about Landlines & Watermarks

Find out more about our Calder-wide arts programme

Landlines & Watermarks was an ambitious cultural programme elling the story of a place and a people shaped by water. Presented by 509 Arts in partnership with the people of the Calder Valley, it used local stories to present tales of change – in music and song, parade and performance, and through community celebration.

It was commissioned in 2017 in response to the devastating floods of Boxing Day 2015 – floods that swept through Calderdale with extensive long-term impact for communities, businesses and individuals.

Landlines & Watermarks comprised 3 strands:

Water Works
six creative commissions by local artists/arts organisations, which took place in the 6 flood-affected towns, each with community participation at its heart.

The People’s Fair
a two day marketplace and celebration of creativity and community in the valley at the £19m restored Piece Hall in Halifax that featured local businesses, voluntary groups, street theatre and performance, creative presentations and interactive workshops

Calderland, the people’s opera
an epic music production featuring a community cast of over 200, that told the story of the valley and its relationship with water in song, dance music and digital image. Also presented in the Piece Hall.

Landlines & Warmarks reached a total live audience of 17,041 across 34 public events and performances
Media coverage reached 9m+ people and the BBC made a documentary about Calderland, screened on regional television in October 2017.

1197 participants took place in 108 workshops

71 local businesses engaged in the project and 78 artists were employed.

Landlines & Watermarks was financed by Calderdale Council from the Flood Recovery Fund and commissioned through a partnership between the local authority and the Community Foundation for Calderdale. Other key funding partners included Arts Council England, the Big Lottery and TippingPoint.

Find out more about the creative team and our partners