How can you help community-led libraries develop, create, share and tour artistic projects?
The Libraries Live Project was funded via Arts Council England and included three artists in residents working across three community managed libraries, in three different communities across three counties (Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Leicestershire). The artists were Ruth Singer, Michaela McMillan and a performance for younger children by Staffordshire's New Vic Theatre.
The project delved into the changing landscape of the library from the traditional local authority run model to the community library managed by local people. Responding to the theme of ‘change’ we worked with communities to incorporate creative activities with artists into libraries that would add additional value. Creative activities were designed by mixed media artist Michaela McMillan, drama practitioner Becky Salt, and textile artist Ruth Singer.
Book Design - A key element and challenge of the project was to design, create and curate a touring exhibition that could be set-up across three distinct library settings over a three month period. In order to achieve this we collaborated with project manager Tracie Meredith and Infamous Arts CIC. Infamous Arts made bespoke exhibition stands to showcase the artist’s work that would help inspire visitors and could be used as an exhibition in the 3 very different library spaces.
The Toolkit - This was produced in the form of a book that included examples of how creative projects can work in practice; do’s and don’ts, top tips, pull-outs and activities were included as a learning tool for other creatives to help them devise a project in a library.