A year of culture and art

by Marco Cillario Thu 7 April 2016, 12:42 pm

Initiatives to bring new artists to Reading and showcase its cultural heritage are taking place across the town.

Reading 2016 – Reading’s Year of Culture will see several events organised throughout the year, providing residents and visitors with opportunities to try out a wide range of new cultural experiences.

Conceived with a different theme for every month of the year, the programme features a lead event for each theme with associated projects created by local cultural organisations.

‘Get Fit for Culture’, ‘Design for Reading’ and ‘Reading 2050’ were the themes for, respectively, January, February and March.

The March programme featured a sound art installation, called ‘Pod’ (pictured), on Broad Street, created by artists Alison Ballard and Mike Blow and commissioned by Hogarth Productions and Oxford Contemporary Music, to explore ways in which sounds inhabit objects and can be experienced beyond listening.

Passersby were invited to touch, listen to and hug two giant spheres as they broadcast a calm soundtrack that resonated on their surface. The minister of state for culture and the digital economy Ed Vaizey visited the installation on 21 March.

On 18 and 19 March, an exhibition on the future of the town, called ‘Step into Reading 2050’, aimed to gather residents’ and workers’ opinions and desires.

Earlier in the month, an interactive festival in Green Park explored how our world will look like in future decades.

The topic for April is ‘New writing’, while May will focus on ‘The Story of Reading’ and June on ‘Eat Reading’. The summer will go on with ‘Art in Unusual Places’ and ‘Music in Reading’.

Funded by Reading Cultural Partnership and supported by Reading UK CIC, the University of Reading, Reading Borough Council, Reading College and many local art groups and businesses, Reading 2016 received £96,700 from Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts programme.

A number of businesses are sponsoring particular elements of the Year of Culture, including M&G Real Estate, owner of Forbury Place, and Oxford Properties, manager of Green Park. 

The complete programme of Reading 2016 Year of Culture is available here.

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