Dylan Calder

Director, Pop Up Projects

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Founder-Director of Pop Up Projects. Prior to Pop Up I worked with 100s of schools and arts organisations producing and teaching large-scale creative writing and literacy projects for 5-21 year olds, including for National Youth Theatre, University of the Arts, Shoreditch Trust, The Ideas Foundation, London South Bank University, as well as major strategic, multi-year projects for Camden, Waltham Forest, Hounslow, Southwark and Hackney local authorities in London.

Summary of work

Pop Up facilitate rich literary experiences for children, families, schools - especially in deprived communities - mainly through our education programme, which requires whole schools 'giving up' literacy/English for six weeks, placing quality books and their authors at the heart of cross-curricular learning. We commission artist-led participatory projects where authors co-create literature and stories with children, often with libraries, museums, galleries, publishers. We are increasingly focussed on nurturing aspiring and emerging literary talent, cultivating opportunities for especially black and multilingual writers and illustrators to access children's publishing. This June we launch Pop Up Festival, our first national schools literature festival.

Summary of work to develop

We’re currently facilitating a major project with 18 illustrators/comics artists and publishers across the UK and Baltic states mentoring talented young visual artists in 16 universities to produce new multilingual literature for exhibition during LBF18. Pop Up Lab 2017 (our annual practice-sharing conference) also focuses on 'visual storytelling' to transcend linguistic boundaries/national borders. We now want to grow an international network of agencies interested in showcasing/sharing exceptional illustrators/comics artists across our countries. Through this network we’ll connect more young readers, writers and artists to people and stories in the wider world - vital in this age of isolationist populism.



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