The money comes from the Arts Council’s National Lottery supported Strategic Touring programme, which gives arts and cultural organisations the resources they need to bring great art and culture to more people across the country.
The Spark Arts for Children has been awarded £279,200 for Among Ideal Friends (AIF), a collaboration with five library services – Leicester, Leicestershire, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire and Rutland. It will create and establish a range of high quality book and story based performances and workshops for children aged five to 11 years, their families and schools, and the work will be shared across 55 libraries.
It will also give schools supporting the library services the chance to take an active role in Cultural Education Partnerships locally as Artsmark Partners, providing them with training and support.
Artsmark is an award for schools and education settings, recognising their commitment to high quality arts and cultural education. It is awarded by Arts Council England, and provides a framework for schools to plan, develop and evaluate their arts and cultural provision,
The Spark Arts for Children is also a National Portfolio Organisation for Arts Council England, receiving regular funding totalling £691,464 from 2018-22.
Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England, said: “Getting young people and their families excited about books and performance, while being involved with their local library is a truly wonderful ambition.
“Libraries are viewed as safe spaces for learning and discovery, and can open doors for children, inspiring them to seek knowledge not only within arts and culture but in every aspect of their life. We are delighted to support this project, which has the potential to make a real difference as it tours to communities throughout the East Midlands.”
Adel Al-Salloum, Director of The Spark Arts for Children, said: “Libraries are wonderful places that reflect all that is healthy about a community – inclusive, accessible and a champion of ideas. Through the stories of many, we are given the permission to imagine our own – to create new possibilities for ourselves in a shared safe place.
“Arts Council England’s investment in our collective ambition and approach to making and sharing stories will enable many more children, families, and schools to experience the transformative power of theatre in the heart of their neighbourhood, their library.”
Across the country 14 organisation have been awarded a combined total of £2,024,616.0
More than £815,000 has been awarded to Midland’s organisations in this round of funding.