LAND project

ON THE BLOG: Creating a network to focus on Land Stewards, artists and Producers

Activate Performing Arts was the UK partner on LAND (Land stewards AND artists), a 2 year Creative Europe Cooperation Project with arts organisations, Oerol Festival in the Netherlands, Le Citron Jaune, France and Artpolis/PLACCC Festival in Hungary.

The opportunity for us to create this new project and work with such fantastic European partners that we could learn from — and with whom we could also share our knowledge, has enriched our work here in Dorset, UK.

The partners worked with environmental organisations (known as land stewards), such as Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the National Association of AONBs (NAAONB), to offer the landscape to artists, to encourage the development of work focusing on the environment, nature, art, science and experience. LAND animated rural landscapes through art and it attracted new audiences to experience the landscape in a new way.

Activate built up a great relationship with the NAAONB and the Dorset AONB and we’re really proud of the impact the LAND project has had on their outlook and understanding of working with art, artists and the landscape.

Howard Davies, Chief Executive, NAAONB: “Our participation has improved our understanding of how and why we might work with the arts in our role as land stewards. This has provided us with an opportunity to develop our relationship with Arts Council England, attract funding through grants support, and ultimately enable us to formally explore how we might embed the arts in all AONB management plans across England and support AONB staff in their effective engagement with the arts.”

Activate also built some great relationships with artists through our Inside Out Dorset festival. One of the key outcomes of the project was the creation of new connections between arts producers, land stewards and artists. We’re really proud of this. 

Collectif Walden, artists: “Collectief Walden have strengthened relationships with Inside Out Dorset and PLACCC Budapest. Both of these organisations had been 'acquaintances' of Collectief Walden, but because of LAND the ties are much stronger.”

Across the four countries, LAND delivered:

  • 9 artists/companies presenting 10 pieces of work at the 4 partner festivals
  • 6 artist residencies 
  • Over 1,000 young people took part in 40 workshops across 3 countries
  • 69 delegates and 21 speakers attending 2 seminars

Our new website shares more information on the project's activities to date and over the coming months we will be sharing the impact of the project and our plans for the future.

You can check out the website here: 

Collaboration is at the heart of what we do at Activate and I’m very proud that we were a partner on this project. We look forward to continuing to work with the other festivals, land stewards and artists that took part. 

Kate Wood, Executive and Artistic Director, Activate


Image: WATERLANDERS, DeWeirdeWereld © Waterlanders, Inside Out Dorset 2018 (UK)