we’re here because we’re here

LeftCoast takes part in 14-18 NOW’s UK-wide work by Jeremy Deller to commemorate the centenary of the Somme   LeftCoast are proud to be part of a project that involved

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LeftCoast takes part in 14-18 NOW’s UK-wide work by Jeremy Deller to commemorate the centenary of the Somme

 

LeftCoast are proud to be part of a project that involved hundreds of volunteers in the North West. Led by the ROYAL EXCHANGE THEATRE, partner organisations LeftCoast (Blackpool), Bolton Octagon, Oldham Coliseum and Storyhouse (Chester) were part of a UK-wide event that took place today, 1 July 2016, as a modern memorial to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. Commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, the work was conceived and created by Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller in collaboration with Rufus Norris, Director of the National Theatre.

 

All photographs used in this article were taken by CJ Griffiths Photography.


Project Octogan CJGriffiths Photography (15)

The specially commissioned event saw around 1500 voluntary participants dressed in First World War uniform appear unexpectedly in locations across the UK. The Royal Exchange was one of 27 organisations which collaborated on the work, called ‘we’re here because we’re here’. It was produced by Birmingham Repertory Theatre and the National Theatre, working in close collaboration with partners including: Lyric Theatre Belfast, National Theatre of Scotland, National Theatre Wales, Northern Stage, Playhouse Derry-Londonderry, Salisbury Playhouse, Sheffield Theatres and Theatre Royal Plymouth.

 

The project breaks new ground in terms of its scale, breadth, reach and the number of partners and participants involved. This is the first time three national theatres have worked together on a joint project, and the first time so many theatres have worked together on a UK-wide participation project.

 

The participants who walked the streets today were a reminder of the 19,240 men who were killed on 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme.  Each participant represented an individual soldier who was killed that day. The work is partly inspired by tales of sightings during and after the First World War by people who believed they had seen a dead loved one.

Project Octogan CJGriffiths Photography (22)

The participants wore historically accurate uniforms, representing 15 of the regiments that suffered losses in the first day of the Battle. The soldiers did not speak, but at points throughout the day would sing the song ‘we’re here because we’re here’, which was sung in the trenches during the First World War. They handed out cards to members of the public with the name and regiment of the soldier they represented, and, where known, the age of the soldier when he died on 1 July 1916.

 

The daylong work ran from 7am to 7pm and covered the width and breadth of the UK, from Shetland to Penzance.  Sites they visited included shopping centres, train stations, beaches, car parks and high streets – taking the memorial to contemporary Britain and bringing an intervention into people’s daily lives where it was least expected.

 

The volunteers were men aged between 16-52, reflecting the men who would have fought in the Somme. They were not trained actors but come from a range of professions, including a sheep farmer, flight attendant, doctor, lawyer, social worker, shop assistant, portrait artist and GCSE student. They came together to rehearse in theatres across the UK over a month-long period in the run-up to the performance.  ‘we’re here because we’re here’ is one of the largest arts participation projects ever staged in the UK, with hundreds of additional volunteers working behind the scenes.

 Project Octogan CJGriffiths Photography (9)

Jeremy Deller said:

“I wanted to make a contemporary memorial to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, one that moved around the UK with an unpredictability in which the participants took the work directly to the public.”

 

Rufus Norris, Director of the National Theatre, said:

“This work by Jeremy Deller is a truly national piece of theatre and is a powerful way to remember the men who went off to fight 100 years ago. I also hope it will serve as a catalyst to strengthen ties with theatres and communities across the UK.”

 

Jenny Waldman, Director of 14-18 NOW, said:

“1 July 1916 saw 57,470 casualties on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, of whom nearly 20,000 died: it was the bloodiest day in British military history. Taking part in ‘we’re here because we’re here’ has given hundreds of young people across the UK the chance to find out more about the Somme, and in some cases discover the stories of family members who fought in the war.  Working alongside brilliant artists, directors and theatres on this astonishing project will be an experience they will never forget.”

