What is Shake the Dust?

Shake the Dust was an exciting and ambitious national participation and performance project that celebrated and showcased the talent, diversity and creativity of young people across England, enabling them to be seen and heard.

The project began with professional development for spoken word artists and teachers/youth workers in autumn of 2011. Then, from February up until June 2012, in-depth workshop programmes with groups of 13 – 16 year olds happened in each of the nine English regions.  All of this work culminated in Regional Slam Finals in June 2012, happening in arts venues across England involving all participants. The nine highest scoring teams progressed to the grand slam finals, The National Shake the Dust Weekend at the Southbank Centre, London in July 2012.

What is a poetry slam?

A poetry slam is a competition where participants perform poems that are then given a score by special guest judges. Slams can happen in single rounds or work over multiple knock-out stages until the highest scoring team or individual is chosen. Though the format is competitive, Shake the Dust emphasises the participatory and community aspects of slam poetry.

Who is Shake the Dust for?

Everyone interested in spoken word, and those who haven’t yet discovered it! We worked especially with young people, spoken word artists and teachers / educators. There was also be a fantastic programme of live spoken word events with special performances from top UK artists and and visits from overseas performers, for the general public to attend.

Who funded and managed Shake the Dust?

Shake the Dust was  generously funded by Arts Council England through their Grants for the Arts programme.  Lankelly Chase, Monument Trust and Mercers’ Company also kindly supported the project. Shake the Dust was managed by Apples and Snakes, England’s leading organisation for spoken word and performance poetry.

Where is Shake the Dust happening?

Shake the Dust teamed up with nine Venue Partners across the UK. These prominent arts venues played a large roll in the project and form the regional homes for Shake the Dust, with many activities taking place within them; including Masterclasses, INSET training sessions and this is where each of the regional slam finals happened. The workshops with young people took place in classrooms and rehearsal spaces across each region. We also worked with consulting slam producers where possible in each region: these slam experts played a large role in the project contributing their experience of youth slam and their in depth regional knowledge. The National Slam final weekend washeld at the Southbank Centre in London.

How do I get involved as young person?

Take a look at our Get Involved page for more details.

How do I get involved as a teacher / educator?

Take a look at our Get Involved page for more details.

How do I get my pupils/ school involved in Shake the Dust?

Please take a look at the Get Involved page for more information.

How do I get involved as a spoken word artist?

Please take a look at the Get Involved page for more information.