- Date: 27 September 2012
- Area: National
Today we have opened applications to £6 million worth of funding for public libraries through our Grants for the arts Libraries fund.
What will the fund do?
The Libraries fund will invest £6 million of the Arts Council's National Lottery funded Grants for the arts money in projects delivered by public libraries or library authorities working in partnership with cultural organisations involving all types of artistic activities including: music, dance, theatre, visual arts and literature.
We want the fund to inspire ambitious and innovative partnerships, between libraries and arts organisations, that will encourage library users and those living locally to get involved with arts and culture.
Libraries - centres of discovery
Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said:
'In investing £6 million for public libraries to lead on artistic activities, we are recognising the important role that libraries can play as centres of discovery.
'Yes, libraries are places in which people develop a real love of books and can access information, but they are also at the very hearts of their communities. They can be exciting places in which you can encounter music, drama, sculpture, or any kind of art; somewhere that sparks an interest that might just become a real passion.'
How much funding is available?
Public libraries can apply for grants of between £1,000 and £100,000, covering activities lasting up to three years. The fund opens to applications today and will run until March 2015. Guidance notes for applicants can be found on the Arts Council website.
The Arts Council will host a series of regional workshops and briefing sessions on the Libraries fund for public library staff. The workshops, which begin in October, will be an opportunity to hear more details about the new funding, to talk with representatives from successful Grants for the arts projects involving public libraries, and to discuss ideas for projects.
Libraries thinking about applying to the fund might be interested to read about other innovative Grants for the arts library projects on the Arts Council website.
The latest is on Circuit Live, a spoken word project inspired by London 2012 and involving children not in education, employment or training (NEET) in workshops held in libraries across London in Camden, Lambeth, Lewisham, Waltham Forest and Westminster. The project, led by Arts Council England National portfolio organisation Small Green Shoots and Dv8 Training, was awarded £31,250 Grants for the arts funding in June 2012.
How we support libraries
The Arts Council is working with the library sector to help create libraries which are at the heart of local communities, inspiring and empowering people to lead active lives enriched by culture. Our work with libraries to achieve this includes: the Libraries development initiative, and a programme of research and debate entitled Envisioning the library of the future.