Visit the Events Page for Off the Shelf events in November and December 2023

Arts Council England awards funding to Sheffield’s Off the Shelf Festival of Words

Off the Shelf Festival of Words, one of the UK’s longest running literary festivals, is pleased to announce an award of £75,675 from Arts Council England’s National Lottery Project Grants programme. This crucial funding will empower the festival, delivered by the University of Sheffield, to provide a diverse and an…

Off the Shelf Festival of Words, one of the UK’s longest running literary festivals, is pleased to announce an award of £75,675 from Arts Council England’s National Lottery Project Grants programme.

This crucial funding will empower the festival, delivered by the University of Sheffield, to provide a diverse and an engaging programme of over eighty live and online events. The programme will feature a compelling mix of established and emerging literary talent, including both local, national and international authors, poets, household names and guest speakers. The festival will take place across various venues in Sheffield, running from Monday 7 October – Sunday 3 November 2024

Professor Vanessa Toulmin, Director of City, Culture and Public Engagement, at the University of Sheffield said: “We are deeply grateful for the vital support provided by Arts Council England and this grant is a game changer. The University remains committed to fostering our vibrant cultural scene, and Off the Shelf plays a pivotal role in this effort. The festival offers a programme that caters to a wide range of interests and tastes, providing a unique and enriching experience for all of Sheffield’s incredible communities. We can’t wait to share the full programme with you soon!”

Pete Massey, Director North for Arts Council England said: “The Off the Shelf Festival of Words is a cornerstone event in the North’s literary calendar and gives a fantastic platform for writers, poets and thinkers from around the globe to connect with audiences in Sheffield. I’m really pleased that we are supporting this year’s mix of live and online events which both the local community and visitors can enjoy.”

This year, as part of their support for Off the Shelf, Sheffield Hallam University will be curating a strand of events that reflect the creativity of their students and staff. Professor Charles Mundye from the Sheffield Creative Industries Institute at Sheffield Hallam University said: “We’re delighted that Off the Shelf has been awarded funding from Arts Council England. Off the Shelf is such an important local festival that brings together Sheffield’s universities and key cultural institutions to curate a vibrant and inspiring programme every year. We’re excited to soon share how Sheffield Hallam University will be part of the 2024 lineup and welcome the public to share in the creative passion and energy of our university and city.” 

Celebrating its 33rd year, the festival will feature guest curations, new talent and fresh work.  The Arts Council funding will also support Hidden Figures celebrating Black history curated by Sheffield Race Equality Commissioner Ruth McDonald. Talks and activities will highlight Black contributors in science, music, design and dance and partner with the cities of Bradford, Manchester and Nottingham to showcase an interactive exhibition in Sheffield’s Winter Garden. 

Off the Shelf also continues to support Slambarz, a vibrant hub for South Yorkshire’s urban art scene specialising in pop culture, grime, hip hop, and R&B. Slambarz fosters connections, artistic development and provides young people with music industry experience through events featuring emerging and established artists.

The complete festival programme will be unveiled in September 2024.

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