Islington calls on its ‘breakers, graffers, and rappers’ to celebrate Word2017

Islington is calling on its young aspiring dancers, lyricists, and artists to help celebrate reading, writing, and freedom of expression, as part of Word Festival 2017.

This year’s festival includes a free two-day workshop (1-2 June) offering musical mentors to young poets, rappers, and lyricists, aged 13 to 18, the chance to write songs to motivate their community and transform these words into a spectacular graffiti mural – with the help of Breakin’ Convention & Lyrix Organix.

The popular Platform Youth will host a listening party of Sound Minds Vol 1 – an album, written, produced, and performed by young people – on 15 June.

Young dance enthusiasts have the opportunity to work with the Candoco Dance Company to create and practice dance routines inspired by words and letter-reading to create a one-off dance show to be performed at the end of June.

House of Illustration welcomes elder participants to Memory Lane Games, an exciting new project to design, make and play a unique card game. Working with games designers and illustration experts, this creative and sociable project will see the final product professionally produced and distributed to care homes in Islington and launched at Cubitt’s Summer Ball on 15 June.

Those interested in football can enjoy a behind the scenes tour of the fantastic Emirates Stadium and follow in the footsteps of Nick Hornby, sharing their stories and experiences of being a fan of the beautiful game in Grandads, Dads and Lads, a fun filled workshop for all generations.

Now in its sixth consecutive year, Word 2017 is a month-long celebration of the power of words to transform people’s lives.

A packed programme of performances, workshops, and events – put on in partnership with organisations such as Cardboard Citizens – is designed to amplify the voices of people less often heard in today’s society.

Finsbury Library will be taken over and transformed into a magical landscape, where children’s stories will be translated through mediums of music, dance, and acrobatics – as part of Topsy Turvy, a special, two-day event, created by the makers of the award-winning family show, Bedtime Stories.

For the next 30 days residents from all over the borough will see unusual and thought-provoking words ‘appear’ in Islington’s libraries, schools, and streets, as well as its pubs, playgrounds, and even the Emirates Stadium.

Suzanne Lee of All Change, creative producer of Word 2017, said: “The variety and quality of arts organisations, projects and events this year is exceptional.

“Word2017 offers local people of all ages opportunities to work with amazing artists, enjoy unique experiences, and discover lots of new ways to engage with words to benefit their wellbeing.”

Michelle Gannon, Islington Council’s Head of Library and Heritage Services said “we are very proud to again present such a fantastic programme of events and activities. From poetry to storytelling, drama to art, there really is something for everyone at this year’s Word Festival”.

For more information or for details of all the festivals projects, sessions, and events, visit: and view the brochure or pick up your copy in any one of Islington’s ten libraries.