Project Octogan CJGriffiths Photography (20)

Sarah Frankcom, Artistic Director Royal Exchange Theatre, said:

“When I was asked if the Exchange wanted to be involved in this project the answer was easy – Yes. Jeremy Deller has created a powerful and provocative performance which the whole of the UK can experience together in a single day. It has been an incredible opportunity for our participants and an extraordinary way for them to find out more about the Somme and to share it with people across the whole of the North West. It has also been a great way to cement relationships with arts organisations across the country.”

 

Julia Turpin, Executive Director at LeftCoast said:

“LeftCoast is delighted to have been a part of ‘we’re here because we’re here’ working with Jeremy Deller and some of the country’s leading arts organisations.  It has been a totally unique opportunity for men in Blackpool to have been involved in this living memorial – their generosity and commitment to this project has been outstanding”

 

The project was supported by: Aberystwyth Arts Centre, The Belgrade Theatre, Bolton Octagon, Bristol Old Vic, Storyhouse, Left Coast, Leicester Curve, Nuffield Theatre, Oldham Coliseum, Pontio, Shetland Arts, Sutton Coldfield College BMet, The Artrix Bromsgrove, The Garrick Lichfield and Volcano.

Project Octogan CJGriffiths Photography (3)

Media partner: BBC

 

‘we’re here because we’re here’ was made possible by an Ambition for Excellence Award from Arts Council England, with additional support from Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Creative Scotland and Art Fund. 14-18 NOW is principally funded by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England, and by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport

 

For further press information please contact: Paula Rabbitt, Communications Manager 0161 615 6783 / paula.rabbitt@royalexchange.co.uk

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

 

‘we’re here because we’re here’ was commissioned by 14-18 NOW, and conceived and created by Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller in collaboration with Rufus Norris, Director of the National Theatre. It was produced by Birmingham Repertory Theatre and the National Theatre with the following partners:

Lyric Theatre Belfast

Manchester Royal Exchange

National Theatre of Scotland

National Theatre Wales

Northern Stage

Playhouse Derry-Londonderry

Salisbury Playhouse

Sheffield Theatres

Theatre Royal Plymouth

 

14-18 NOW

14-18 NOW is a programme of extraordinary arts experiences connecting people with the First World War, as part of the UK’s official centenary commemorations. It aims to engage as many people as possible with the First World War, exploring how the war has impacted on the society we live in now. 14-18 NOW commissions new work by leading contemporary artists from all art forms, inspired by the period 1914-1918.  The commemorative period is marked by three key seasons – the first season centred around 4 August 2014 (Anniversary of the Declaration of War), the second is March to November 2016 (anniversary of the Battle of Jutland and the Battle of the Somme) and the last in 2018 (centenary of Armistice Day). 14-18 NOW is responsible for the UK tour of the iconic poppy sculptures by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper. 14 -18 NOW is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England, by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and by additional fundraising.  14-18 NOW has commissioned over 80 artworks to date that have been seen by over 20 million people.

 

Birmingham Repertory Theatre

Birmingham Repertory Theatre is one of Britain’s leading producing theatres. Founded in 1913 by Sir Barry Jackson, Birmingham Repertory Theatre Company rapidly became one of the most famous and exciting theatre companies in the country launching the careers of an array of many great British actors including Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson, Edith Evans, Paul Scofield, Derek Jacobi, Elizabeth Spriggs, Albert Finney and many more.  In 2013 the company celebrated its centenary.

 

The REP’s aim is to inspire a lifelong love of theatre in the diverse communities of Birmingham and beyond.  As well as presenting over 60 productions on its three stages every year, the theatre tours its productions nationally and internationally, showcasing theatre made in Birmingham. The commissioning and production of new work lies at the core of The REP’s programme and over the last 15 years the company has produced more than 130 new plays. The theatre’s learning and participation programme is the best of any cultural organisation in the city and in the past year The REP has engaged with 4500 young people and 2600 adults through its learning and participation programme equating to 30,000 individual educational sessions. The REP is also committed to nurturing new talent through its youth theatre groups, The Young REP, its professional artist development scheme, REP Foundry, plus a new initiative, FURNACE which offers local people opportunities to develop new talents.

