Spread the Word receive
Arts Council England
Strategic Tour funding


Spread the Word funded £171,000 for Young People’s Laureate Tour of outer London boroughs

It has just been announced that Spread the Word has been awarded £171,245 for The Young People’s Laureate Tour 2017-18 by Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund. Working with library services in ten outer London boroughs and those with least engagement in the arts, it aims to inspire young people with poetry through the issues that most affect them. The project will take place over two years, and will provide opportunities for young people to participate in poetry and arts production workshops, as well as offering poetry events in ten outer London boroughs featuring talented young poets alongside leading London poets. The project will be spearheaded in its first year by the Young People’s Laureate for London, Caleb Femi.

Caleb Femi, Young People’s Laureate for London, said:

“I am really excited to be part of Spread the Word’s Young People’s Laureate Tour in 2017. The project will be a great opportunity to bring together lots of young people from across the city through poetry, and I can’t wait to meet them and work with them.”

Rishi Dastidar, Chair of Spread the Word, said:

“I’m thrilled and delighted that Arts Council England are supporting Spread the Word’s Young People’s Laureate Tour. It’s vital to us that as many young people as possible who might not have seen any poetry live before get to experience its power. And I’m also pleased as it means more young people get to see and enjoy Caleb Femi’s unique talents. He is the right messenger for the transformative excitement that poetry provides.”

Joyce Wilson, London Area Director, Arts Council England, said:

“This important project will reach young Londoners in the least engaged areas of our city by speaking their language. I’m pleased we’ve been able to support Spread the Word for this tour, and look forward to seeing the Poet Laureates of the future it will certainly inspire.”

Anthony Hopkins, President, Association of London Chief Librarians, said:

“This successful bid to Arts Council England for the Young People’s Laureate Tour is another fine example of the Association of Chief Librarians (ALCL) and Spread The Word working in partnership. This project will enable high calibre events to take place in outer London borough libraries and will engage with new audiences.”

Project partners include the Association of London Chief Librarians, The Reading Agency, The Audience Agency, The Poetry Takeaway, A New Direction and Words of Colour. Taking place over two years, the Young People’s Laureate for London tour will see activity take place in Bexley, Newham, Barking and Dagenham, Merton and Croydon in 2017, and in Brent, Redbridge, Bromley, Sutton and Hounslow in 2018.

You can download the full press release here.


Photo of Caleb Femi by Lee Townsend 


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