Suffolk Libraries’ Blank Page summer programme was a huge success, inspiring many young people to learn new creative mediums and meet new friends over the summer holidays. More than 770 young people attended one of the creative workshops on offer, with many saying that they would be interested in doing it again.
Blank Page was launched for the Easter holidays and is funded through the Holiday Activity Fund. The programme gives 10-16 year-olds the chance to express their creativity through a range of mediums at high-quality workshops run by local artists including comic book creation, storytelling, performance, poetry, bookbinding, album creation and lots more.
The summer programme saw more than 70 workshops taking place at nine libraries across the county, with a range of local artists helping to facilitate the workshop and share their artistic craft. Workshops included screenwriting and spoken word, theatre and multi-sensory storytelling, photography, illustration, poetry and creative writing, digital media, book making, print making and much more.
Katie Puls, Youth Activities Producer and creator of the Blank Page project, said:
“It was an absolute delight seeing so many young people engage in these free creative workshops over the summer holidays, and it was inspiring to see what they created. Since March, the Blank Page project has brought almost 900 young people into our library spaces! We hope to continue to build on the success of the summer project and our crucial relationship with this often-overlooked audience sector into the winter programme and beyond.
“We would like to thank every single person who has supported, contributed and worked hard to make this project a success, and we are excited to watch the impact for the young people in our communities grow.”
The Blank Page project will return with more free workshops taking place in December. For more information, contact Katie Puls on firstname.lastname@example.org or subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated on when the new workshops will be announced.
Impact of the summer programme:
- 96% of young people said they would return to the library
- 143 new library cards were issued to teens who took part
- 81% of attendees said they would definitely recommend the workshop to a friend
- 84% of parents said their children gained confidence from taking part.
Feedback from attendees:
“It was a pleasure to come [to the workshop] and I will be coming here a lot from now on.”
“It was a super activity – I think this is one of the best creative workshops I have done!”
Feedback from parents:
“My son was proud of what he created and enjoyed the process. As he has recently moved to home schooling, he was really happy to be mixing with peers whilst learning.”
“These activities connecting children with local artists, writers, practitioners and creatives are fantastic. The free provision is great at a really difficult time for many families. Not paying for a days childcare or lunch is essential for some families to pay the gas bill and for others it makes a beach day or a family trip out possible another time. These workshops are meaningful to many people, for many reasons, in many contexts. In addition, arts are under threat and inspiring young people to see these as valid, enriching career paths and leisure pursuits is brilliant.”
Feedback from library staff:
“The young people's engagement in the session, and their politeness and support of each other was a joy to witness.”
“They were anxious to enter the library at first, but by the end they didn’t want to leave.”