 

DCMS

4 August 2014 marked 100 years since the start of the First World War. In recognition of this significant milestone the Government is leading a five-year commemorative programme of national ceremonial events, cultural and educational activity and community engagement. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport, DCMS, manages this cross government programme working with key delivery partners including Imperial War Museums, 14-18 NOW, Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic England.

 

Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife.

www.hlf.org.uk @heritagelottery #UnderstandingWW1

 

Other HLF-funded First World War projects include:

  • First World War Galleries, Imperial War Museum London – £6.5m
  • The Yorkshire Film Archive – £52,400
  • HMS Caroline, the last surviving First World War battleship – £12m
  • Herts at War –  £98,400
  • 1914 London B-type ‘Battle’ Bus, which drove out to the Western Front – £750,000

Arts Council England

Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2015 and 2018, we are investing £1.1 billion of public money from government and an estimated £700 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk

 

First World War Centenary Partnership

2014 – 2018 marks the centenary of the First World War, a landmark anniversary for Britain and the world. IWM is marking the centenary by leading a vibrant, five-year programme of cultural activities across the world. This year is the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. For more information visit www.1914.org.

 

Paul Hamlyn Foundation

Paul Hamlyn Foundation was established by Paul Hamlyn in 1987. Upon his death in 2001, he left most of his estate to the Foundation, creating one of the largest independent grant-making foundations in the UK. Our mission is to help people overcome disadvantage and lack of opportunity, so that they can realise their potential and enjoy fulfilling and creative lives. We have a particular interest in supporting young people and a strong belief in the importance of the arts in helping us address this mission.

 

Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here.  We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life.  We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit www.creativescotland.com.

Follow us @creativescots and www.facebook.com/CreativeScotland.

 

Art Fund

Art Fund is the national fundraising charity for art. In the past five years alone Art Fund has given £34 million to help museums and galleries acquire works of art. It also helps museums share their collections with wider audiences by supporting a range of tours and exhibitions, and makes additional grants to support the training and professional development of curators. Art Fund has awarded a grant to support the legacy of the extraordinary and important project we’re here because we’re here. This support is in addition to other work with 1418NOW, including funding for a forthcoming commission by Christine Borland for Glasgow Museums.

Volunteer with us at the Mount Pavilion, Fleetwood

If you are interested in volunteering opportunities then join us for a Mount Tea Party on Thursday 7th July, 2pm-5pm at the Mount Pavilion, Fleetwood. Due to the success of

Find out more

If you are interested in volunteering opportunities then join us for a Mount Tea Party on Thursday 7th July, 2pm-5pm at the Mount Pavilion, Fleetwood.

Due to the success of our exceptional and exciting arts and creativity workshop programme, which runs throughout the year including school holidays, we are on the lookout for volunteer workshop assistants.

You don’t need to have any prior experience but you do need to be over the age of 18. You may be a parent or grandparent who already attends our workshops, or you may be looking for some hands on experience to boost your career (and your CV!)

With superb views, reaching as far as the Lake District on a clear day, the Mount is a spectacular and beloved landmark of the North West coastline. After being closed to the public for many years, LeftCoast has reopened and reanimated the space, utilising the building as a creative hub for children and young people.

The Mount is currently undergoing a revival as Wyre Council restores the seaward side of the Grade II registered gardens to their original 19th century design. A bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund to transform the landward side including pavilion, rose garden and gate lodge is also being developed. Find out more at wyre.gov.uk/themount

If you are interested in volunteering with us, or if you would just like to find out more about LeftCoast, join us at a pop up tea party in the Mount on Thursday July 7th, 2pm to 5pm. There is no need to RSVP, just pop in, we would love to see you.

