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Pride of Place – Music, film, art, creativity and fun across libraries

Posted on 15 Mar 2024

A new season of fun and creative adventures for everyone is being rolled out in libraries across Devon and Torbay from April to July this year.

The Pride of Place season encourages communities throughout the county to discover and enjoy where they live.

It’s the second time Libraries Unlimited, the charity that runs libraries across the county, has run the themed season. More than 1600 people took part in Pride of Place activities last year. This year’s events will take place in Barnstaple, Exeter and Paignton libraries.

In 2022, Libraries Unlimited secured a £720,369 grant from Arts Council England to boost its thriving programme of music, films, workshops and high quality community events between 2023 and 2026.

Rae Hoole, Creative Communities Producer from Libraries Unlimited said: “Our first Pride of Place season was a runaway success. We are so pleased to have secured this funding from Arts Council England and to be able to stage so many wonderful opportunities for everyone in the community to get involved. Many of the events are low or no-cost, and there’s plenty to keep children entertained.”

“Now we’re building on all that we’ve achieved, and Season 2 promises to be even better. The theme of getting creative, having fun and enjoying performance, art and music means there’s someone for everyone. We hope people will bring their friends and families and who knows, they might discover talents that they never knew about and pick up some new skills along the way!”


Throughout April   Normal library opening hours
Devon in Detail – display of original nature art by local artist Genevieve Edwards

Friday 12th April and Saturday 13th April
10am – 5pm |  Free  |  All ages
The Mossy Carpet
Join in the fun with this mass participation artwork inspired by mosses.  So far around 8000 people of all ages have helped make 19 metres of carpet. The Art and Energy Collective hope to reach more than 100,000 people and make 100m by 2025 and they need as much help as they can get! While making the carpet there will be an opportunity to speak on the ‘Tardigrade telephone’ about the tiny actions you take to make the environment better where you live.  Tardigrades are totally resilient microscopic creatures that live in moss – they will hear your voice, and when the carpet is finished, they will speak your messages out of the carpet as part of the artwork.

Saturday 13th April
Various times            | £2.50  |   All ages
Wild About The River with The Natural History Cupboard
Join the Natural History Cupboard for a lively interactive talk exploring the most amazing (and often oddest!) nature facts. Learn about the creatures that live in and around the river and out to the sea. There will be plenty of opportunity to quiz these self confessed “natural history nerds” and be recorded for a special edition podcast.
The Natural History Cupboard Podcast – “The place where the weird and wonderful parts of the natural world come together!”

Saturday 13th April
10am – 4pm  |  Free | All ages
Going on Taw podcast launch
Meet Katy Lee, lead artist and creative producer of ‘Going on Taw’. Katy swam, walked and canoed the Taw on an 18-month journey from source to sea, speaking to experts, gathering stories and working with seven different community groups. She has created seven podcasts, weaving together these story threads with specially composed music by the talented David Smale. We are thrilled that the first of these podcasts will be launched at Barnstaple Library.

Saturday 13th April
Various times |  Pay what you can | For children
Interactive story
Sophie Cobb will be sharing her own Interactive Story for children using  props and art to inspire and delve into the imagination. Expect a badger, moss, magical portholes and a chance to illustrate the story! Sophie has worked as an artist for over 30 years, she has written short films, worked as a storyboard artist, a community artist, and is now a self-employed artist selling her paintings, jewellery and folk decorations.

Saturday 20th April
10.45am – 1pm or 1.45 – 4pm | £3 |
Film : Where is Heaven?
A perfect antidote to the intensity of life in the modern world. Maverick soul mates Ged and Dave are on a mission through the winding lanes and hidden tracks of North Devon, to record the lives and experiences of people living without mains electricity. Over ten years they capture not only the beauty of this often-harsh environment but also the spirit of the wonderful off-grid characters who inhabit it. Join us for a special screening of this award-winning film with kind permission of the filmmakers. Refreshments and friendly informal discussion of the film afterwards. Tickets limited.

Thursday 9th May
10am – 5pm | £45 | For age 16 plus
Make a Willow Basket
Join local basket-maker Jane Welsh to make a useful round collecting basket with the traditional stake and strand method of basketry. There will be a selection of different naturally coloured willows which you can choose to make your own unique basket. Suitable for beginners – refreshments provided but bring your own lunch.

