About BLOC

In summer 2017, we were awarded National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) status and £740,000 from Arts Council England to help young people develop arts and culture activities in libraries from 2018-22. We were officially granted NPO status in April 2018.

Young people making a zine for the Suffolk Libraries arts programme

The story so far

Over the past few months, we have:

  • Welcomed art progammes coordinator Melissa Matthews to oversee our countywide arts programme.
  • Worked with partner organisations to develop the project. We collaborated with well-established national arts organisation METAL in the first year of the programme.
  • Worked with young people and education professionals to develop ideas for, activities and branding of the programme. Young people will continue to be involved with the project's evolution as the Suffolk Libraries Youth Arts Council.
  • Empowered our staff to develop and deliver their ideas at an 'Arts Bootcamp'.
  • Run a week-long Culture Lab artists' residency at Ipswich County Library in August 2018 with ten artists from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds.
  • Officially launched the arts programme with its name and branding. The programme will be known as BLOC: Building Libraries on Creativity.
Melissa Matthews

Meet Melissa Matthews

Our art programmes coordinator Melissa joined us in April 2018 to oversee our Arts Council England funded young people's arts project. Since then, she has been working with staff and partner organisations to develop the programme.

Email arts@suffolklibraries.co.uk if you'd like to find out more about the scheme.