Reading Year of Culture seeks volunteer ambassadors to welcome prison arts visitors to the town

Following the announcement that international arts organisation Art Angel will be hosting a major international arts event this autumn in Reading Prison, Reading Year of Culture is launching a search for volunteer cultural ambassadors to welcome art lovers to Reading and help them make the most of their visit to the town.

The prison will be opening from 4 September to 30 October for Inside – Artists and Writers in Reading Prison, which will bring national and international names to Reading, from Turner prize-winning artist and film director Steve McQueen to world-famous writers such as Colm Toibin, actors Maxine Peake and Ben Whishaw, artists Marlene Dumas and Nan Goldin and rock legend Patti Smith.

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Thousands of visitors are expected to visit Reading for ‘Inside’, many taking advantage of the direct train service from London. As part of Reading Year of Culture, Reading Cultural Ambassadors will be providing a warm welcome at the station, helping visitors make the most of their time in Reading, directing visitors to the prison, highlighting the many Year of Culture events taking place and promoting the town centre’s attractions and leisure opportunities.

Nigel Horton-Baker on behalf of Reading UK CIC and Reading Year of Culture said: “The combination of an internationally-recognised arts organisation, Art Angel, taking over a key piece of Reading’s heritage, Reading Prison, provides a real opportunity to showcase our town and put Reading on the UK’s cultural map.

“We want to harness the enthusiasm of passionate volunteers to ensure Reading makes the most of this opportunity. We want ‘Inside’ visitors to see more of Reading, to understand what makes the town tick, meet its people and in particular experience our great cultural, heritage and leisure offer. If you have a passion for Reading you could share with visitors and can spare some time this autumn, we’d love to hear from you.”

Candidates for the volunteer roles of Reading Cultural Ambassadors will need to have a lively and outgoing manner and the ability to engage with a wide range of members of the public. They will be keen to share their knowledge of Reading and have a desire to help people discover the many attractions Reading has to offer.

Reading UK CIC have commissioned Reading art organisation Annual Day Dream Harvest to create a mobile welcome installation in keeping with Reading’s Year of Culture which will be stationed at Reading Station as a welcome point at weekends this autumn.  Volunteers will be based at the station and will receive full training and support.

Reading Voluntary Action (RVA) are supporting Reading 2016 in managing the volunteer application process. To apply, visit www.rgneeds.me

More information on Art Angel’s ‘Inside’ arts event at www.artangel.org.uk/inside

ENDS

Further information from Alex Brannen, Reading UK CIC, on 0118 937 4341, alex@livingreading.co.uk