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White Christmas

Israel Beilin (later to become Irving Berlin) was born in abject poverty in Russia and didn’t arrive in America until 1893 when he was five years old. By the time he died, at the age of 101, he had written thousands of beautiful, often witty, songs inspiring the much younger George Gershwin to describe him as ‘the greatest songwriter who ever lived’. He wrote White Christmas for the film Holiday Inn, winning the Academy Award for Best Original Song; famously recorded by Bing Crosby, it became one of the most popular and best-selling songs of all time. Accredited Lecturer Pip Burley takes a closer look at the story behind White Christmas.


We've asked Lizzie Darbyshire, Chair of the North East Area Support Team and recently retired Accredited Lecturer to create a special Christmas Quiz. You can open the Quiz here. For the Answers click here

Given the lovely comments we've being receiving today, we thought we'd better add that Artvent isn't over yet!

We originally planned 24 items for Artvent but we found we had so much that we wished to share that we've extended it for another 7 days to 31st December.

So watch out for our emails over the coming week!


Our Societies support hundreds of local arts and heritage projects. Each day we highlight a grant given in 2021.  

The Arts Society Midhurst have recently given a grant to Easebourne Primary School, a primary school at the heart of the community, which will fund a whole school art installation project.

All donations from the Artvent Calendar will go towards The Arts Society’s grant giving fund, which awards grants to help preserve our artistic heritage, support the skills of artists and makers, and improve access to the arts for all.

Please click here to support projects like this one by making a Donation.



I have thoroughly enjoyed opening the Artvent calendar to read or listen to the daily information on such a wide variety of artistic topics-well done on the choices. Of course I will do the quiz & continue my daily calendar opening for the extra days as I'm enjoying my daily, cultural fix enormously!

Florence Jean Matson Fri, 24/12/2021 - 11:51 Permalink

Simply superb!

Thank you Pip

Nigel Fri, 24/12/2021 - 11:51 Permalink

I have thoroughly enjoyed the Advent Calendar, what a great success. Today’s offering was perfect. Thank you.

Sue Cottiss Fri, 24/12/2021 - 11:14 Permalink

Whilst we do have rain here it is a glorious dream to hear this great song again

Sylvia mccann Fri, 24/12/2021 - 10:53 Permalink

Very moving and beautifully told .Just the thing for this morning
A very happy Christmas to all who have made this Artvent possible !

liz simpson Fri, 24/12/2021 - 10:53 Permalink

I have very much enjoyed the Arts Society Artvent calendar. It is beautifully presented and I have found the images and explanations fascinating.
I have given a small donation to the arts society charity fund in appreciation of this advent surprise..many thanks Sara

Sara Morris Fri, 24/12/2021 - 10:52 Permalink

What an inspired idea the Artvent Calendar has been. Every day has been so keenly awaited and today’s lecture was the icing on the cake! Our favourite song in our favourite Christmas film - we will be watching it later today. Thank you so much.

Cheryl Mendham Fri, 24/12/2021 - 10:52 Permalink

Hello everyone. Thank you so much for your comments and thoughts.
Just a reminder - Artvent isn't over yet!
Originally we planned 24 items, but we had so much we wished to share that we extended Artvent by 7 days to 31st December , so watch out for our emails over the coming week!

editor Fri, 24/12/2021 - 10:35 Permalink

The whole Artvent Calendar has been wonderful. The range and expertise demonstrated has been great. I have learned - and appreciated - a lot as a result. The quiz today has been the icing on the cake. Thank you to all who made it possible and Happy Christmas!

Anne Bangay Fri, 24/12/2021 - 10:26 Permalink

What a masterly presentation; an altogether excellent summary of Irving Berlin's life! Pip Burley has more than a hint of Neil Brand's brilliance at bringing music to life for everyone.

Raymond Crick Fri, 24/12/2021 - 10:14 Permalink