Imaginative Space Award granted to Leicester Libraries and The Spark Arts for Children

Posted: Wed, 29 Jan 2014 14:33

Leicester Libraries Service (LLS) has been awarded £85,000 to deliver the Imaginative Spaces project during 2014. This important funding from Arts Council England will be used to put 'artists in residence' at two libraries in Leicester. The Spark Arts for Children will work alongside Leicester Libraries as a delivery partner in order to design and deliver the project, which supports storytelling as a medium to promote reading for pleasure and language development.

The Imaginative Spaces project will put an 'artist in residence' at Southfields Library and Braunstone Library at The Brite Centre in Braunstone. The artist will be a poet, storyteller or playwright and will, through a year-round programme of events and community engagement programmes, support and develop both libraries as active cultural spaces to learn and play. The artist will work with library staff, schools, family and community groups to re-imagine the library as cultural hubs at the heart of the community. This will enable local children and families to take part in the many creative activities that can be realised alongside reading.

Leicester Libraries Service (LLS) have been creating opportunities and providing a quality service for Children and Young People for over 30 years, promoting reading through schools and reader development programmes. Leicester Libraries relationship with The Spark started back in 2006 and has evolved from presenting work as part of the annual The Spark Festival, to developing and delivering a new piece of site specific performance as part of 2013's Summer Reading Challenge, Tree Child.

Through working in partnership with artists and creative organisations, it is hoped the Imaginative Spaces project will develop a programme of work that shows creative and innovative ways to use library spaces, books and other resources. This project is part of a broader strategy that seeks to develop libraries as a beacon of excellence – a creative hub at the heart of the community, which encourages families and children to become actively involved in arts and culture at the heart of their community.

Adel Al Salloum, Director of Spark said:

Our relationship with Leicester Library Services goes from strength to strength. We have, over many years, been able to deliver really exciting work and last year's Tree Child performance, which was delivered as a core part of the Summer Reading Challenge was a brilliant success. This new project will build on that success and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to place an artist in residence in Southfield and Braunstone Libraries, we can't wait to get started.

Tags: Funding, 2014 Programme, Leicester Libraries