Barnsley Libraries announces new creative commissions to increase cultural access and engagement across the borough

Barnsley Libraries is excited to reveal a series of new creative commissions that will bring more art and culture to its branches and inspire creativity within local communities.

Following a successful first year as a National Portfolio Organisation, Barnsley Libraries have been working to curate another exciting list of events and activities for 2024/25.

A total of five creative commissions are planned, with the first one having started earlier this month.

Creative commissions for 2024/25:

  • ‘Neck of the Wood Studio’ – Alastair Flindall residency
    Alastair Flindall, a community artist from Sheffield, will work with Worsbrough residents to create a mural at Worsbrough Library that will improve the appearance of the building and the area. Residents will be able to get involved in a series of workshops throughout the summer.
  • Summer Reading Challenge commission
    Storyteller Olivia Corbin-Phillip, artist and ceramicist Evelyn Albrow and Bollywood dancer Salma Zamann will be delivering sessions on this year’s theme of ‘Marvelous Makers’ across all Barnsley Libraries branches.
  • Green Libraries Week commission
    Barnsley Libraries are looking for an artist who would work with young people in Barnsley between 7-13 October, to tackle climate anxiety and turn it into a positive climate action. If interested, artists can find more information on the Arts Council England website. The deadline to apply is Monday 8 July.
  • Black History Month commission
    Barnsley Libraries are looking for an artist to creatively respond to this year’s Black History Month theme of ‘Reclaiming Narratives’. The commission will take place in October this year. If interested, artists can find more information on the Arts Council England website. The deadline to apply is Monday 8 July.
  • Royston Library commission
    Barnsley Libraries will collaborate with performers, visual artists and drama practitioners WE Great Ladies to form a community panel at Royston Library. The panel will co-design a proposal for an artist to create an artistic project in the library space. The activity is due to start this summer and will run into autumn.

Anna Hartley, Executive Director for Public Health and Communities, said: “The response to Barnsley Libraries creative commissions so far was wonderful. It was great to see many people joining events and participating in activities since late 2023.

“New creative projects will widen the cultural offer across all Barnsley Libraries branches and we can’t wait for our communities to get involved.”

More information including exact dates and locations will be announced in due course on Barnsley Libraries social media channels.

At the end of 2022, Barnsley Libraries was awarded National Portfolio Organisation status and is committed to bringing art and culture to local communities as part of their enhanced offer.

The creative commissions are supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

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