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Islington awarded funding to hold the Word Festival for next two years

Islington is the first local authority to have funding confirmed from the new Grants for the Arts Libraries Fund to hold the Word Festival across the borough in May 2013 and 2014.

£60,000 will be made available to Islington's library and heritage, and arts services, working with local arts organisation All Change and the Free Word Centre to run a variety of cultural events and activities with residents. 

Details of this year's Word Festival in Islington are still to be confirmed, but last year featured over 30 events including graphic novel workshops, a flash mob of young people reading on Highbury Fields, a nonsense poetry slam and a Bollywood Punch and Judy show.  The festival attracted an audience of over 40,000 people.

Islington Council, Crossrail, the Islington Business Design Centre and Islington UNISON will also provide additional funding for the festival.

Islington Council's executive member for health and wellbeing, Cllr Janet Burgess, said:

"It's fantastic news that we've been awarded this grant, which means we can once again put together a really exciting programme for the Word Festival, both this year and next.  

"The festival is a great opportunity for residents to get involved, have fun and experience a wide range of arts and culture taking place across the borough.

"I'm looking forward to seeing the final programme for this year."

Nicky Morgan, Director of Libraries, Arts Council England, said: 

"Our investment in Word Festival in Islington is the first time that we have awarded funding through the £6 million Grants for the Arts Libraries fund. 

"We opened this fund in September 2012 to invest in ambitious projects, delivered by public libraries, which work with cultural organisations and communities. Islington Word Festival does just that. We are excited to support this fun, innovative project as it continues to build momentum – and for audiences in and around Islington to engage in some truly high quality cultural events." 

The full programme of events for the Word Festival 2013 in Islington will be announced in April.  Events will run from 1-31 May.

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