Staffordshire arts charity Appetite will launch their latest project in Newcastle-under-Lyme town centre this week.
Volunteers have helped to transform the space in Astley Walk formerly used by Appetite to host exhibitions and arts activities into a library offering a range of books for children and adults.
The venue will also continue to host exhibitions, performances, and other events run by Appetite and other groups.
Appetite was set up in Stoke-on-Trent in 2013 to give local people an opportunity to “experience and be inspired by the arts” and aims to do so by working with them to “co-create world class, unforgettable arts experiences in and for their communities”.
The group is part of Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places program, which aims to encourage engagement with and participation in the arts in parts of the country where “culture and creativity is significantly low”.
The community library
Appetite is led by the New Vic theatre and works in partnership, other partners include Staffordshire University, the councils in Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme, and Aspire Housing.
Since 2013, Appetite has engaged with an audience of 485,061 local people, 50,014 people have participated in their events, 1501 people have volunteered with the charity and 1,189 artists have taken part in events.
The library is part of their ongoing Newcastle Common project, which aims to transform empty shops in the town into “places of art and creativity”, this has seen then work in partnership with the Brampton Museum and Art Gallery and Staffordshire County Council Library Services.
“As we come out of lockdown we all have the chance to celebrate the things we took for granted and briefly lost. That’s what Newcastle Common is about for me.” – Ian Mood, Newcastle Common Artist-in-Residence
The Astley Walk library will be launched by a three-day event, Fabulous Fancies, featuring arts events for all the family.
These will include a creative baby workshop, theatre, music, and dance from Ghetto Fabulous (Thursday); illustration workshop with Matt Buckingham and a story café run by Kwanzaa Collective poet Gabriella Gay (Friday), Fables at the Kitchen Table and author Emma Phillips reading from her debut children’s book Daddy and Me! (Saturday).
Full details of the program for the three days can be found here
The launch event will take place between Thursday 4 – Saturday 6 August from 10:30am and 3:00pm at Units 12-13, Astley Walk, York Place, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 2AH.