The Library Takeover is Underway

IMG_3253Apples and Snakes Senior Associate, Nicky Crabb talks about Library Takeover, an innovative new project for young people aged 11-18 living in Waltham Forest or Croydon.

Sometimes I feel really lucky to have my job, especially when I get to spend time with two such inspirational people as Chris Elwell (Director of the Half Moon Theatre in Tower Hamlets) and Maeve O’Neill (facilitator and Creative Producer for Truth About Youth at Oval House). We recently spent a couple of days holed up in a room at the Free Word Centre planning the training programme for our innovative new ECF funded Library Takeover project.

IMG_3252The programme we have designed is completely bespoke, designed especially for 6 lucky young people and 6 equally fortunate library staff from Croydon and Waltham Forest, who wish to develop skills in programming and producing live events in their local library spaces. Over the course of the summer from May to July, they will be taught by Chris, Maeve and other leading facilitators from the arts, to manage every aspect of a live arts event from balancing the budget to designing a social media campaign, as well as stage management and production skills.

So you may be asking, what has all this got to do with libraries? Are we confusing libraries with arts centres? You see libraries in the 21st century are no longer dark, silent places of solo study with no talking or drinking allowed, they are experiencing an exciting transition into creative and cultural spaces. Libraries and library staff are now part of our cultural provision, alongside museums and arts centres, and they are uniquely placed to offer an amazing resource for their local communities. The more I work in and with libraries, I realise how centrally placed they are within our local communities, we have worked in libraries in shopping centres, civic centres, attached to youth clubs and medical centres. They are easily accessible for everyone and many of them have great spaces inside where people can gather to enjoy creative activities and quite a few even have cafes!

LIBRAY-TAKEOVER_A5-EFLYER_WALTHAM_AWSo if you are or know a young person aged 11-18 living in Waltham Forest or Croydon and you want to take up this amazing opportunity, contact me and I can send you out an application form or have a chat with you on the phone. Alternatively pop along to your local library and ask to speak to someone about the Library Takeover project. We need your applications in by Monday 4th May at the latest, so don’t miss out.