Appeal for local groups and organisations to participate in the John Muir Festival 2014

Appeal for local groups and organisations to participate in the John Muir Festival 2014

An invitation has been issued to local groups and organisations to take part in next year’s inaugural John Muir Festival.

The Festival – a key Homecoming Scotland event running from 17-26 April 2014 – celebrates the opening of the John Muir Way: a new coast to coast national pathway from Muir’s birthplace in Dunbar to Helensburgh.

UZ Arts – specialists in staging thought-provoking outdoor artwork that captures the public imagination – have been appointed by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) to produce the Festival and planning has already begun to ensure the event has international appeal, community engagement and lasting impact.

Neil Butler, Director of UZ arts said: ‘We are very excited at the prospect of celebrating the environmental legacy and global influence of John Muir with a festival that brings vibrant art to Scotland’s great outdoors. UZ will be commissioning national and internationally renowned artists for an innovative Festival programme designed to generate not only local community interest along the length of the trail but also raise awareness of this new national resource beyond Scotland.’

UZ Arts producer, Helen Trew said: ‘We would like to invite local individuals, schools, organisations and businesses – walkers, runners, cyclists, outdoor and heritage enthusiasts, bird watchers and others – to get involved with the Festival. Anyone interested in participating should contact me at for an application form to be part of the Festival. We look forward to receiving ideas and submissions before our deadline at the end of October.’

The ten day John Muir Festival – funded by SNH, EventScotland and Creative Scotland – will take place along the length of the new John Muir Way and will include community participation, artist-led events and large-scale public performances to celebrate the life and legacy of John Muir.

Widely recognised as the father of the modern conservation movement and a founder of America’s National Parks, John Muir’s environmental campaigning helped change the way people view nature and the earth’s natural resources. Rich with landmarks, views and fascinating history, the new lowlands trail echoes John Muir’s own personal journey growing up in Dunbar before travelling to the west coast of Scotland to set sail for a remarkable life in America.

UZ Arts plan to produce a John Muir Way Festival booklet and map of the new coast to coast route, a dedicated website and smart phone app. The arts charity recently organised the outdoor arts programme for the hugely successful opening of Helix Park in Falkirk which attracted a remarkable 20,000 visitors.