I’m really excited by the launch of our new Shake the Dust website. This project has been in development for a long time so it’s fantastic that there is now an online space for all the information to be brought together about what’s happening now and what’s being planned for next year.

Firstly, this autumn will see professional development opportunities for both artists and teachers / educators in all of the nine English regions. These are being run by Shake the Dust’s Artistic Director Jacob Sam-La Rose with valuable input from consulting slam producers around the country. Later this year will be the selection of poet coaches and shadows to the project, and of course the schools and youth groups that will take part.

In 2012 Shake the Dust will really come alive when the workshop programmes begin, with hundreds of people participating. I’m particularly looking forward to the regional finals, being held at our nine venue partners in May and June next year, where we will get to see and hear what these young people have to say. I’m sure it will be original and inspiring.

If you’re new to Shake the Dust, I hope you’ll take a look around the website to find out how you can be involved whether you’re an artist, a teacher or youth worker, or a young person aged 13 to 16.

Apples and Snakes are managing and producing the project, having been been generously supported by Arts Council England through their Grants for the Arts programme. We have also received a grant of £10,000 from The Mercers’ Company, for which we are very grateful. We’re still looking for further investment in this unique project though, so please email me (lucy@applesandsnakes.org) if you’d like to hear more about this opportunity.