Saturday 18th May
11am – 12pm  |  £2.50
Creative Power of Solitude with Jade Angeles Fitton 
A deep-dive workshop into the creative power of solitude and the subconscious with writer, journalist and award-winning producer Jade Angeles Fitton, author of Hermit.
This workshop will have a focus on life and nature writing, how we can best tell our stories, how we can tell them through the natural world, and how to explore and expand a single moment in time.
We will explore how a busy life can provide us with inspiration, whilst encouraging quieter moments to process and nurturing an attentiveness to the smaller details of the world around us. Although the focus is on writing, the emphasis will be on creativity in general and encourages people from all walks of life and disciplines.

Saturday 18th May
1.45 – 3pm  | £2.50
‘Ow be ee nackin’ vore? – a look at the Devonshire Dialect
Lisa is a local and family historian who has lived in North Devon all her life. Over several years she has researched many local family histories including her own, along with the history of local businesses, properties, the lives of interesting individuals and some of those who served in the two World Wars. Join Lisa for a look at the origins of the Devonshire Dialect, how it is spoken and some Devonshire people who have written works in the dialect.

Tuesday 21st May and Tuesday 4th June
10am – 12noon |   £5 | aged 14 and over
The Taw Talks with Watery Words
Discover the techniques Katy Lee used to write poems and poetic prose for the Going on Taw project. Explore place-based writing through guided tasks, fun word play and time for personal reflection, all using the River Taw as inspiration. The workshops will be held both in the library and out by the river itself. No previous experience needed. Please book onto both workshops if you can. Includes refreshments.

Tuesday 18th June
10.30am – 12.30pm |  £10
Nature journalling
Start your nature journalling journey with local artist Genevieve Edwards. Hone your observational skills to explore the natural world through painting, sketching and writing, and connect with other likeminded individuals as you appreciate the world around you. Bring your own journal. Refreshments included.

Saturday 22nd June
3 – 4pm |  Pay what you can
Devonshire Tales
Performance in the Library Square or Barnstaple Library, weather depending. Folktales for grown-ups from across Devon reimagined and retold by professional storyteller, Katy Lee. Travel Devonshire through time and landscape. Be whisked away to the high moor or plunged into the swirling sea. Hear the tales of ordinary folk that breath life and wonder into our sense of place.

More information about events at Barnstaple here – you can also book in person at the library or by telephoning 01271 318780.



Saturday 23rd March
7.30 – 10pm  | £8  | Over 16s
Library Lates
An evening of live arts, crafting and music. Get stuck into crafty activities and try new things over a glass of wine or a soft drink. Help to create community art pieces, as well as beautiful things to take home. Featuring charcoal drawing, sweary pebble painting, castle building, dragon crafting and print making from established artists and organisations including Richard Rochester and Double Elephant Print, as well as some making sessions in the FabLab. Enjoy accompanying music from some amazing local jazz, electronic and acoustic acts, including House of Quiet, Saff Juno, Tricky Situation and The Real Ish Band. With drinks from Bar Nova.

Wednesday 3rd April
2 – 3.30pm  | £3 for kids (adults don’t need tickets) |5 – 12 years
Diddy Disco
Enjoy a daytime dance party in the Children’s Library. Join Richard’s Time Machine for 90 mins of timeless tunes, popping pop, prizes, games, dance-offs and general silliness that will keep your kids engaged and entertained from start to finish. A great Easter activity for little groovers and their grown-ups that’s bound to get everyone Egg-cited! Leave your shushes at home and get loud in the Library!
Please note, during this event parents/carers are required to stay in the Children’s Library. You do not need to book a ticket for any accompanying adult.

Friday 5th April
11am – 12noon  | Free |  Families with children over 4 years old
Stories from the Sea
Every Seaside has a story to tell – messages in bottles, fossils in the rocks, footprints in the sand. What stories do you have about your local beach? What do you like to do best there? Has it changed since you first visited? PaddleBoat invites families to come and explore our beautiful coastline through drama, music and sensory storytelling. We will bring to life what we all love about the seaside, discover what challenges it faces & think about how we can protect it for the future.
Please Note: Spaces are limited so please book in advance. Tickets must be booked for all adults and all children who are planning to attend, and children must be accompanied throughout.

Friday 12th April
2.30 – 3.30pm  | £3 kids £4 adults  |   Children aged over 4
Theatre in the Library – Storm in a Teapot
Multi-award-winning Boo To A Goose Theatre return to Exeter Library this Easter with their latest production. Their new show will help develop an understanding of how stories are made and, at the same time, encourage imagination and expression and challenge stereotypes.

