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Islington’s Word2018 Festival offers dance, art, books, workshops and much more

A is for Adventure, from Upwing (please picture credit Upswing)

A is for Adventure, from Upwing (please picture credit Upswing)

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Word2018 Festival - Islington’s month-long celebration of words and their power to transform lives – offers something for everyone when it launches next month.

From dance, art and music to workshops and talks the festival showcases a rich and inclusive range of events and projects, most of which are free.

Taking place from 1 - 30 June and in its seventh year, the festival is part of Islington’s Year of Reading, which highlights the impact reading and writing can have on mental health and wellbeing, and encouraging a healthy work life balance.

The month-long extravaganza includes:

• The Word2018 Festival launches on 1 June with ‘Book End No.1’ with a special event at The Free Word Centre with Living Lyrics – an exhibition of portraits of Key Changes artists and a live performance.

• On the 6 June the Mayor will officially open Islington’s Word Garden in Kings Square Gardens. Designed by the older people at St Luke’s Centre, and working with All Change it is inspired by their memories of the park and local area.

• Celebrating Refugee Week, the Essence of Welcome exhibition at South Library will also see school workshops with in-house writer Sita Brahmachari and artist Jane Ray at South and N4 libraries

• A celebration of all things Arsenal FC with poet Paul Lyalls, with Granddads, Dads and Lads

• Commemorating the 250th anniversary of the world’s very first ‘circus’ in London, there will be a series of events for ‘Circus 250’. Events will include The Clerkenwell King of Clowns – Joseph Grimaldi exhibition at Finsbury Library, and a new commission from Upswing working with All Change’s Inspire young parents group to create a new show – A is for Adventure – for young families

• Rapping singing, and handstands during Drag Queen Story Times, with Cookie MonStar

• Specially commissioned projects to encourage residents of all ages to develop their enjoyment of reading and writing through creativity

• Walks with Library2Library on Saturdays followed by family activities, the launch of Reading Well, Remembering the 4000 talk and Futures in the making workshop

• Throughout Word2018, look out for poetic dispatches from some extraordinary voices, in person, in print, and via Instagram and Twitter. A team of poets will respond and react and create a new body of work @wordislington #Words4Word

For more information or for details of all the festival events visit @WordIslington or and view the brochure. Alternatively, pick up a copy in one of Islington’s 10 libraries and other venues.

Cllr Asima Shaikh, Islington Council’s executive member for economic development, said:

“This year’s fantastic Word2018 Festival is a celebration of how reading and writing transforms lives. Reading is linked to greater wellbeing, life satisfaction and social connectedness and nearly 50 per cent of adults say reading makes them more empathetic and reduces stress levels after just six minutes. I’m looking forward to Word2018 and encourage everyone to get involved. From story-telling sessions and poetry to circus sessions and dance, there is a huge range of mostly free activities across Islington for all ages”

Look out for more Islington libraries events and activities over the summer with the Summer Reading Challenge for children and adults, Reading for Wellbeing and Bookstart Week.

Word2018 is curated and produced by All Change and is a partnership project delivered by:
Islington Library and Heritage Services
Islington Arts Service
All Change
Free Word Centre

Notes to editors:

Picture caption: A is for Adventure from Upswing (please picture credit Upswing)

• Word2018 is a collaboration between Islington Library and Heritage Services, Islington Arts Service, All Change and the Free Word Centre
• Word2018 is part of Islington Reads Strategy which found reading has been linked to greater wellbeing, life satisfaction, social connectedness, community spirit and helping to protect against life’s difficulties, with readers being 18% more likely to have higher self-esteem than non-readers. Nearly 50% of adults say reading makes them more empathetic people. For day to day benefits, reading has been shown to reduce stress levels after just six minutes.

For further information please contact: 
Chris Roe, Media Manager 
Tel: 020 7527 8751 
Alternative contact - Media team: 020 7527 2307 
Out of hours: 07769 163303 
Follow us on Twitter @IslingtonBC and @IslingtonLife