Millennium Point to host summer of free literacy events

Eastside’s Millennium Point is bringing visitors an exciting line-up of free literacy themed events this summer to coincide with Wild in Art’s city-wide project, The Big Read.

Following the unprecedented success of The Big Hoot last summer, The Big Read is an initiative designed to encourage an interest in reading and writing.

A series of BookBenches are currently on show in libraries, museums and other cultural centres across the city, with an impressive 11 benches on display at Millennium Point’s Atrium until Tuesday 13th September.

In partnership with a number of leading organisations across the city, Millennium Point will be holding a calendar of exciting free-to-attend events including poetry performances, short films and children’s workshops.

First up on Millennium Point’s programme of events is ‘Be History’ in collaboration with Birmingham Museums Trust, the Museum Collection Centre and Beatfreeks – a creative youth engagement agency which helps young people reach their potential.

Taking place this Thursday 28th July from 7pm until 9pm, ‘Be History’ will be an evening of spoken word, music, heritage and literacy.

The spoken word performance will bring together two poets and two musicians who have been commissioned to create pieces around the themes of technology, literacy and generations.

Visitors will also have the chance to write and perform live at the open mic event that will be attended by the city’s thriving talent, including poet blogger Jordanne Cameron, a spoken word artist Reuben Field, and singer/songwriters Namiwa Jazz and Madi Saskia.

If you’re looking to keep the children entertained this summer, author Juliet Clare Bell and illustrator Dave Gray – the talented duo behind The Unstoppable Maggie McGee – will be holding illustration activities and book readings on Thursday 11th August from 10am to 5pm.

The workshops, in partnership with Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Wesleyan, will give visitors the chance to explore the book, which was inspired by patients at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and is also the inspiration behind one of the BookBenches on display in the city.

On Saturday 3rd September from 10am to 4pm, Millennium Point – in conjunction with Joypads, Nostalgia & Comics and Infamous Community Arts – will be celebrating the phenomenon of comic books and geek pop culture through its ‘Geek Out’ event.

Visitors will be able to create their own comic book, enjoy live comic book street art, play superhero themed video games from Joypads, relax and read comic books at the pop-up comic book shop, and indulge in a range of street food from popular vendors such as The Jabberwocky and Platinum Pancakes.

Until Tuesday 13th September, Millennium Point will be showcasing its Words + Images short film programme – a series of short films on the themes of literature, books and the joy of reading. Curated by Flatpack Projects and commissioned by Millennium Point, the films will be displayed on Millennium Point’s video pods located next to the BookBenches.

Throughout The Big Read, visitors are also being encouraged to donate their unwanted children’s books for others to enjoy, using the book boxes next to the BookBenches at Millennium Point.

Neil Anderson, director of marketing, communications and events at Millennium Point, said:

The Big Read is an important and captivating initiative that is perfectly aligned with Millennium Point’s vision to be a destination where learning comes to life and where visitors can explore the world around them.
From spoken word to comic books, and author readings to short films, there’s something to suit visitors and literacy fans of all ages this summer at Millennium Point.

Ben Reed, development director for Wild in Art, said:

The Big Read will inspire generations to rekindle their passion for reading and writing. It is wonderful that Millennium Point is hosting a series of literacy events that will further engage the city in this unique project.

For more information about Millennium Point and its programme of events, please visit: www.millenniumpoint.org.uk

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