We’re joining organisations across the city to give everyone the opportunity to create, share and explore stories together.
In summer 2023, Nottingham’s new Central Library, based next to the new Broadmarsh car park and bus station, will open its doors to the public. This long-awaited opening is the start of a new chapter for Nottingham and will be celebrated across the city with a whole Year of Stories and storytelling.
Building on existing networks, over 10 partner organisations – including Nottingham City Council, Nottingham City Libraries, Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, Read On Nottingham, ChallenNGe Nottingham, Nottingham College and both universities – will deliver a diverse range of activities, events and projects to connect and celebrate Nottingham’s people, their stories and the power of storytelling in all forms – from memories to literature, rhymes to dance, and poetry to film.
The Year of Stories will begin with performances of Moon Rabbit and Other Stories from China at Lakeside Arts, University of Nottingham on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 January. This magical piece of storytelling theatre for families recounts some of the extraordinary myths and folk tales of China and East Asia. These performances are immediately followed by National Storytelling Week 2023, which will see more Year of Stories events taking place in libraries across Nottingham, including multi-lingual storytelling events for families on Friday 3 February at The Meadows Library and Tuesday 21 February at Hyson Green Library, as well as a range of resources available for schools for pupils of all ages on the National Literacy Trust website.
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Moon Rabbit and Other Stories from China will then tour libraries across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire during February half-term, and the month will conclude with the launch of Story Valley at Nottingham College, a creative language and literacy project for 16 – 24 year olds connected to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network that encourages the sharing of stories and breaking down of barriers between cultures.
On Thursday 2 March, World Book Day 2023 will be marked with events taking place across Nottingham. Other Year of Stories highlights taking place in March include dance and spoken word performances based on the world-famous children’s story book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince, at Lakeside Arts on 11 and 12 March, and Sharing Stories, a community takeover at Nottingham Panthers to share books and stories with families and children before the match against the Manchester Storm on Sunday 19 March.
As Nottingham builds towards the opening of the Central Library, Year of Stories welcomes the return of the Nottingham Poetry Festival in May, the Bilborough Arts Festival in June, and the Bulwell Arts Festival in July, all of which will have stories and storytelling at their heart.
These events are just a small selection of the full Nottingham Year of Stories programme – and more events will be confirmed as the year progresses.
Anyone can organise a Year of Stories event – from schools to community groups. The more people involved the better! Resources are available to help those interested in organising Year of Stories events at YearOfStories.co.uk.