Are you from a library in the south east? Are you an artist who has toured work to libraries, or is it something you are considering? You may even be from a library elsewhere in the country but have had a fantastic experience with touring arts you’d like to share.
In partnership with Arts Council England, over the next seven months we are looking into south east libraries touring. We want to find out how library services have been getting involved with touring arts and finding ways to provide their users with opportunities to experience arts and culture. We want to know what sort of work artists and touring companies have been touring to libraries, their motivations, highlights, and what insights they’ve had into good libraries touring models.
We aim to support libraries and artists offer more touring arts to communities linked with libraries, some of whom may not usually visit an arts venue. Libraries offer a neutral, familiar and welcoming space for everyone; the ideal setting for offering an arts event which provides enjoyment, learning, new experiences and a sense of community.
We would like to introduce Claudia West from Arts Council England, who is supporting our enquiry into libraries touring in the south east. Hear Claudia talk about our project and what’s up and coming for you to get involved with.
If you are an artist, touring company, or from a library service in the south east, please complete this artists survey (for artists!) or libraries survey (for libraries!) to help us find out ways to support more libraries touring in the southeast. The deadline for this survey is Wednesday 30th October. Please share the relevant survey with your network – we want to hear from artists and touring companies, library assistants, volunteers, senior management; people getting involved with touring to libraries in diverse ways so we can see the bigger picture.
Next month we begin collaborating with people with libraries touring experience, across the south east and beyond, to offer videos covering several topics surrounding arts in libraries. On the Mondays below we will release a video on this blog, and we will invite you to pose any questions to the presenter who can address those in their video.
Monday 14 October
Lyndsey Wilson, Company Manager at Culturapedia talks Spot On Libraries in Lancashire, focusing on her unique approach to working with libraries
Monday 11 November
Krystal Vittles from Suffolk Libraries discusses perceptions of the library in libraries touring
Monday 25 November
Joanna Gray, Partnerships, Projects and Funding Manager at Cambridge County Council talks arts partner and effective communication between libraries and artists
Monday 9 December
Presenter tbc – with topic ‘knowing your communities, and knowing quality’
Monday 13 January
Presenter tbc – hear from an artists’ perspective about preparing work to tour to unique library situations
Monday 17 February
Sarah Bedingfield, Service Manager Innovation, Digital and Libraries, Kent County Council, discusses feedback and evaluation strategies which support more consistent arts activity
The deadline for submitting your questions for each presenter will be two Mondays before the video release – email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Learning Resources to support libraries touring
Based on our research, and what we learn from you through the survey, we will be creating a toolkit to support you in libraries touring. The resource will be available both online and as a handy booklet, which will be available at the Pitch Up event taking place on March 20th – see more about this below.
Pitch Up Libraries
An important date for your diary: Friday 20th March
Invitations for this event are to follow; for now keep the date in your diary to join us and library services from across the south east at a Pitch Up Libraries event. Taking place at Chesham Library, it will be an exciting day for libraries, artists and arts venues to initiate conversations for possible collaborations on touring work to libraries, and meet arts venues with the potential for partnerships in providing more enriching arts and cultural experiences for library communities.
If you want to find out more email email@example.com
Venue: Chesham Library, Elgiva Lane, Chesham HP5 2JD (https://www.buckscc.gov.uk/services/libraries/find-a-library/chesham/) – nearest tube Metropolitan line.
Please share this as widely as possible with your network: the more people we hear from, the more we can help people access arts in libraries.
Do get in touch with Julia at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to find out more about any of the above, or simply to share your libraries touring experience.