Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sitting Down On Literature: UK Literacy Campaign to Launch Summer 2014

The UK's National Literary Trust has recently started working on their summer 2014 campaign to take place in London, "Books About Town." It's a program that not only celebrates the city itself but its literary and artistic heroes. But more than that, it's pretty darn cool. 

Passersby in the city will get to experience the magic of reading in the form of public benches. Yes, you read that right. Benches. The NLT website tells us more:

‘Books about Town’ will feature a series of BookBenches, individually designed by top international and local artists to celebrate stories linked to London, and to promote reading for enjoyment. The benches, shaped as open books, will be unveiled in various locations across the capital from next July 2014 and visitors will have the chance to discover them by following literary trails around London.    
Supported by Visit England, Books about Town will build on the legacy of the Olympic mascots in London in 2012 and become a major tourist attraction for the city in 2014.  The project will help raise valuable funds for the National Literacy Trust to tackle low literacy levels in deprived communities across the UK.   
The charity is inviting local and national businesses to be a part of this exciting new venture and sponsor a BookBench. Businesses can either choose a title from a Books about Town list of books linked to London from J.M Barrie’s Peter Pan to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, or select their own title to be brought to life on a BookBench. A range of businesses have already signed up to sponsor a bench, including Global Business firm KPMG and publisher Walker Books, who will have their very own We’re Going on a Bear Hunt themed BookBench. 
Author Michael Rosen says: 
“I love the idea of sitting on giant books. With the Bear Hunt big BookBench, I suppose you can say that you can't go through it, but you can go over it, you can go under it or better still you can sit on it!” 
KPMG is sponsoring a Peter Pan themed BookBench. Partner Mona Bitar says:
“KPMG is delighted to be supporting the National Literacy Trust’s Books about Town project. The BookBenches programme is a great way to bring literacy to life across London and to raise awareness around the fantastic work of the National Literacy Trust, who are one of KPMG’s national charity partners. We are looking forward to seeing the initial designs for our bench very soon.” 
Wild in Art are collaborating on the project as the UK’s leading producer of public art sculpture trails. Sally-Ann Wilkinson, Wild in Art’s Director says:   
“Our events are designed to bring the enjoyment of public art to thousands of people whilst offering new ways to explore a host city or town.  We are delighted to be working with the National Literacy Trust on this dynamic project bringing many of our favourite books to life through the visual arts.” 
Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust says:  
“We are delighted to be launching Books about Town to spread the love of reading across the capital. This is such an exciting opportunity for businesses to be a part of this unique literary attraction set to hit the streets of London next summer.” 
See the original post HERE

A very fun, unique project if you ask me! And from the looks of it, anyone can help sponsor a bench. The NLT encourages interested parties to contact Lorna Taylor at lorna.taylor@literacytrust.org.uk or visit www.booksabouttown.co.uk for more info.

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