Word Garden – design preview

Word2018 will see the launch of a specially commissioned permanent Word Garden at Kings Square Gardens.

From an original idea by Islington Library Service and part of the Bunhill Ward Improvement Plan – with investment from S106 and Arts Council of England funding, the garden has been created with local older people at St. Luke’s Community Centre working with All Change artists – Carl Stevenson and Francesca Beard, and Islington Council Parks Service.

The design for the garden features specially designed trellis work, a new games table and benches customised with poetry, and a new planting scheme.  All the garden elements have been inspired by older people’s stories and memories of the park and local area. The new planting will add colour and fragrances, designed to enable people who have sensory impairments to enjoy spending time here.  The design will ensure that the garden looks beautiful in all seasons, complementing other features in the gardens, and can be a place for everyone in the community to enjoy and spend time together. The ongoing maintenance will be looked after by the Parks Service and the local community working together.

To view and comment on the designs, drop into St. Luke’s Community Centre on Central Street from Tuesday 1 – Thursday 3 May (daytimes) 2018

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Word2018 programme is live!

We’re delighted to announce the Word2018 Festival programme is now live – download your electronic copy of the Word Festival Brochure 2018_web

Printed copies will be available in all Islington libraries and local venues shortly!

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#LateAtTheLibrary – Open Mike

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Word2018 – call for co-promotion submissions

Word2018 Festival is seeking submissions for events and activities to be considered for inclusion in this year’s festival.

Now in its 7th year, Islington’s annual Word festival celebrates the transformative power of words through a programme of high quality, arts activities, events and learning opportunities that encourage residents across Islington to develop enjoyment in reading, writing and freedom of expression.

Word2018 will run from 1 – 30 June 2018 and is a partnership initiative between Islington Council’s Library and Heritage Services, Arts Service, All Change and Free Word. Over the past 6 years Word has had great success in reaching a diverse range of people of all ages and abilities in Islington, offering them the chance to participate in extraordinary projects, and to create and experience amazing work both as participants and audiences.

Word2018 will focus on the impact projects – which use reading, writing and literature in creative ways – can have on mental health and wellbeing. The programme will include a number of specially commissioned projects, and will shine a spotlight on high quality creative work being delivered by arts organisations in Islington which offer creative approaches to and demonstrate effective engagement with the festival’s 3 priority target audiences:

  1. a) Older adults with dementia (65 years and over) and their families
  2. b) Young people with mental health difficulties (specifically projects that work to improve the wellbeing of young people aged 13 – 25 years) and their families
  3. c) Children (especially early years – 1- 5 years) and their families.

Word2018 is inviting expressions of interest from artists and arts organisations wishing to submit arts activities and creative opportunities for inclusion in this year’s festival. Activities should explore the pleasure of reading, writing and freedom of expression and take place in Islington between 1-30 June 2018.

Please read the guidance document and submit your activities and events by completing the attached proposal form and sending by email to info@allchangearts.org 6pm on Monday 5 March 2018. 

WORD2018 Festival Co-Promotion – Expression of Interest Guidelines

WORD2018 Co-promotion proposal form


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Key Changes – Islington World Mental Health Day Celebration

Saturday 7 October 2017 2-5pm – Join our wonderful Word Festival partners Key Changes at St Luke’s Community Centre today for a feast of fun and friendly activities  to mark World Mental Health Day 2017 – including an afternoon Open Mic performance! St Luke’s Community Centre, 90 Central Street, London EC1V 8AJ 


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Word’s Up for another year… time for After-Word

So Word2017 has come to an end – having delivered a wonderful month of extraordinary events and performances across Islington – involving  local residents of all ages and backgrounds and celebrating a wonderful mix of voices. Thank you to all the amazing artists and arts organisations that contributed to Word2017 and to all those who took part in projects and events as participants and audiences. Keep an eye on this website and follow us on Twitter @wordislington opportunities to enjoy words throughout the year! … and check out out new Instagram account @wordislington to enjoy images from this year’s festival and upcoming activities.

And …AFTER WORD this summer why not get involved in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge – 1 July–17 September – Children can help solve the cases of the mysterious graffiti and the missing lunch by reading 6 books, collecting the stickers in their special folder and the mini prizes. And, if they finish all 6 books, they could also win one of our great prizes! For more information go to www.summerreadingchallenge.org.uk or ask in the library.

Watch out too for our programme of summer events including some great animal rap and rhyme shows from the brilliantly funny poet Neal Zetter plus the ever-popular Safari Pete’s live animal show. And, we’ve got lots of other events going on to keep your children entertained! For more details go to www.islington.gov.uk/libraries

Summer Reading Challenge Champions – Aged 13-19? Why not become a Summer Reading Challenge Champion, helping younger children complete their challenge? Complete 8 hours work and get a guaranteed £10 Love2Shop voucher! For more details go to www.islington.gov.uk/libraries

 WordieIslington – Think of a word… a word you like… a word that talks to you. Selfie it… or photograph something that says it to you… add some text to say why. Upload your photos to Instagram @wordieislington and you could win a Love2Shop voucher!




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Day 30: Word’s Up

Friday 30 June: 7pm –

Join Word2017 at 27 Dingley Place – home of All Change and Impact Hub for a fabulous evening of perfectly performed words and magical movement from some festival favourites.

The closing event for this year’s festival – hosted by Paul Lyalls, features a premiere dance performance from Candoco’s ‘Dancing Letters’ project, spoken word and music from Key Changes, the launch of the Sound Minds Vol. 1. concept album created by young people working with Cardboard Citizens and Lyrix Organix artists. Celebrating – and Book Ending this year’s festivities.


12 noon today ‘Sound: Mind – Vol.1’ goes live!

To listen CLICK HERE

‘Sound:Mind – Vol.1’ is a conceptual album/theatre production by Cardboard Citizens and Lyrix Organix, in partnership with Little Simz. Explore the sunshine and shade of young peoples’ mental health, through their own words and music.

Inspired by Islington-born, female rapper Little Simz’s acclaimed 2016 album ‘Stillness in Wonderland’, it was developed over a two-week workshop programme.

Commissioned as part of Islington’s Word 2017 Festival.

100% profits from sales of this album donated to Cardboard Citizens  #soundmindvol1 

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