Free Stone Carving Workshops

CARVE YOUR OWN STONE PANELS WITH ARTIST ANTHONY LYSYCIA 20 JUNE–15 JULY 2016

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Take part in a series of interactive stone carving workshops and design and carve your own stone panel with artist Anthony Lysycia. Anthony will be artist in residence at Claremont Park Community Centre from Monday 20th June until Friday 15th July.

Over the coming weeks, LeftCoast will work with Claremont Park Community Centre to develop ideas for a commissioned piece of art work which will be created by an artist especially for the local community – the finished piece will then be positioned outside the Community Centre for everyone to enjoy.

We hope to gather people’s thoughts and ideas on what the final piece might look like during Anthony’s workshops and at regular meetings. If you would like to book a slot for the FREE workshops and/or attend the meetings, please email ellabyford@hotmail.com, or speak with Tony Barnes at Claremont Park Community Centre. Alternatively, you can turn up outside Claremont Park Community Centre, The Old Library, Claremont Road, Blackpool FY1 2QJ.

To find out about the project on the dates and times below:

From Monday 20th June – Friday 15th July
Mondays: 2pm to 7pm
Tuesdays: All day
Wednesdays: All day
Thursdays: Up until 5pm

NOTE For ages 10+, anyone under 16 should be accompanied by a parent/guardian.

Anthony’s residency is part of a Neighbourhood Commissions project delivered by LeftCoast and Claremont Park Community Centre which gives communities the chance to work alongside LeftCoast to develop a project and to work with an artist directly in their community spaces.

Interactive arts collective flocks to Rossall Beach

Work is about to commence on an exciting interactive art project on Rossall Beach.

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Work is about to commence on an exciting interactive art project on Rossall Beach. Invisible Flock, a group of artists commissioned by Rossall Beach Residents & Community Group who look after the shingle beach at Cleveleys, have been busy working on the final details of how they will be working in the beautiful and unique beach location.

The artists will be working with discarded plastic and new fabrication technologies, transforming collected plastic into new artwork for Rossall Beach. Using a state of the art 3D printer they will transform plastic waste into filament, recycling plastic to make 3D printed sculptures.

As part of the commission the artists are setting up collection points with an invitation; “Help us turn your plastic waste into something beautiful. Drop a message in a bottle and donate your clean and dry plastic bottles here.” Look out for these appearing soon!

Victoria Pratt from Invisible Flock said, “These collection points will be an opportunity to hear from local people and what the beach means to them. Through this process we hope that residents will help to paint us a picture that will inform and develop the resulting artwork.”

Local primary schools and residents have also been getting involved working with the artists with sessions in May where residents had an opportunity to learn about using digital technology to invent, create and prototype  beautiful interactive objects.

That’s not all; Invisible Flock will also be living in Rossall in June for an artist’s residency so they can really experience all that this great area has to offer by living and working here. The artists will be resident at Rossall Beach from the 7th to the 9th of June. During this initial design period, they will be talking to residents, exploring the area and experimenting with 3D printing. They will use all of the information that they collect throughout this stay to inform the design of the final artwork. You are welcome to drop in and stay hello if you are in the area!

Jane Littlewood, Chair of the Rossall Beach group said “It’s so exciting to be starting work, the whole process of choosing an artist has been really interesting – Invisible Flock really get what we are about. We wanted a unique and creative project to be about the environment and also about what we stand for as a group.”

Described by the Guardian as ‘real innovators’, Invisible Flock are renowned for creating ground breaking work across multiple art forms. Often using technology in their work, they create artwork which invites people to re imagine the world they live in and how they participate in it.

Laura Jamieson, Creative Engagement Manager at LeftCoast, said: “The Rossall Beach Project is part of a group of neighbourhood commissions that we are working on this summer and beyond. They are all very different and Rossall is the first to start work. All of the groups we have worked with to develop the projects have been so involved– really making the decisions and leading the work. We have been able to let them get on with it!

“The process we follow is led by the community groups so they develop the commission brief and select the artist, seeing their enthusiasm and excitement for finding the right artist to fit their community is fantastic.”

