Get Inspired with Literary and Cultural Events in February

Lakota storyteller
Literary and cultural events connect us to our past and help inform our writing about our heritage. Throughout the year I will highlight events I hope will interest you.

National Storytelling Week
January 28-February 4, United Kingdom. Sponsored by the Society for Storytelling and funded in part by the Arts Council of England. Focus is on oral storytelling, the oldest communicative art. Dozens of theme-based activities for children and adults throughout the UK including medieval tales, tales from the crypt, rhyme time, signed reading, singing, dancing, music festivals, workshops, and more. Activities are at schools, libraries, theaters, bookstores, museums, and outdoor venues. Complete schedule.

Also note
YouTube/Your Film Festival. YouTube is conducting “a global search for the world’s best storytellers.” Submit a short, story-driven video by March 31. No entry fee. Ten finalists will open the 2012 Venice Film Festival, August 29-September 8. YouTube grand prize winner will receive $500,000 “to create a new work, produced by Ridley Scott and his world class team.”

This summer in the United States the National Storytelling Conference in Cincinnati.

This fall in the U.S. the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee. 

Black History Month
Also known as African-American History Month. Founded by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. This year’s theme is Black Women in American Culture and History. Check with your NAACP chapter, library, public school, college or university for information on activities in your area.

National Trust for Historic Preservation offers a wide range of resources to “help save or interpret African American historic places.” Crafts and history for kids. has facts regarding prominent events that occurred in February.

PBS celebrates Black History Month. Explores, honors, and celebrates "African Americans’ vast contributions to society" with programming that continues through the spring. Guide to activities of “African-American art, films, research, history and culture throughout the year” in New York City.

National Council of Teachers of English. Invites organizations and individuals to hold an African American Read-in any day in February. Schools, churches, libraries, bookstores, community and professional organizations, and interested citizens are urged to participate. Download an African American Read-in packet.

Library Lovers’ Month

Many libraries throughout the world will have activities. Check with your library for what is going on in your community and how you may participate., a site of the American Libraries Association, suggests twelve ways to save your library.

Friends of Foundations of California Libraries has links to more than a dozen resources.

Australian Library and Information Association renamed Valentine’s Day, February 14, as Library Lovers Day and has a list of activities to celebrate.

Also note
April 8-14, National Library Week USA.  
September 22 and 23, National Book Festival, Washington, D.C. Link is to the 2011 event and will have information on the 2012 event when available.

What other literary and cultural events in February do you know of?

Photo courtesy National Park Service.

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