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SPINE Festival is a cross-artform festival for children, young people and families taking place in 17 libraries in London, in partnership with trailblazing spoken word organisation Apples and Snakes. Children from local schools will get the chance to engage in special spoken word and visual arts workshops with artists in residence.

Balham Library is hosting Safiya Kinshasa (2019 Edinburgh Fringe Slam Champion, poet, choreographer, dancer), and Helen Scully (specialising in 3D sculpture) from 2nd to 14th March. This year’s theme is Our World, celebrating young people’s power to change the world, and the future of our planet.

There will be the chance to create 3D sculptural collages – making textile superhero characters (using scrap/recycled materials), create your own rap or poem, or engage on the theme in other creative and imaginative ways. Children will also work around creating stories and poetry relating to their character creations and link it to the environment. The stories will be compiled in a comic or zine – to be exhibited in Balham Library and kept for years to come. All materials used will be ones that are recycled and put to new use, in keeping with the eco-friendly theme.

On Saturday 14 March, children are encouraged to come along to Balham Library with their families, when their art work and creative spoken word pieces will be exhibited and performed to the public in a special, celebratory afternoon.

This special festival is funded by the Arts Council and Apples and Snakes.

Schools interested in taking part should email: balham.library@gll.org for full details of days and times of workshops. Booking is essential as places are limited.

Public events take place on the following dates, please contact Balham Library to book a free place.

Monday 2nd March, 11.00am – 12.00pm
Storytime With Movement + Craft Workshop: Balham Children’s Library
Special ‘Eco Hero’ story time with movement. Following on from the story children will be invited to join in with an ‘eco hero’ inspired craft using recycled materials.
Ages 0 to 8 years 

Thursday 5th March, 11.00am – 12.00pm
World Book Day: Special Storytime With Movement & Craft Activity
Special ‘Eco Hero’ story time with movement. Following on from the story children will be invited to join in with an ‘eco hero’ inspired craft using recycled materials.
Ages 0 to 8 years

Wednesday 11
4-5pm Balham Children’s Library, 020 8673 129
SPINE Festival: Rap and Poetry Workshops (ages 12-16 years)
Work with artists in residence Safiya Kimara Kinshasa and Helen Scully - experiment with rap lyrics, create your own rhymes. We can record your finished rap (with your parents’ permission), and you are welcome to come and perform at our final event on Saturday 14th March, from 4 to 6pm in our library hall. Children aged under 8 to be accompanied by an adult. Free but please contact the library to book a place.

Thursday 12
4-5pm Balham Children’s Library, 020 8673 129
SPINE Festival: Rap and Poetry Workshops (ages 7-11 years)
Work with artists in residence Safiya Kimara Kinshasa and Helen Scully - experiment with rap lyrics, create your own rhymes. We can record your finished rap (with your parents’ permission), and you are welcome to come and perform at our final event on Saturday 14th March, from 4 to 6pm in our library hall. Children aged under 8 to be accompanied by an adult. Free but please contact the library to book a place.

Saturday 14th March:
End of Festival Showcase in Balham Library Hall:

1.00 to 3.00pm: Family drop in - viewing of display of artefacts created during the festival – primary school age.
4.00 to 6.00pm: Showcase of zines. Primary school and teenagers – with poetry and rap performances. Booking required, please speak to library staff.