Welcome to a new category in our Blog, called The Folklore Friends Promo: promoting lovely projects from other members of the Folklore community on Twitter and elsewhere! This week, we would like to introduce you to the Centre For Folklore, Myth And Magic, in Todmorden, West Yorkshire, England.
Founded by Fine Arts graduate Holly Elsdon in April 2019, the Centre For Folklore, Myth And Magic is a project that aims to provide education opportunities in the exploration of landscape, heritage, storytelling, and community through art, drama, music, dance and craft. After the search for its physical space was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Centre finally opened its doors to the public last month with a Grand Opening on the 21st of May attended by locals and folklore enthusiasts. The ceremony included a small blessing with sage to attract prosperity, learning, good conversations and respect between different beliefs – as well as a speech from Holly Elsdon, who thanked icons of the Folklore community such as Hookland and Folklore Thursday for supporting the endeavour.
This fantastic space spreading across two floors is located in Halifax Road – a busy and eclectic area of Todmorden in Calder Valley, West Yorkshire. For full accessibility, the ground floor offers the Centre’s exhibitions, conferences and workshops in the Tea Room: a large open area capable of holding many guests originally built as a Printworks in 1902. Going up the stairs, visitors may then enjoy the comforts of the Centre’s cosy library, archive and resource unit, decorated in natural wood and William Morris patterned wallpaper – and sprinkled with various folklore-related objects on display on loan from several artists.
“The Centre For Folklore, Myth and Magic is a resource with public access. A treasure trove for storytellers, artists, writers, teachers, folklorists, researchers and anyone (whether adults or children) with an interest in the subjects of storytelling, folk and fairy tales from around the world, folklore and much more.”
– Holly Elsdon, Founder
Thus, the once bare shelves of this long-awaited cultural beacon are slowly but surely being filled with all manner of wonderful publications, like the collections supplied by the Society for Storytelling and the Mythstories Museum in Shrewsbury – who together donated almost 5000 books! But that’s not all, as the Folklore Centre also boasts a shop stocked with rare second-hand books, alongside artwork, postcards, keychains and much, much more – all done by local and small-business artists such as Skulls and Sheets, who specializes in depictions of the Mari Lwyd.
Whether you can or can’t make it to Todmorden, it is now possible to join the Library as a Member from anywhere in the world by visiting folkloremythmagic.com/shop. Prices range from £6.45 in the UK and membership includes a laminated card, access to thousands of books, as well as a newsletter with information about future talks and events.
By becoming a Library Member, you will also be helping the Centre to gather steam and work towards making various improvements and updates – for instance, making conferences and workshops available remotely. For now, see the full list of upcoming events at folkloremythmagic.com/upcoming-events.
On behalf of the Centre For Folklore, Myth and Magic, thank you for reading!
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