Watch this space for more information about how Invisible Flock will be collecting your plastic and what they are going to do with it – Rossall beach will be involved in something extra special this summer!

For more information about LeftCoast visit www.leftcoast.org.uk, call 01253 477973 or email info@leftcoast.org.uk

Anyone can become a member of the Rossall Beach Group and join in with activities. Find out more from www.rossallbeach.org.uk

 

NEW Project Octagon Recruitment Workshops

LeftCoast is looking for male participants between the ages of 16 – 40 to take part in an exciting, secret UK wide, theatre project for Summer 2016, working with partners in

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LeftCoast is looking for male participants between the ages of 16 – 40 to take part in an exciting, secret UK wide, theatre project for Summer 2016, working with partners in England, Scotland and Wales.

We are looking to recruit individuals who are dedicated and enthusiastic about taking part in a one-off, large-scale event, which will be directed by an award-winning team. Alongside hundreds of other people, you will be taking part in a performance that will mark a moment in national history.

Due to the nature of the performance, all participants will require a good level of physical fitness. The roles will require no previous experience, however you will need to be comfortable performing in a public space.

There will be a selection process for the project, our final workshop will take place on Monday 9 May, 6pm to 8pm, in Blackpool – see HERE for more details and to book a place.

We will also be offering a recruitment drop in on Monday 9th May between 10am and 1pm – see HERE for more info and to book a place

There are also opportunities for project assistants, runners and stage managers, if you have more time to dedicate to this unique project.

There are also opportunities for project assistants, runners and stage managers, if you have more time to dedicate to this unique project.

We can reimburse some expenses such as local travel costs for participants in Project Octagon. More information will be available at the introductory workshops, or alternatively email info@leftcoast.org.uk to find out more.

Be part of Project Octagon

Join the next Project Octagon rehearsal on 5 June at Phil Winston’s to register and find out more. Arrive at 1.30pm for a 2pm start. LeftCoast is looking for males

Find out more

Join the next Project Octagon rehearsal on 5 June at Phil Winston’s to register and find out more. Arrive at 1.30pm for a 2pm start.

LeftCoast is looking for males between the ages of 16 and 40 to take part in an exciting, UK wide, theatre project for Summer 2016, working with partners in England, Scotland and Wales.

We are looking to recruit individuals who are dedicated and enthusiastic about taking part in a one-off, large-scale event, which will be directed by an award-winning team.

Alongside hundreds of other people you will be taking part in a performance that marks a moment of national history.

Schedule

Sunday 5 June 2016, 2pm to 5pm

Wednesday 8 June, 6pm to 9pm

Wednesday 15 June, 6pm to 9pm

Sunday 19 June, 10am to 6pm (optional)

Sunday 25 June, 10am to 5pm

Wednesday 29 June, 6pm to 9pm

Friday 1 July, all day

Most sessions will take place at Phil Winston’s TheatreWorks, 66-74 Promenade, FY1 1HB and full attendance is required. Although you will need to be comfortable performing in a public space and to have a good level of physical fitness, no performing experience is necessary.

Expenses (such as for travel) will be reimbursed up to £8 per session. If you have any questions please email info@leftcoast.org.uk or call 01253 477973.

 

We look forward to seeing you there.

 

 

Applications open for Future Popular

Future Popular is LeftCoast’s commissions programme open to artists, creative producers and arts organisations based in Blackpool and Wyre. LeftCoast is looking for dynamic, innovative and sustainable proposals from Blackpool

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Future Popular is LeftCoast’s commissions programme open to artists, creative producers and arts organisations based in Blackpool and Wyre.

LeftCoast is looking for dynamic, innovative and sustainable proposals from Blackpool and Wyre based artists  to develop and present a project for the people who live and work here and explore how creativity can play a central part in the future of Blackpool and Wyre.

There are three types of funded commissions available in Round 5 and are open to any art form. You will need to specify what art form and which community setting you want to work in within our application.

