Artfull's 'Airborne' Project will bring a Festival of Arts, Health & Wellbeing to Preston in 2023
02 September 2022
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first test flight of an ultra light monoplane in Ashton Park, Preston in April 1923, Artful is devising an arts project and festival that will engage local families in exploring their heritage and provide opportunities for fun making activities that boost wellbeing.
Artful is a community arts organisation. Their planned 'Airborne' project will culminate in a festival day on the park where we bring together a range of music and art activities and host a choreographed performance with a hundred children with wings.
The ‘Airborne’ Festival project is the next step in realising the sustainable vision for Arts Health and Wellbeing in Preston.
More about 'Airborne'
In April 1923 English Electric made the first test flight on Ashton Park of an ultralight monoplane built in Lytham St Annes. It was called the English Electric Wren.
This anniversary provides a perfect opportunity to design an arts project that will engage local families in exploring their local heritage, boosting their use of their local park, and providing opportunities for fun and making activities aimed at health and wellbeing for young people and adult community groups in the local area. The project will culminate in a festival day on the park where we bring together a range of music and art activities and host a choreographed performance with a hundred children with wings.
The focus of the project will be to reach people in the surrounding areas of Ashton Park, many of whom have little access to creative and cultural activities. The project will reach out to local schools and bring artists in to work with children and local adult community groups to make the wings and a range of ‘Flight’ associated paraphernalia to dress the park for the ‘Airborne Festival’ day.
Behind the Scenes
Artfull has plans to include professional artists and a choreographer to give people the best creative experiences which support health and wellbeing in the community.
They will be working with Grow Preston to reach widely in the areas local to the park and to reach people who don’t currently engage with culture in Preston.
Grow Preston and the Friends of Ashton Park want to take the opportunity to provide food at the event for families, many of whom are struggling with the cost of living crisis.
There are plans for a brass quintet to play music as well as a mini Caribbean Carnival event.
We’ll use the opportunity to talk to groups and children about the bird and insect life on the park and invite a bird sanctuary and a mini beast group to bring along real-life examples to engage our audiences.
They will document this project so that it can provide a blueprint for other green spaces in the city to make their own celebratory arts events. We want to make sure that our first event becomes the beginning of a tradition rather than a flash in the pan. They are working with the Friends of Ashton Park, Grow Preston and Preston City Council park rangers in the planning and development process so they can learn about the whole process of applying for funding, project management, delivery and evaluation.
Sponsorship & Support - Get Involved
There are plans for robust marketing and promotion to make sure the festival has a strong legacy and can be a resource for future events. They aim to create an online showcase from the festival to encourage diverse ideas and raise aspirations among community groups who nurture the green spaces of Preston.
Artfull will be sumitting an Arts Council England National Lottery Projects Grant application in the autumn of 2022 to support the project, but we seek a commitment to substantial match funding and In-Kind support from Preston Cultural Framework Board to ensure the project is an attractive proposal to Arts Council England. A draft budget is available to give an idea of the costs involved in making this project a reality.
If you are a business owner that is able to provide funding or infrastructure and other support for the festival, please get in touch with Chantal Oakes via email.
More about ArtFull
ArtFull is a small participatory and community arts organisation that works in Preston with the particular remit of reaching groups and individuals with less access to arts and creative activities. We work with Preston Caribbean Carnival and Preston Mela and have many years’ experience in helping community groups in Preston’s more deprived areas to access public funding to carry out their creative projects.
Image via Wikimedia, in the public domain: "English ElectricWren J6973, September 1923. Not one of the Lympne competitors."