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.

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2013 Smart materials

2013 Smart materials

This was a Bolton at Home and University of Bolton partnership project funded by Arts Council England & AGMA as part of a three year initiative to increase arts participation in areas of low engagement.  The project explored the creative application of smart materials with local arts & crafts practitioners and communities.  Smart materials technology was incorporated into artwork by artists commissioned to work with local groups.

Jen Gilmour worked with the Knit & Natter and Women’s Groups in Breightmet to design and make elements that were incorporated into the audio-visual fabric of the ‘If these walls could talk...’ house installation; Nerissa Cargill-Thompson worked with Breightmet Wanderers AFC to create banners for their march in support of the ‘Kick It Out’ campaign, and was also commissioned by elderly residents of Little Lever to help them design and install a 21m garden mural; and Sue Walpole ran print-making workshops with elderly members of Little Lever West Residents Association to create crafts for their fundraising event. 

People marching in parade with handmade banners

“The project provides new opportunities for people to create, develop their skills and to demonstrate how technology can be fun and easy to use.” Kate Holmes PhD

Bedroom with illustrations on the wall and embroidery on bed linen

Get in touch with our Percent for Arts team

Email Rodney Adams or call 07867 638494

Email Gaynor Cox or call 07979 705123

Email Shonagh Ingram or call 07717 225150

Email Michelle Sheree or call 07392 108282

In your words

“Group work has helped me and my son communicate – we can now talk instead of shouting at one another all the time. He is now a happy and settled young man, who feels more secure in himself and expresses confidence around others.”

Participant. Unearthing.

In your words

“Being in other people’s company, it’s really nice, it lifts your spirits, it makes you feel happier about yourself, it makes it so I think you’ve got a purpose in your life.”

Barbara, Natural Connections project

In your words

“The professionals are really talented, and working with them taught us how to become better actors and helped our confidence.”

Declan McClusky, aged 10. Shakespeare on the Street

In your words

“We really enjoyed performing on stage and making new friends. I know
I want to be an actress when I’m older.”

Megan Hayes, aged 11. Shakespeare on the Street

In your words

"I started to look forward to my Wednesdays. I got to know so many new people and felt rewarded, positive and productive after each session."

Participant, Mr One Million