The exhibition brought to life the Shakespeare Memorial Library with objects from the collection and new responses to Birmingham’s distinctive Shakespeare heritage in film and spoken word. It challenged visitors to think about what culture means to them today and how they themselves can effect change in the city.
A workshop and panel discussion event were held at the Library of Birmingham to discuss the legacy of the project as the team embark on the final year. They are delving into exactly how we continue to unlock the Shakespeare Memorial Library post the life of the scheme.
This was one of the many questions discussed during the workshop as well as:
- How to sustain community participation with the Birmingham distinctive Shakespeare heritage beyond the life of the project?
- How to reach new audiences for Birmingham’s distinctive Shakespeare heritage beyond the life of the project?
- How to encourage anchor institutions to cultivate Birmingham distinctive Shakespeare heritage beyond the life of the project?
- How to encourage young people to feel ownership of the Birmingham distinctive Shakespeare heritage beyond the life of the project?
The panellist discussion involved various cultural figures across the City of Birmingham, to consider the project’s legacy in the context of Birmingham’s wider cultural provision. They included Professor Ewan Fernie- E2E Project Director, Paul Taylor- Head of Museum & Curational Services, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Councillor Jayne Francis- Portfolio holder for Culture, Birmingham City Council, Sara Wajid -co-CEO Birmingham Museums Trust, Sean Foley- Artistic director at the Rep and Ida Ballerini- E2E exhibition curator from the Royal Shakespeare Company.
We were delighted to have a retrospective for the ‘Everything to Everybody’ exhibition, which was so brilliantly curated by the RSC for the Cultural Programme of the Commonwealth Games. At the same time, we wanted to bring people together to start to think about the future of Birmingham’s amazing Shakespeare heritage. It was exciting to hear what cultural leaders and community partners had to say and we will be holding more such events across the coming year in order to secure the best possible legacy for the ‘Everything to Everybody’ Project and the largest Shakespeare collection held in any public library in the world.Professor Ewan Fernie
The exhibition aimed to highlight the Shakespeare Memorial Library’s relevance to the people of Birmingham today as well as showcasing the more than 40,000 volumes, 17,000 production photographs, 2,000 music scores, hundreds of British and international production posters, 15,000 performance programmes and 10,000 playbills that can be found in the collection.
Everything to Everybody: Your Shakespeare, Your Culture was curated by the Royal Shakespeare Company Creative Placemaking & Public Programmes Team. The exhibition was presented by the Birmingham 2022 Festival, generously funded by Arts Council England and the National Heritage Lottery Fund.