The award runs for six months and you need to be able to demonstrate that you can successfully plan and deliver your project to time and to budget. All projects must have final reports submitted by mid-October.

In this round we are shaking it up a bit, adding more variety, more opportunities and challenges… there are 3 strands that individual artists, arts organisations, creative producers or collectives can apply for:

  •  Future Popular – Performs
  • Future Popular – Collective
  • Future Popular – Ambitious

For more information about each of the strands download the guidance here.

To download the Future Popular application form click here.

Please submit your application by Wednesday 13 April at 12 noon.

Interviews for shortlisted applicants will take place on Monday 25 April.

Applications can be returned via email to info@leftcoast.org.uk or by post to LeftCoast, FYCreatives, 154-158 Church Street, Blackpool, FY1 3PS

Please try to talk through your application with a member of LeftCoast staff before you apply. You are much more likely to be successful in an application if you have been able to talk over your ideas with our team in advance. Surgeries for these awards are available at FYCreatives on 30 March at 10am-12pm and 4pm – 6pm. At the start of each surgery there will be a fifteen minute presentation followed by Q&A plus an opportunity for one to ones. Booking is not required.

For any help or advice to applying for Future Popular please contact Jenny Rutter, our Associate Talent Development co-ordinator, who is managing Future Popular on behalf of LeftCoast at jenny@jcrcreative.co.uk.

 

Arts spring into action with weekend activities at The Mount

The Mount Pavilion is set to play host to an artistic array of free activities for children and families beginning on Good Friday and running over six weekends. The activities

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The Mount Pavilion is set to play host to an artistic array of free activities for children and families beginning on Good Friday and running over six weekends. The activities are the latest in LeftCoast’s programme of free arts activities in the space.

Kicking off the action at the Pavilion on Good Friday (25th March) from 1-4pm is the Splodge-O-Matic spin painting machine with funky paint, UV colours, disco beats and bubbles galore giving kids the chance to create their own splodge-tastic artwork.

Budding scientists will be able to explore and test the physics theories surrounding sound, light and electricity in special Commotion Interactive workshops on Saturday 26th March from 1-4pm. Blending science with drama and dance the Commotion workshops will give kids the chance to immerse themselves in a world of scientific investigation.

Squirrel & Tiffin will be taking over the space on Easter Monday (28th March) from 1-4pm for a specially themed print making workshop. Kids of all ages are invited to join in and use bubbles to create their very own bunny artwork to celebrate Easter.

Artist Shane Johnstone will be helping kids create and decorate traditional Japanese windsocks made from paper and bamboo on Saturday 2 April from 1-4pm. Simple to make yet beautiful when complete, creating a windsock with Shane combines art, science and craft in an easy way that can be done by everyone.

Things are getting Victorian at The Mount on Saturday 9 April from 1-4pm with the Tin Type Trailer dark room. Sharing the magic and mystery of 19th Century dark room techniques this is a history lesson with a difference. Kids can step inside and be entertained and educated about this fascinating era of photography.

Theatre maker Melanie Whitehead will help kids get into performance with drama workshops at The Mount on Saturday 16 April from 1-4pm. Melanie has previous worked on activities for big productions such as War Horse and The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-Time, and the workshops will include games, props and music to help children bring their dramatic skills to life.

You might not think that plants can make music but you might be in for a surprise on Saturday 23 April from 1-4pm when Plant Synth takes over the space. Kids can learn some basic electronic skills and build their own paper synthesizer using specially designed kit, that they can keep, to allow them to make weird sounds with plants, leaves and moss.

Things are looking crafty on Saturday 30 April when Sarah Hicks Art returns to the Pavilion for a recycled spring crafts workshop. Children are invited to celebrate the new life of spring using scrap and recycled materials to create puppets, bird feeders, tiny nests and more – there might even be some chocolate treats involved too.

