Spread the Word has been awarded £171,245 by Arts Council England (ACE) for its The Young People’s Laureate Tour 2017-18.
The grant, sourced from ACE's Strategic Touring Fund, will help to support Spread the Word's work on the tour with library services in 10 outer London boroughs, including those least engaged in the arts.
The two-year project will be spearheaded in its first year by the Young People's Laureate for London, Caleb Femi, and provide opportunities for young people to participate in poetry and arts production workshops, as well as putting on poetry events.
Femi 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.”
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 continue in 2018 in Brent, Redbridge, Bromley, Sutton and Hounslow.
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."
Other 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.