Bowland Revealed is an exciting arts offer designed to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Forest of Bowland AONB. A partnership project between LCC Arts Development Service, the AONB and Ribble Valley Borough Council, the programme has received funding from Arts Council England, via their Grants for the Arts strand, and from the partner organisations.
Landmarks (managed by Mid Pennine Arts) were a series of four ambitious, temporary outdoor visual arts commissions inspired by the Bowland landscape and sited in popular locations around the AONB. On show from September to late December 2014 (Sun Catcher until October 2015) the project attracted attention from BBC's Countryfile programme.
50 Years in the Making (Managed by Green Close) ran from June to December 2014 and engaged local residents, visitors, schools and artists through a series of workshops and exhibitions.
Bowland Explorers' Club (Managed by Mid Pennine Arts) began in May 2015 offering a programme of creative participation which particularly targets communities living around the AONB. The Explorers' Club has visited Cloudspotting (Gisburn Forest Hub), Blackburn Heritage Festival, Burnley Canal Festival; Hopeful & Glorious Art Fair (Lytham), Garstang Victorian Christmas Fair and Brockholes Visitor Centre (x2) In partnership with Wild Rumpus, the club organised a final celebration event in March 2016, again at Gisburn Forest, which attracted over 250 participants. Branches of the club also worked with In Situ in Brierfield, with Ground Up, linked to the Burnley Mechanics At Home group, and with a group in Bolton.
A Bowland Revealed discussion/evaluation workshop is planned for late April 2016.
A wider audience will have explored, enjoyed and engaged with the Forest of Bowland through a variety of arts and creative opportunities. Communities and individuals will feel more confident about visiting the AONB in the future - particularly those who have traditionally had less involvement.