Helen Frost, Audience Development Officer at LeftCoast, said: “We’re thrilled to be able to bring another high quality programme of free arts activities to The Mount for children and families in Fleetwood to enjoy. The feedback we’ve had during previous sessions has been excellent and it is great to see The Mount being used by the community.

“There is of course also the opportunity for people to use the space for their own community activities so we’d encourage people to get in touch with us to discuss what is possible. We want the building to be seen as a resource for everyone – a real hub that has diverse activities taking place within it.”

Please be aware that some workshop sessions may be split into two groups and to arrive early to avoid disappointment as some will be extremely popular. For more information about LeftCoast and the programme at The Mount visit www.leftcoast.org.uk, call 01253 477973 or email info@leftcoast.org.uk

 

Take part in the SpareParts Festival

Fleetwood Festival of Transport has received a ringing endorsement and investment from Arts Council England to further develop their arts programme SpareParts. The festival, which attracts around sixty thousand people

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Fleetwood Festival of Transport has received a ringing endorsement and investment from Arts Council England to further develop their arts programme SpareParts.

The festival, which attracts around sixty thousand people into the town, will take place on Sunday 17 July and will this year see performances taking place within Memorial Park and in the town centre streets. There will also be a new emphasis on community involvement in the SpareParts Art Parade in the afternoon which is already a firm favourite with audiences.

As part of the investment there will be a new Festival Director recruited who will have responsibility for developing the artistic programme alongside the Fleetwood Festival of Transport committee and the partners.

Click here to find out more about this position and how you can apply. Deadline for applications is 31 March 2016

The festival is also seeking artists to bring transport themed art to Fleetwood either as static installations or performances in Memorial Park, strolling shows in the town centre streets or vehicles for the art parade.

Click here to find out more information and how you can take part in the festival. Deadline for applications is Friday 8 April at 12 noon

International Artists Head to Blackpool

Abingdon Studios, Blackpool’s newest contemporary art studio space recently acknowledged as ‘best venue’ in the Guardian’s insider’s guide to the town, is set to host a series of visiting artists

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Abingdon Studios, Blackpool’s newest contemporary art studio space recently acknowledged as ‘best venue’ in the Guardian’s insider’s guide to the town, is set to host a series of visiting artists from as far as Berlin and Canada in a new programme this month entitled WORK/LEISURE. The programme, which sees artists taking up residency in the town for up to one month, attracted applications from sixty six artists from across the UK and Europe, will be an exciting one for the town. It gives new opportunities for art production in the town and supports the development of skills for artists already based here.

The programme gives artists who are having some success developing their careers in very different towns and cities the opportunity to work alongside the existing community of six Fylde coast resident artists already based in Abingdon Studios alongside visual art students from Blackpool & the Fylde College who use the space as part of their course. The residencies are designed to enable artists to research and develop new work in the historically and culturally unique location of Blackpool and have been brought together by co-ordinator Tom Ireland of the long standing and respected Supercollider Contemporary Art Projects. It is being financially supported by Arts Council England who are increasingly investing in the arts and cultural scene in Blackpool and Wyre.

The five artists who will be in residence are Benjamin Orlow (London), Ralph Dorey (London), John Lawrence (London), Nina Koennamann (Berlin) and Katharina Ludwig (Berlin) and all are extremely intrigued and inspired by the richness of the Blackpool landscape. The first, Benjamin Orlow, will arrive early this month and be in town, based at Abingdon studios above Abingdon St Market, developing his work and sharing experiences with artists based in Blackpool and the surrounding areas.

The studios are also working in partnership with Blackpool’s Other Worlds Festival (an international festival of experimental music and sound taking place in April) to add an additional 6th residency to the programme. Sound artist Adam Bassanta (Canada) will arrive this month to make new work for an exhibition which will run at the studios from 7-10 April during the festival.

Garth Gratrix, Places for Art Project Manager, said:

“We’re really pleased to have such a strong line-up of artists coming to take up residence in the studios. The programme has been in development since early 2015 and securing investment from Arts Council England in order to make it a reality is a real vote of confidence in our vision of Blackpool being a home for the production of more contemporary art.

