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.
2013 Octagon Theatre Partnership
Percent for Art has worked collaboratively with the Octagon Theatre and Activ8 since 1998. In 2013 the two organisations formalised their partnership, and developed a programme of activities aimed at reaching communities not currently engaged, focusing on the following themes:
Participation: including Willows Youth Theatre – the flagship satellite youth theatre at the Willows Community Centre; youth theatre bursaries; and drama provision and theatre skills development for Bolton at Home’s women’s network.
Life skills: an accredited employability programme, including a series of masterclasses to support customers to become work ready using drama skills; and a development programme offering customers a progression route to move from participation to volunteering and work experience within the Octagon and its partner organisations.
Performances: 1800 free and discounted tickets available to Bolton at Home customers and community groups; and touring work by the Octagon Company and Octagon Academy to Bolton at Home centres and community settings.
Performance opportunities: individual performance opportunities at the Octagon Theatre; and participation opportunities in the Octagon Theatre’s emerging artists REVEAL Festival.