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Talk arts and culture with Mystic Joe

24 Jan 2019

Crawley Borough Council has acquired the help of ‘Mystic Joe’, a fun and interactive twist on consultation, to get Crawley talking about the current arts and culture offer in the town. 

The consultation, delivered through a travelling touchscreen and online survey, focuses on identifying gaps and gathering information on how arts and culture can be improved. Mystic Joe was launched at the Dormans Youth Arts Centre in Gossops Green on Wednesday 23 January.

The public consultation continues in Crawley Library on Monday 28 January from 12 noon before undertaking a tour of the town until June. The questions were formed following a previous consultation exercise undertaken with key stakeholders between April and July 2018.

Results of the consultation will be used to develop an arts and culture strategy for Crawley. Key priorities will be established for the council, stakeholders and partners, which will encourage the creative industries, cultural events and activities and participation.

With funding from Arts Council England, the council has appointed producers Louise Blackwell, a Crawley native, and Naomi Alexander to develop the consultation project. They’ve commissioned local artist, Joe McAlister, who’s developed the fun and interactive way of delivering the consultation, based on a vintage fortune teller booth.

Mystic Joe cleverly incorporates art and technology, recording responses via a touchscreen. Once the questions are answered, a unique, printed fortune and information on arts and leisure activities in the town is automatically generated.

An extensive community schedule is in place for Mystic Joe, visiting local venues and businesses to ensure members of the public have an opportunity to contribute to the consultation.

Councillor Chris Mullins, Cabinet member for Wellbeing, said: “It’s really important Crawley residents voice their opinion on this consultation; it’s the first step to improving the arts and culture in our town.

“Crawley Borough Council has run a lot consultations over the years, but this is the first to be delivered by a fortune teller booth! I encourage people to stay up-to-date with Mystic Joe’s movements through social media and to go and visit him to have your say.”

Adding to this, Louise Blackwell, creative producer, said: “Joe McAlister has created an eye-catching and engaging artwork – I can’t wait for people to meet Mystic Joe and share their thoughts with him on arts and culture. There’s a chance for everyone to have a real impact on what happens in Crawley for the coming years and I encourage you to take part.”

For an up-to-date schedule of where Mystic Joe will be appearing, or to participate in the consultation, visit or follow Mystic Joe’s journey on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @MysticJoe2019.