Imaginative Spaces - Year 1

Imaginative Spaces is a year-long 'artist in residence' project which focuses on a programme of work delivered in two libraries, to support storytelling as a medium to promote reading for pleasure and language development.

In the first year 2014 - 2015 Jayne Williams (based at The Brite Centre) and Andy Reeves (Southfields Library) worked with library staff, schools, families and community groups to develop a programme of work that shows creative and innovative ways to use library spaces, books and other resources.

Imaginative Spaces at Southfields Library

Our Artist in Residence at Southfields Library was Andy Reeves. He ran a series of creative reading, writing and performance workshops for children and young people throughout 2014.

He said about the year:

"What characterised the residency, as well as the bigger projects (below), were some special smaller moments-

Reading stories to one child who had been looking miserable, eventually being joined by various children of different ages listening in...

The girl whose first words on entering the library were "I've heard that in this library, if you read a story, it comes true..."

The number of children who would wave at me in the street and call out...

The girl who wrote a story for me and brought it to the library..."

During the year, the library was closed for renovation, and on reopening celebrated 75 yeras of the "Pork Pie" Library. For the occasion, Andy created a poem "Diamond Pork Pie" which was made into a permanent display designed byAnnie Rickard Straus.

Imaginative Spaces at Braunstone Library

Our Artist in Residence at Braunstone Library, also known as the BRITE Centre, was Jayne Williams.

Through direct arts participation activity, a combination of school visits in and out of the library, professional performances and after school projects, Jayne and the team at The BRITE Centre worked with a total of 4,282 children, young people and adults, from March 2014 to Feb 2015.

Jayne launched her year as Artist in Residence at Braunstone's Library - The BRITE Centre, by writing and telling a short story for Key Stage One, 'The Night the Books Came to Life'. Set in the library and featuring its staff, the story told of the magical goings on after dark. It was shared with over 1,200 local school children, to encourage and develop their own story writing and telling, promoting the library as a cultural hub of activity.

For the Everybody's Reading Festival, Jayne worked with film maker Gareth Moulton to produce a short film, featuring regular readers in The BRITE centre and people from all over Leicester, sharing their best books and why they enjoy reading.


During the year, Andy and Jayne were able to create their own plays on the theme of The First World War, as well as presenting performances during the Spark Festival and at Christmas.

The First by Jayne Williams

The Petal and The Wire by Andy Reeves