Bristol 2015 is working with the Arts Council, Bristol Cultural Development Partnership, Festival of Ideas and others to help make sustainable living accessible and easy to understand.
Bristol 2015 Major Arts and Cultural Commissions
The Arts Council England Exceptional Awards programme has six major arts commissions supported by Arts Council England and developed through Bristol Cultural Development Partnership with Bristol 2015. These include:
- Luke Jerram’s Withdrawn, which is provoking discussion about climate change, changing ocean temperatures, falling fish stocks and our impact on the marine environment.
- The Bristol Whales, a temporary art installation on Bristol’s Harbourside which will represent the beauty of ocean life and the growing human threats to it.
- Time and Space, a major new exhibition of work by Richard Long.
- Theaster Gates’ first UK public project, which promises to draw significantly on his ability to breathe new life into discarded materials and forgotten places.
- An event by Arcadia, which will bring awe-inspiring art, music, theatre, and uplifting spectacle to the heart of the city while a new performance show explores themes of change and sustainability through extraordinary drama and breathtaking visual effects.
- Festival of the Future City, a year-long programme of work and the largest debate ever about the future of the city, bringing together thinkers, writers, artists, think tanks, governments and the public.
Bristol 2015 Neighbourhood Arts Programme
During 2015, arts projects will spring up all over Bristol from the tip of Avonmouth to the toe of Dundry View. They’ll be driven by communities and created with professional artists and makers to inspire Bristol to become a healthier, happier city, looking creatively at energy, resources, transport, food or nature in each area. All are being documented from start to finish; a short film will be produced for each of the 14 projects and an overall film will be made.
Bristol 2015 Strategic Grants Fund Commissions
The Strategic Grants Fund is one of three grant- funding programmes launched by Bristol 2015 as part of the European Green Capital year. A total budget of £1.5m was allocated for strategic grants. Applicants were invited to submit bids for strategic projects which:
- Empower organisations and communities across Bristol to celebrate Bristol’s year as European Green Capital
- Support organisations making tangible progress against Bristol 2015’s outcomes for environmental changes in the city
- Ensure a vibrant set of projects during 2015 which can be shared with other European cities
- And demonstrate how their work will contribute to the core Bristol 2015 themes: energy, food, nature, resources and transport.
See the Bristol 2015 website for the full list of successful applicants.
Bristol 2015 Summits, Debates and Conferences Programme
The Bristol 2015 summits, debates and conferences programme runs through 2015. Bristol Cultural Development Partnership and Festival of Ideas wants to see the widest debate ever about the city in 2015. Covering all aspects of city life and living, it is organising debates, conferences and festivals. It is also working with a wide range of partners running their own events, summits and conferences – as well as bringing others to Bristol in this special year – to make sure that the debates, discussions and conversations are shared widely and the lessons learned feature, among other activity, in the November Festival of the Future City and in the Bristol message in COP21. See the Bristol 2015 Arts Programme brochure for a full list of the year’s conferences.
Other Projects, Programmes and Events/
Bristol Festival of Ideas: Romanticism Programme
Bristol celebrates the Romantic poets in 2015 in a project directed by Bristol Cultural Development Partnership as part of the Bristol Festival of Ideas and the Bristol 2015 programme. Bristol was central to the Romantic Movement with the poets William Wordsworth, Robert Southey and Samuel Taylor Coleridge working in the city and the first edition of Lyrical Ballads produced here by a local publisher, Joseph Cottle. The Romantics looked at nature and the emotions, place and the environment. The present-day looming ecological crisis makes a renewed focus and debate on these issues essential.
Inspired by Coleridge’s radical lectures in the 1790s in Bristol, the new annual series of Coleridge Lectures launched in February 2015 looked at the theme of Radical Green. The lecturers included: Kathleen Jamie, writer and poet, on Poetry, the Land and Nature; Anna Coote, New Economics Foundation, on Green and Social Justice; and George Monbiot, journalist, campaigner and writer, on What a Green Government Could do if it Really Tried.
Supported by Arts Council England, 23 poets were commissioned to write poetry for a new Lyrical Ballads. The work was presented in a special event at At-Bristol on the evening of 6 March 2015. The following day sessions at Watershed examined how nature has inspired writers of poetry and prose, contributed to personal healing and provided a new approach for environmental campaigns. In addition guided walks have explored Bristol’s role in the Romantic Movement: more will be held later this year.
A printed walking guide on Bristol and Romanticism is available free of charge at venues around the city. The new Lyrical Ballads will be published later this year.
Find out more about the project here.
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery and M Shed
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery – together with M Shed – will celebrate Bristol 2015 with a new permanent wildlife gallery; exhibitions – including one on the work of the Natural History Unit in Bristol and natural history filmmaking; a look at the remarkable images made by Karl Blossfeldt; a celebration of green change makers in Bristol; and a journey to the centre of the earth with Bristol artists Wood & Harrison. See their website for further details.
Bristol Festival of Ideas: May Programme
The annual Festival of Ideas programme looks at issues relating to the environment and cities throughout the year. The May programme includes: the launch of a new annual lecture series with Vintage Publishers, starting with Yuval Harari, author of the remarkable book Sapiens; walks exploring Bristol, architecture and green issues led by Tim Mowl; Caroline Lucas talking about surviving in parliament as a lone Green MP; Karen Bell on achieving environmental justice; Beth Shapiro, evolutionary biologist and pioneer in ancient DNA research, on the science of de-extinction, its costs and risks; Alok Jha examining how water connects us to the birth and death of the universe; Ben Stewart telling the dramatic and inspiring story of Greenpeace’s Arctic 30; Dieter Helm offering a set of strategies for establishing a natural capital policy; and McKenzie Wark looking at the Anthropocene.
Events and Screenings at Watershed
Watershed will play a full role in Bristol 2015 from presenting new films and discussions through to hosting specialist festivals such as cyclescreen to making their building sustainable – and a model for all cultural organisations.