“Not only is this an opportunity to bring international artists to the town but it is also a chance for Blackpool based artists to interact, share skills and develop their own practice alongside them.”

Cllr Vikki Singleton, Lead Member for the Arts on Blackpool Council, said: “Blackpool is really developing a name for itself in the arts sector.

“Our projects with LeftCoast, including the Abingdon Studios, are starting to put the town on the map as a place where top artists want to come and develop their work.

“Not only is that good for art enthusiasts but it helps to inspire our student artists who can learn and be encouraged by the experts. It also helps to bring a different type of visitor to the Blackpool and widens our appeal as the UK’s number one seaside town.”

For more information about Abingdon Studios visit www.abingdonstudios.org.uk. You can also like Abingdon Studios on Facebook at www.facebook.com/abingdonstudios or follow them on Twitter @AbingdonStudios.

A full archive of the work produced through the WORK/LEISURE programme will be available online at www.workleisure.org

The WORK/LEISURE residency programme is initiated by Abingdon Studios and delivered in partnership with LeftCoast and the Grundy Art Gallery. Abingdon Studios has been made possible through the support of Arts Council England, LeftCoast and Blackpool Council.

A big creative welcome to Arts Council England

LeftCoast is delighted to welcome Arts Council England to town as Blackpool plays host to its national conference. Blackpool is a multiplex of the mind. It runs the full gamut

Find out more

LeftCoast is delighted to welcome Arts Council England to town as Blackpool plays host to its national conference.

Blackpool is a multiplex of the mind. It runs the full gamut of high octane entertainment to exciting contemporary art experiences. We’ve created a useful guide to help you navigate your way around town, featuring some of the big shiny gems and the more discreet jewels.

Have a look at our online Blackpool guide 

Have a great 48 hours in Blackpool

A B&B Artists Commission Opportunities

Art Bed and Breakfast (A B&B) is re-imagining the traditional Blackpool Bed and Breakfast hotel for the 21st Century. We are renovating a traditional seafront B&B (there are over 3000

Find out more

Art Bed and Breakfast (A B&B) is re-imagining the traditional Blackpool Bed and Breakfast hotel for the 21st Century. We are renovating a traditional seafront B&B (there are over 3000 B&B’s in Blackpool) with every aspect being a potential artist commission – from whole rooms to tiny details, from exterior facades to daily procedures.

The aim of A B&B is to become a self-sustaining entity as part of a new cultural landscape. All profits will be re-invested into:

  • Further commissioning and programming;
  • Talent and professional development for artists and creative producers;
  • The continued development of A B&B as a social and creative space to engage artists and communities

What we are commissioning…

We are looking for proposals from artists to create site specific permanent or semi-permanent art works to be integrated into the physical structure and operations of the building from spring of 2016. The work will be commissioned by A B&B (Community Interest Company) and supported by LeftCoast, Arts Council England and Clore Duffield Foundation. (see the end of this document for more information about our fantastic supporters)

We would like to commission a wide range of artists to create up to 19 available bedrooms, ground floor public spaces, exterior spaces, their contents and a host of other possibilities in the context of the unique location of Blackpool.

At this stage we are not being over prescriptive about what form we see these commissions taking, we are looking for proposals across all mediums, from installation and visual art to architecture, craft, design, light and sound. Ultimately what we want is something that inspires and engages the people that will visit A B&B in a creative conversation and help positively challenge and change current perceptions of the place.

Artists may take inspiration from the setting of A B&B, its cultural context and its spaces but equally you are invited to take the opportunity to reimagine and re-explore boundaries of your own practice to produce your best work.

In short, you create the art that attracts people to stay and engage with new experiences and they (the public) support the arts while they sleep!

Download the full brief to find out more about this opportunity

Take this opportunity to have a look at our website at http://abandb.co.uk/

Please send your proposals to info@abandb.co.uk by 7pm on Monday 14 March 2016.

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