We are excited to share our new autumn programme, beginning October 2017, bringing arts to libraries across Cambridgeshire. Everyone is welcome at performances and workshops and the tickets are on sale now!

The Library Presents .... Arts Alive logo

Funded by Arts Council England and created in partnership with Babylon Arts, The Library Presents…Arts Alive brings a high quality, diverse selection of performances and workshops into the heart of villages and towns across the county.

The programme was selected by Library Friends and local communities for each library from a ‘menu’ of professional artists. The programme features music, theatre, magic, art, literature and puppetry for all ages. 

If you’ve never been to a performance or workshop before but always wanted to, this is the perfect opportunity. Come and explore something new in a friendly, safe and relaxed atmosphere.

The Library Presents... Arts Alive

Check out the The Library Presents programmes :

The Library Presents Autumn Programme

Size: 1.08 MB File format: pdf

Arbury Children's Book Festival Programme

Size: 1.31 MB File format: pdf

Buy your tickets: at the Host library or online 

Buy tickets

Latest News

Cambridgeshire Community and Cultural Services have been awarded funding from Arts Council England to run a programme of arts events in 10 libraries across the county. The programme will be curated by Library Friends groups and activities will start in October 2017.

The £93,271 grant will allow the participating libraries and their community representatives to make their own selection from a rich and varied ‘menu’ of arts activities and events designed around three main strands:  Performances, Workshops and Book Festivals. The programme is called ‘The Library Presents…Arts Alive’.

Funding is for the delivery of high quality professional arts experiences selected by the community in ten selected libraries across Cambridgeshire, some of them have been involved previously, to others this will be a new experience.

Working together, we will deliver a menu of inspiring activities to reach new audiences, and to develop the skills of Friends Groups, library staff and volunteers. The arts programme will further build local audiences for the arts - in libraries and beyond, it will make best use of library buildings, engage people in volunteering and develop confidence and skills to sustain this.

September 2017: Details of the Autumn programme published - see above.

July 2017: Local people and Library Friends are currently choosing from an amazing menu of performances and workshops for The Library Presents…Arts Alive programme. Each Library is choosing their own programme of inspiring events, that they think will appeal most to local people.

The ten Libraries involved are Yaxley, Wisbech, Chatteris, March, Arbury Court, Barnwell, Littleport, Soham, Ramsey and St Neots. Libraries are looking for local people to support the events, if you feel inspired to volunteer some of your time watch this space!!

Find out more below about opportunities, funding and history of The Library Presents…Arts Alive.

Arts Alive, the history

We began with a small grant from Arts Council England called the Libraries Development Initiative, which enabled staff and newly emerging Friends groups to test the water with an arts programme in four libraries. The feedback was really positive, so we applied for a grant under the Grants for the Arts funding strand of the National Lottery. Grants for the arts is an open-application funding programme, which funds arts activities that engage people in England, or that help artists and arts organisations carry out their work.

The application was successful and it enabled a more sustained programme in eight libraries, which finished in Autumn 2016.  Arts Alive in Libraries 2014-2017 was a great success. Across the eight libraries involved, a total of 145 events, activities and workshops were put on, engaging 3,648 members of local communities. A substantial amount of the work involved was down to our Friends of the Library groups!

The Present

We now have the chance to build on the experience gained over the last few years and join in again, this time with 10 libraries involved.

We feel we learnt some important lessons from the last round and these have informed our new programme.

We will have a Project Co-ordinator who will liaise with all libraries involved, coordinating schedules and publicity, liaising with Babylon Arts, with artists/authors/performers on a practical level and generally keeping us all on track.   

Opportunities to be involved

We will be counting on Library Friends groups to help to publicise events and activities. The project manager will produce a template for promotional materials and produce press releases to promote more widely, but there is nothing to beat the power of ‘word of mouth’ and local contacts that Friends, volunteers and staff bring to the table.

Your chance to Volunteer with The Library Presents…Arts Alive

This is your chance to join us in making these exciting performances come to life! We have opportunities to support with stewarding, marketing and social media, event management, event photography and even some technical support roles. If you have any interest in these areas, please contact Katherine Roberts.

Arts Alive volunteers

No experience? Feeling nervous? but think you would like to get involved? Babylon Arts our project partners will be providing some crash courses in event management and technical skills for volunteers and our experienced team will support you throughout your role so you can build confidence, new skills and enjoy yourself. We will match appropriate tasks to the skills and availability of each volunteer.

This is a fantastic opportunity to meet new people, develop new skills, have fun and support arts events in your community. We are looking for volunteers of all ages to help us with a number of important tasks. Any contribution, big or small, is very much appreciated.

Get in touch: email: [email protected]              tel: 01223 706779

Tasks Include:

  • Marketing and social media
  • Event photography
  • Setting up library spaces to transform them into venue and workshop spaces
  • Helping run the box office at events
  • Setting up and running the bar at events
  • Supervising workshops
  • Packing down after events / workshops
  • Supporting acts to bring in and take out their shows
  • Collecting audience surveys
  • Distributing leaflets & posters to promote activities.

Active Support for Events & Activities

We are also looking at development opportunities that we could offer to Friends and co-opted members – such as a course on manual handling, promotion, technical skills required for sound or lighting support, and chances to find out more about the potential performers.

The Library Presents…Arts Alive  is a fantastic opportunity for everyone in the community to be involved, develop an interest in film, creative writing, see live performances and  build strong local engagement using the library as an arts space within the community. It will also enable the friends groups and library staff to work with high quality professional artists and arts organisations to deliver an adventurous programme.

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