calibre international artists outside the Western cultural hegemony to the UK to make works situated within local contexts. Whilst at the same time, it connects with and promotes local grass-roots cultures outside dominant cultural radar.
CT20 believes that great art has the power to transcend time and overcome cultural barriers to touch everyone. Making art accessible means finding the connection between the individual and the universal, and changing the way in which art is being framed.
CT20’s innovative production models break with cultural conventions and stereotypes, to provide life-long learning opportunities and viable career paths for people from all backgrounds.
CT20’s creative ambitions & mission is delivered through its core programme of Projects, Journals & Residencies. We curate, commission & produce NEW CONTEMPORARY ART, alongside high impact ENGAGEMENT activities & international RESIDENCIES.
From our headquarters based in the heart of Folkestone’s Creative Quarter, we run a public-facing gallery & project space with a monthly programme of exhibitions. We have a small & dynamic Production facility catered for digital content capture, moving image, audio-visual productions as well as ambitious site-specific installations. We PRODUCE & PUBLISH digital content for diverse international audiences, and with our Risograph Press we DESIGN, PUBLISH & PRINT accessible publications & high-end Editions. CT20 is now developing a professional DIGITAL ARCHIVE for its digital assets, working with local heritage to create a new heritage archive called ‘TWF’ – This Week in Folkestone.
Nina Shen is a multidisciplinary curator and arts producer with multiple careers in the visual arts, architecture, design and education.
Born in China and growing up in the UK, Nina is part of a generation who experiences rapid economic, social and cultural compression brought about by capitalism, technology and migration. Drawing from personal history, diverse professional experiences and hands-on knowledge, Nina seeks to innovate cultural models that better reflect and serve the complexities of contemporary experiences. This process often necessitates the breaking down of existing cultural barriers, to unlock hidden potentials freed from the limitations of disciplinary silos.
Nina is currently developing participatory arts projects with minority diaspora communities in Kent and people not traditionally in the arts, exploring post-colonial legacies on counter-cultures, class and cultural identities, how they shape complex contemporary experiences and hybrid aesthetics.
Prior to co-founding CT20, Nina has been a founding member of the artistic collective S-T-O-R-E, actively involved in the creation of an experimental educational and social enterprises as featured in ‘Radical Pedagogies: Architectural Education and the British Tradition’. Trained as an architect, Nina taught alongside Prof. Andrew Holmes as part of a highly regarded and specialist design unit at Oxford Brookes University before founding her own with fellow lecturer Declan Molloy.
A Folkestone resident since birth, Maddy is a writer and creative who has long been fascinated by the hidden cultures and communities of her hometown and those who live within it.
Raised on punk music and poetry, Maddy has spent her life endeavouring to understand the ways in which art can weave together intricate tapestries of personal stories and memories.
With her creative passions leading her to pursue a career in music journalism, whilst studying in Southampton, Maddy became increasingly aware of the growing need for inclusivity within the arts industry. This discovery sparked her initiation of the ‘South Coast Women In Music’ convention, an event to raise awareness of inequality and celebrate unrecognised creative brilliance.
Further pursuing an MA in Music and Culture, Maddy has also established a culture of community around ‘Unfinished Business’, an independent zine series showcasing the abandoned works of artists, writers and poets.
With a passion for listening to and communicating the stories of those around her, Maddy brings her drive for celebrating diversity and art to the team at CT20.
Max Hopkinson is a professional archivist who has been working in the archives sector for over a decade, and has worked at institutions including The National Theatre, Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and Barnardo’s.
Max first became interested in working with archives in response to the obscurity of LGBTQ histories in the historical record. They believe archives play a vital role in ensuring accountability and transparency, and inform the future by helping us to learn from the past. Max is passionate about countering the historical biases of institutional archives by ensuring that diverse and marginalised voices are valued and represented within the archive.
As a self-described queer and neurodivergent ‘weirdo’, Max is motivated by a desire to challenge dominant hierarchies and deconstruct normative ways of thinking. In their spare time, they are avid collagist who enjoys the process of reordering fragments to make sense of the chaos of life. Max also co-facilitates, TransFolke, an arts-based social club for transgender, non-binary, gender diverse, and gender questioning people in Folkestone.
ADVISOrY BOARD –
We are in the process of building a new advisory board to support CT20’s future vision.
CT20 has been generously supported by, or developed projects in partnerships with:
Roger De Haan Charitable Trust
Arts Council England
Kent County Council
Association Fructôse (Dunkirk)
Creative Folkestone (Folkestone)
DAD – Dover Arts Development (Dover)
El Estudio (Santiago, Chile)
Folkestone Fringe (Folkestone)
Glasgow School of Art (Glasgow)
La Plate-Forme (Dunkirk)
Last Fridays Folkestone (Folkestone)
Oxford Brookes University (Oxford)
Shape Arts (London)
STORE Projects (London)
Strangelove Festival (Folkestone + London)
The Performance Space (Folkestone)
Venice Agenda (Folkestone)
Tannery Arts & Tannery Projects (London)
The Drawing Room (London)
UCA University of Creative Arts Canterbury (Canterbury)
University of Westminster (London)
Hijack (Jing Xie, Qiong Zhang)
Alexander James Pollard