SPINE Festival: Libraries Out Loud

Celebrating arts and literature across London libraries

Thursday 5 March – Sunday 15 March 2015

Kicking off on World Book Day, Thursday 5 March, SPINE Festival brings London communities together to celebrate the arts and literature in libraries. Through an exciting programme of FREE events including music, poetry, storytelling, visual art, dance and drama, SPINE Festival gives children, young people, families and local communities the chance to get involved in fun activities, performances, and creative workshops with top professional artists.

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11 boroughs, 33 libraries and over 50 FREE events will take place in this first ever pan-London libraries festival. Step into a magical world of pop-up books and poetry with Half Moon Theatre’s Pop-Up Flashback starring poet Joseph Coelho. Get crafty at the World Book Day Chatterbooks Special, inspired by Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Design a brand new cover for your favourite book at Deptford Lounge Library. Unleash your poetic powers with top stand-up poet Laurie Bolger at the Spine Slam | Poetry Slam For Teens Workshop to compete for the Spine Slam title, judged by none other than the Young Poet Laureate for London, Aisling Fahey. Plus so much more! For the full events programme visit our events page.

SPINE400x400Apples and Snakes have brought an inspirational array of artists on board for SPINE Festival; five of these artists will each bring their talents to one library throughout the festival as our SPINE Artists in Residence. Working across drama, spoken word, storytelling, and puppetry, the multi-talented Rachel Sambrooks will be based at Hounslow Central Library; Brandon Library in Southwark have the exciting opportunity to work with the dancer Gemma Coldicott; spoken word artist Jared Louche will be taking his skills to Harlesden Library in Brent; Andy D’Cruz will be bringing his expertise in sound installations and sculpture to Circle Library, Sutton; and Adam Kammerling will be taking spoken word to Catford Library in Lewisham. For more information about all of our SPINE Artists in Residence visit the Artists in Residence project page.

We are delighted to be working in partnership with the boroughs of Bexley, Brent, Bromley, Croydon, Ealing, Harrow, Hounslow, Lewisham, Southwark, Sutton, and Waltham Forest. SPINE encourages children and people of all ages to explore and express ideas creatively, to stand up and be heard, and to view their local libraries as the cultural spine of their community.

Over the coming weeks we’ll be getting to know our SPINE boroughs and Artists in Residence. First up… Sutton!

circle-library2Sutton’s Library Service consists of 9 libraries and a mobile library service located across the borough. There are 285,329 books in stock and 142 computers with internet access for the public use. All Sutton libraries offer a programme of events and activities to support reading, literacy, and digital knowledge, including free computer training courses for the over 50s. They also serve the community with a first point of contact for a range of council services including Freedom Pass renewal, Revenues and Benefits scanning, and Blue Badge Applications.

Throughout SPINE Festival sound and installation artist Andy D’Cruz will be bringing his engaging, site specific art practice to Sutton’s Circle Library. Andy has worked extensively in a community setting, delivering innovative audiovisual projects.

‘We are really excited to have our first ever Artist in Residence! Anything could happen! The Spine Festival is a brilliant opportunity to get children and young people enthused about our libraries’ – Rachel Levy, Sutton Library Service

Andy will be facilitating workshops for young parents, putting together an inspiring programme of after school clubs, and celebrating SPINE with a special sharing event for all. Look out for Andy’s upcoming blog post, telling us all about his work and why he’s excited to be one of the five SPINE Artists in Residence

SPINE Festival is produced by Apples and Snakes in partnership with library authorities across London as part of Apples and Snakes’ work as an Associate Bridge organisation. For more information visit the SPINE project page or follow #SpineFestival.