Wednesday 24th April
2.30 – 4.30pm |  £7 or £5 for self selecting concessions  | Over 12s
Dewey Decibels: Music in the Library
A night of new and eclectic music at Exeter Library, co-produced with Obvious Events and aimed at early teens. Featuring Angeline Morrison, folk singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose 2022 album ‘The Sorrow Songs : Folk Songs of Black British Experience’ was No 1 Folk Album of the year in The Guardian. Making her TV debut on ‘Later..with Jools Holland’, Angeline has recently appeared at many festivals including London Jazz Festival, Glastonbury and Brighton Festival.
Also SonyEchko, a London based ethereal RnB artist. Combining elements of Neo-soul chords with electronic sound selection, he aims to create dreamy landscapes. Inspired by artists like FKA Twigs and Frank Ocean, he has recently been exploring an afrofuturistic sound, exploring his Ghanaian roots.
Obvious Events is an events promotion company run by young people with the goal to support young people.
There will be a bar with soft drinks and alcohol avaliable.

More information about events at Exeter here – you can also book in person at the library or by telephoning 01392 407027.



Monday 11th April
11am – 1pm | £4 | Ages 4 – 8
Brilliant Bee
A playful new show that will leave little ones buzzing! Far above the sea, on a winding cliff path, buzzes a little orange bee who is feeling very hungry! As the seasons change and the walkers pass by, will anyone notice our bee? Put on your walking boots and join Above Bounds as a emerges from a picnic basket and explores some of the rare insects you can find on the Devon Coast. Expect a heart-warming show full of fun, plenty of puppets and lots of giggles! Above Bounds are a children’s theatre company based in Plymouth.

Saturday 18th April
10am – 3pm  | £3 |  All ages
Local author convention
Paignton Library’s Local Author Convention is back! Devon born internationally best selling author Sarah Underwood, who wrote Lies we Sing to the Sea, will be holding the first in conversation and book signing. The second author is Torquay-based top ten bestseller Sarah Pearse, author of The Sanitorium and The Retreat. Up-and-coming local authors will also be holding talks, selling their books and holding workshops. ‘In conversations’ will need to be pre-booked but the rest of the convention is a drop in.

Saturday 20th April, 27th April and 4th May
Time tbc
Creative Confidence Club
£6   Ages 8 – 13 years
Join the Creative Confidence Club and boost your child’s confidence with art. Led by mentor Amy Chadney, enjoy colourful art sessions in a supportive setting, building connections and positive relationships. Finishing with an exhibition showcasing children’s artwork.

Saturday 8th June
10am – 2pm |  Donations |  All ages
Windrush – taste of the Caribbean
In June 1948, hundreds of Caribbean men, women, and children arrived in London on a ship called the Empire Windrush. This event shares some of their stories a fun and interactive workshop featuring craft activities, music, games, dominoes, storytelling and poetry. There’s also a Caribbean spice trail and quiz, and excerpts from a new play called Farewell Jamaica.

Saturday 15th June
7.30pm – 11.30pm |  £5 | Age 16 plus
Library Late – cant think straight!
Paignton library will be holding a night of fabulous fun in celebration of Pride! Enjoy a Sea Shanty choir, Drag show (Spank & Cynthia Road) and DJ. Licenced bar and free face painting

Date tbc   £5
Dr Emily’s world whizzing fact show
How do you block a tickle? Which strange creature can breathe through its bottom? Did you know that we make better decisions when we need a wee? And how can you use this strange fact to help save the planet?! Join TV Science Superstar and STEM Ambassador Dr Emily Grossman for this fun and interactive family quiz show based on her bestselling series of books, as she challenges you to guess the answers and figure out the explanations for some of her favourite weird and wonderful science facts. The show will be followed by an opportunity to buy copies of Dr Emily’s books and have them signed and dedicated to you or your friends.

Monday 1st July
10am – 12noon  | £4 | Age 16 and over
Breaking the sound barrier
To celebrate Disability Pride month, musical duo Moor To Sea will be holding a morning of music for disabled adults and the community. Create a collective song or piece of music, with the help from Rachel and partner. Let’s celebrate how amazing you are!

More information about events at Paignton here – you can also book in person at the library or by telephoning 01803 714460.

Libraries Unlimited believes…

…in the unlimited potential of library services to make a positive difference to people’s lives and communities through a shared love of reading and access to high quality information and facilities.