What is Percent for Art?
Our Percent for Art team comprises of four arts officers who are based in our Community Investment Team and work across all areas of Bolton. Our arts officers work with residents, community groups, partners and other community stakeholders to develop socially engaged arts projects that help to improve our communities and benefit customers.
We commission appropriate artists or arts organisations, to work with the local community, and we manage the project from start to finish.
The Percent for Art service actively encourages individuals and community groups to get involved in schemes that can offer creative solutions to neighbourhood issues.
Ideas for arts projects can come from our neighbourhood teams and they will focus on specific neighbourhood priorities or be developed through conversations with community groups, partner organisations or other community stakeholders. Sometimes local arts projects are developed through wider Greater Manchester, regional or national networks or funding.
Our service also offers advice and guidance to our partners with regard to developing arts projects involving other social housing customers across Bolton. We have also been commissioned by partners to project manage a number of community arts and public / environmental art projects in Bolton.
Projects can be in any medium including visual arts, performance, music, crafts, digital art and film. They can take the form of arts based consultation, skills and confidence building projects, arts in health & wellbeing work, festivals and celebratory arts, as well as streetscaping and environmental arts projects designed to enhance the physical environment.
2012 Meccano Bridge
This project was funded through a Bolton Council section 106 public art contribution from a private housing development and Bolton at Home’s Percent for Art service managed the scheme on behalf of the Council.
Artist Liam Curtin was commissioned in July 2010, and conceived the idea after 12 months of research, community consultation and creative engagement with local residents.
Construction of a giant Meccano footbridge over the canal at Nob End, Little Lever began in December 2012, followed by two Meccano picnic benches. Scaled up Meccano elements were fabricated and assembled on site by local residents and volunteers from Manchester, Bolton & Bury Canal Society.
The scheme, which has won a number of national awards, provided an opportunity for local artist Yolande Baxendale to shadow Liam and gain valuable knowledge, skills and experience. Bolton at Home commissioned Yolande to work with local community groups to design a new ‘Milestone 8’ for the canalside.
“When we started this project quite a few years ago we never thought it would be like this. It’s absolutely wonderful.” Project Consultation Forum Member