The Spark Arts for Children have developed this toolkit for creative ideas to generate interest in your library events. The toolkit has been written by Jayne Williams and Ideal Friends in libraries, neighbourhood centres, community groups with artists, writers, creators and theatre-makers.
You are a toddler timer, rattle and roll rhymer, front-line smiler, self-service explainer, alphabetical shelf arranger. You are a homework helper, exam stress deflector, information sharer, knowledge spreader. You are a word wrangler, story shaper, a book pusher, a door opener into other worlds, best friend of the book bear (you may even wear the blue and white costume). You are a summer reading challenger, giver of medals and smelly stickers, a storyteller, listener, child whisperer, assembly giver, maker of classroom visits and half term crafty afternoons. You are a calm atmosphere creator, conflict stopper and, on occasion, a toilet un-blocker.
With great power comes great responsibility, so we have created this easy to use toolkit for you to flick through, read some bits now and other parts later whilst you get on with saving the world with literature. Use it as your reference to spread the word about all the fabulous events you have for families. It can help you plan and deliver adventures through arts activity and get the whole community excited about your library. Dip in and out as you see fit, keep it somewhere handy.
Picasso supposedly once said ‘good artists borrow, great artists steal’ so we have magpied this knowledge from hundreds of library staff in creative collaborations with artists, writers, creators, theatre makers, housed in 54 different library places and community spaces across the East Midlands. All made possible through four years of Imaginative Neighbourhoods artist residencies and 18 months of Among Ideal Friends live performance tours. Developed and produced for families and schools by The Spark Arts for Children.
The Spark Arts for Children is a registered charity which offers children and young people the opportunity to immerse themselves in the arts by experiencing a wide range of high-quality work, which inspires, empowers and educates. We offer children the space to discover their own skills, passions and potential, as audience, participants and creators of their own work through a year round programme of Participation & Learning and bespoke events. The annual Spark Festival is the largest children’s arts festival in England and Wales, taking place every May. The festival presents the very best theatre, dance, music, visual arts and digital media events in Leicester schools, theatres and community venues. The Spark works to increase its impact on the creation and presentation of arts for children in the UK and beyond. www.thesparkarts.co.uk
Image courtesy of The Spark Arts for Children. Sylvia South and the Word Catcher display the art of gentle persuasion.