Libraries programme announced for WordFest

Residents and visitors to the Wakefield district will get to enjoy over 240 events as part of this year’s exciting WordFest programme.

The events will be held in the district’s libraries and other community settings during the month-long festival celebrating words, which will encourage residents of all ages to explore their own creativity, increase their awareness of climate change and help them to think about their own personal response to the climate issue.

The festival, which runs throughout October 2021 – as part of Festival of the Earth – also blends daily digital activities, a youth-led sister festival ‘LitFest’ and events held at partner venues across the district all promoting the message: ‘Make Words Count’.

The community libraries activities give opportunities for everyone to be creative and have fun, take part in reading and story-telling events with artists and join online challenges.

During the month there will daily and weekly events in libraries and at home to encourage people of all ages to get involved.

Michael Graham smiling
Cllr Michael Graham

Cllr Michael Graham, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport said: “Our libraries are vibrant places, which are at the heart of our communities and it is great that there are so many opportunities to get involved during WordFest, whether you sign up for an activity, take inspiration from ideas, or join in from home.

“A grant from the Arts Council of England is part supporting the Festival, which we greatly welcome. We are also providing a range of opportunities for artists to use their skills and share the joy of words with children and adults alike.”

The district’s libraries are hosting many community events – for example, Pontefract Library will be hosting The Tiger Who Came to Tea exhibition throughout October and Long Division musicians will be running a series of workshops and gigs in libraries.

There will be special Toddler Rap and story time sessions for the youngest festival goers and libraries will see a return of the ever popular theatre presentations from Fettle and Fable theatre and Topsy Turvy Theatre companies who will be touring the district.

For adults and young people, acoustic sets from Ali Bullivent and workshops celebrating Forgotten Women of Wakefield Eliza Gleadhall through creative writing and felting will mean that there is something for all ages as part of this year’s WordFest.

There are dozens more events in libraries across the district. Event booking is open now and all library events are free. Find out more on what’s on and how to book.

During WordFest all libraries are also becoming WordLabs – with word themed challenges being set every week – such as recycling tips and recommending favourite local places to visit to appreciate our beautiful planet.

Makaton is a visual way to communicate used in many nurseries and schools and as part of WordFest challenge children and families are being challenged to learn some rhymes and Makaton signs together.

Sharing rhymes and signs every day, even for a few minutes, can help a child to grow into a reader.

October half term (23-30 October) will see WX (Wakefield’s Former Market Hall) once again transformed into an exciting free pop-up visitor attraction, where residents and visitors will be able to experience an environment-themed wonderland curated by lighting and sound innovation from Backstage Academy students, with free performances and activities for all the family including a return of ‘The Whale’ which wowed audiences at Earth Rise in August and a new and impactful live theatre performances, The Polar Bear is Dead, by renowned Wakefield based, contemporary theatre maker Natalie Bellingham.

For more information on WordFest visit: bit.ly/WordFestWFD

Brochures can be collected from libraries, and people can also find out more on social media at: Facebook /EventsInWakefield /WakefieldLibraries

Twitter @EventsInWakey @WFLibraries

Instagram @EventsInWakefield @WFLibraries