About us

The East Riding Arts in Libraries programme brings arts and culture experiences into the heart of local communities – our libraries. With low cost or free activities available across the county, it’s easy to get involved!

Whether you’re keen on craft workshops, thrilled by theatre, or after some family fun, there’s something for anyone and everyone to join in with.

Interested? Take a look at what we’ve done so far and see what’s coming next!

We need more arts in the community, it’s good for the mind and soul.

Goole Library audience member, October 2023

A rainbow of colour for a gloomy day.

Beverley Library audience member, August 2023

Inspirational, inclusive, absolutely perfect.

Bridlington Library audience member, December 2023

So far...

The Arts in Libraries programme launched with Make Music Day on 21 June 2023. With singers popping up at mobile library stops and in branches all over the county, it was a fun-filled day with lots of smiles and dancing!

Since then, we’ve been working hard to bring a variety of events to the doorstep of our East Riding residents. These events range from festivals, to live music and dance, to workshops, and more, and we’re proud to say these are funded through Arts Council England.

Highlights from various events and festivals are often shared on the East Riding Libraries, Museums and Archives YouTube Channel. Check out our arts in libraries playlist and subscribe for updates.

What's On

View a selection of our upcoming arts events. Full details of events are available on our What's On page. Sign up to the Libraries Newsletter for news of all events, activities and service updates straight to your inbox.

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Festivals

Check out our flagship festivals:

East Riding Poet Laureate

Cassandra Parkin is a UK writer born and raised in the East Riding of Yorkshire. She firmly believes that writing poetry is for everyone, and that everyone has a story that’s worth sharing. Her ambition for the Laureateship is to raise the profile of the fantastic talent that exists in our beautiful part of the world, and to encourage as many people as possible to try writing poetry for themselves.

As solo artist and as a member of Hull’s acclaimed Women of Words collective, she’s written and performed commissioned pieces for the BBC’s Contains Strong Language, Humber Mouth, Hull Freedom and the Big Malarkey. She’s worked as a lyricist for local choirs including the Visual Voices choir and the Hull Freedom chorus. She helps run the Women of Words monthly open mic event to showcase the talents of female and non-binary artists from around our region. She’s also worked extensively with local schools to support young writers in unlocking their unique writing talents. Her debut short story collection, New World Fairy Tales, won the 2011 Scott Prize for short stories. She’s since published eight novels including The Slaughter Man, Soldier Boy and The Leftovers.

Find out about the East Riding Poet Laureate role on the Festival of Words website.

Accessibility

East Riding Libraries are committed to providing a comfortable and inclusive environment for all. Our events are informal and in a relaxed setting, meaning that there is a friendly attitude to movement and noise (both voluntary and involuntary) during performances.

Audience members and participants are welcome to bring ear defenders, sensory items, and anything else that may support them in having the best experience possible.

Accessibility information for specific venues can be found on each venue on our Find a library page

Our mission

In 2023, East Riding Libraries were delighted to become an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation (NPO). This means that East Riding Libraries are a leading arts organisation in the UK and are being funded by the Arts Council from 2023-2026 to deliver a three-year arts and culture programme in local libraries across the county.

Art for everyone

Using this funding, our aim for the three years is to increase access to creative opportunities and high-quality cultural events in the East Riding. As a large, rural authority with a mixture of coastal and market towns, our 23 library branches have become cultural institutions, offering low cost or free arts activity on your doorstep. With activity also occurring in communities served by our mobile library service, there’s sure to be something happening near you.

What to expect

As well as partnering with and championing local artists, we are eager for the whole East Riding community to be involved: all are welcome to watch, learn, grow, create, and contribute. With a varied programme, there’s something for everyone and anyone to get involved with.

Meet the team

The East Riding Arts in Libraries programme is supported by all staff in our brilliant library teams, led by:

Hayley – Arts in Libraries Officer

Hayley – Arts in Libraries Officer

Hayley Clark is the Arts in Libraries Officer for East Riding Libraries, leading on the facilitation and delivery of the Arts in Libraries Programme across the county. Hayley graduated from the University of York in 2020, with a first-class honours BA in Theatre: Writing, Directing and Performance. With an extensive background in the arts, event delivery and community engagement, Hayley is thrilled to combine these passions to support the successful delivery of this programme, improving access to the arts and inspiring creativity across the region.

Angela – Arts in Libraries Assistant

Angela – Arts in Libraries Assistant

Angela Sykes is the Arts in Libraries Assistant for East Riding Libraries, leading on the administration of the Arts in Libraries programme, as well as delivering children’s events at Beverley Library. With over thirty years’ experience as a Library Assistant working across the county, Angela brings a wealth of knowledge and skills to ensure events run smoothly, both on the day and behind the scenes – showing that libraries are books and more!

Get involved

If you are a professional creative practitioner or company and would like to stay updated with future opportunities, sign up to the East Riding Arts News for Creatives newsletter.

To express your interest in running or supporting an Arts in Libraries session, please fill in our online contact the team form.

Expression of Interest online form