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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2017 Natural Connections

2017 Natural Connections

In 2017 Bolton Library & Museum Service commissioned Bolton at Home Percent for Art to work with Library and Museum staff to deliver the ‘Natural Connections’ project, funded through the University of Leicester’s ‘Encountering the Unexpected’ research programme.  ‘Natural Connections’ which aimed to engage, inspire and re-connect older people with the natural world, using art and focusing on the Museum’s heritage collections. A programme of arts tasters, cultural and outdoor visits encouraged older people to be creative and more physically active

The project was delivered over 8 sessions between May -Sept 2017) with museum and arts professionals working alongside a group of 10 older people drawn from a number of groups in the Tonge with the Haulgh ward.  The ‘Natural Connections’ group members took part in a programme of arts tasters and outdoor activities:

  • Visit to Bolton Museum’s Natural History Collection
  • Outdoor visits to ‘Our Back Field’, a natural haven almost on their doorstep
  • Collections Access Officer-led Adult Bug Hunt - re-engaging participants with and inspiring curiosity in the plants and insects found in the natural environment
  • Ceramics, printmaking and poetry workshops, using the natural world as inspiration
  • Environmental art installation in the grounds of Smithills Hall

Feedback and enthusiasm from everyone involved clearly demonstrated that a range of art and natural history activities offered older people from across the area a space for creativity and imagination, social interaction, learning and physical activity. Groups and group members established new relationships, new friendships, and the project engaged new people

“I have enjoyed being involved in the Encountering the Unexpected project, it’s brought me to nature ... Most importantly I have made new friends”

Six ‘Encountering the Unexpected’ projects from across the North West came together for a sharing and celebration event at Manchester Museum, and the learning from the programme was published by the University of Leicester here https://unexpectedencounters.le.ac.uk/

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