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.
2018 Bolton Light Festival
Communities across Bolton helped make the town shine when the inaugural Bolton Light Festival began in October 2018.
The festival was a new event for the town and has been developed from the lantern parade that formed part of the Bolton Christmas lights switch-on last year.
It saw series of light-themed performances take place across the town, starting on 18 October with events to mark the Hindu festivals of Dashehra and Diwali, and culminating in the Christmas lights switch-on lantern parade on 22 November.
Other events included a spectacular light display funded by Bolton at Home, designed by Illuminos and projected onto Bolton Town Hall on 16 and 17 November. This event marked the 21st anniversary of Bolton at Home’s Percent for Art initiative which has championed arts and creativity in the borough
As part of the festival, 10 community groups from across Bolton each put on their own light-themed arts performances after Bolton Light Festival organisers helped them secure Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) arts funding.
The festival was brought together by Bolton Light Festival Sub Group, which includes officers from Bolton Council, Bolton Libraries and Museums, Bolton at Home, and Bolton Hindu Forum, with project management support from Julie Levy, a Bolton-based arts and education consultant.
Community groups that successfully bid for funding to support their displays included Bolton Interfaith Council; Bolton Lads & Girls Club; Bolton Smart Enterprise CIC; Live From Worktown; The Destitution Project; The Willows Centre; Withins Action Group; Bolton Station Community Development Partnership; Foxes of the Fold; and Bigger Picture Arts
Other key dates in the Bolton Light Festival included Bolton Hindu Forum’s ‘Sharad Purnima Na Garba’ dance festival on 27 October, the Leverhulme Park firework display on 2 November, lantern making workshops on 31 October and 13 November, and the Museum and Library Night Code Breakers event on 14 November.