Arts Council England
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Rekindle to ignite creativity, culture, and collaboration in libraries

In a week where organisations and artists from across the country came together for the National Rural Touring Forum’s annual conference – we thought what better time than now to talk about a new rural-focused project called Rekindle – which we’re supporting through a £567,956 National Lottery Project Grant.

Led by Creative Arts East (CAE), Rekindle is an exciting new project that places libraries, and their staff, at the heart of delivering creative and cultural experiences for rural and underserved communities. 

It will see CAE collaborate with strategic partners National Rural Touring Forum and Libraries Connected to empower library services by boosting workforce skills; it will also support them to experiment with new ways to engage audiences – both in and out of library spaces.

The three-year project will bring five library services together with arts partners across Norfolk, Sandwell, Blackburn, Medway, and Buckinghamshire. Through working with an arts partner, the project aims to help libraries connect better with their local arts ecosystem – supporting them to provide library users with relevant and vibrant creative activities.

…we aim to create a step change in the way that culture is presented and consumed for many more people who live in under-resourced places across the country and/or who face barriers to the existing opportunities for creative participation.

Two performers dressed as trees holding a baby tree puppet in front of books in a library.

Photo by Frank Wurzinger - Tree Fellas at Hailsham Library. Image Caitlin Lock.

Frank Wurzinger – Tree Fellas at Hailsham Library. Image Caitlin Lock.

As an action research project, Rekindle will mean libraries can test, research, and refine what a programme of cultural engagement could be in their context and share their learning across the country. The result will be a national network of peers who will exchange, develop, and disseminate what they learn – both in terms of practice and long-term strategies.

Through this exciting new initiative, Creative Arts East aims to train and support a library workforce to be confident in and skilled at delivering their vision for the Universal Offer of Culture and Creativity. And, as a result, creating a lasting legacy that will benefit both staff and communities by embedding culture in library spaces.

Natalie Jode, Director, Creative Arts East, recently said:

“Rekindle was an idea that started bubbling up in early 2020 following the Creative Arts East-led inquiry into library touring across the Southeast, commissioned by Arts Council England. From those conversations we found, and continue to find, a real need for cross-sector partnership working to support programming knowledge, confidence, and capacity within the library workforce.

“I am so pleased and proud to see this important project finally come to life, thanks to the dedication & insight of an amazing group of people from across the cultural sector. With this significant investment, we aim to create a step change in the way that culture is presented and consumed for many more people who live in under-resourced places across the country and/or who face barriers to the existing opportunities for creative participation.”

Find out more about the programme > 

 

Channel website: http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/

Original article link: https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/creative-matters/news/rekindle-ignite-creativity-culture-and-collaboration-libraries

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