It's A Birdie! Transforming St Annes into a public art exhibition

A £10,000 award from the Arts Council means that Fylde DFAS can turn its dream into a reality, and turn St Annes and Fairhaven into a showcase for community art during the Open Golf Championship in July. The project has been called ‘It’s a Birdie’ because of the term’s connection with golf and also because of the area’s international importance for wetland and marine birds.

Since last autumn,  committee members have been working hard liaising with community groups and applying for funding. The hard work is beginning to pay off! Last month, we heard that we had had been awarded £2,000 from Fylde Local Strategic Partnership; more awards are still pending.

The aim of the project is to enable mass participation in the arts for local people – from toddlers upwards. The funding obtained so far will pay for significant projects with three groups: Home Start Fylde, which is based at St Thomas’ Church; the Friends of St Annes Library (FoSAL); and the RSPB at Fairhaven. Artists will be selected to work with each community group, who will all create ‘birdie’-type works of art at a series of workshops. These ‘artworks’ will then be displayed in shops, hotels, parks and gardens. At the same time, there are plans to create a number of transient works, which go on show at various different locations. A Birdie Trail will be created to encourage local residents and visitors to go ‘bird spotting’ and see all the works of art dotted around the area. There will be a chance for everyone to get involved with further workshops planned with groups such as the Friends of Hope Street Park.

Marie Riley, who is leading the project said, “The project is really beginning to take shape. We are very grateful to the various funding bodies that have responded so positively and especially to Fylde Local Strategic Partnership, who helped kick start the whole project, and enabled us to apply for further funding. The eyes of the world will be on St Annes during the Open Golf and this is a wonderful opportunity to showcase art in the town, as well as including community groups who would otherwise have
little involvement with the event. Hopefully, it will also highlight the international ornithological importance of our area.”

It’s a Birdie will continue into the summer and, hopefully, be a part of the proposed St Annes Art and Music Festival in September. Fylde DFAS will also organise a month long It’s a Birdie exhibition at the Fylde Gallery, Lytham, also in September.

This is a very exciting community project for Fylde DFAS and we will keep you updated with frequent news items as the project develops.