Brexit week 4: A manifesto for the arts in Pennine Lancashire

Today is the annual Lancashire Arts Exchange at The Boo in Waterfoot with the theme of challenging, subverting and stimulating. One of the exciting things on today’s agenda is the launch of a manifesto for the arts organisations of Pennine Lancashire.

If after Brexit, the UK is in danger of becoming an irrelevant country and an increasingly impoverished island nation off the coast of Europe then Lancashire will surely be lost for decades. Our new manifesto is our way of shouting out for the arts in troubling times.

The manifesto was drawn up by professional arts leaders from Pennine Lancashire at a residential for APPL (Arts Partners in Pennine Lancashire) in May 2018. It was a valuable exercise and made us realise our commonalities, heritage and shared values. We don’t believe that this is just a manifesto for us. We believe that it can be shared by all working and participating in the arts in Pennine Lancashire.

It is purposefully short and to the point. We wanted it to fit on a poster that can be shared and debated on walls across the region and beyond. It is political. It makes demands. It illustrates our pride and will hopefully make Pennine Lancashire a better place

  • We unapologetically demand more for this place
  • We are building a future on the foundations of our radical past
  • We are not here to tell you what art is: we are here to challenge, provoke, subvert and stimulate
  • We take time and care in grounding our work
  • We respond creatively to the wants and needs of the people and places around us
  • We commit to growing the next generation of artists
  • We will not dictate who is an artist: we welcome everyone to be creative
  • Individually we are strong: collectively we have power
  • We have pride and integrity in the work we produce: we’re ready to tell the world about it

We invited, renowned artist and illustrator, Cath Ford to illustrate and interpret our manifesto visually. Cath has a a lot of connections with the people and organisations that wrote these words and I don’t think that anyone could have done a better job of visualising our intent. Many thanks to Cath.