This post originally appeared on the LAIP in June 2016.

Lots of libraries provide a “home” for many types of arts organizations, from quilters’ guilds to writers’ groups, who do not have a permanent space for gathering. As a librarian with a performance background, I’m always personally interested when a performing arts group takes advantage of the meeting rooms and community spaces that many libraries make available to their public.

One example is the Brisbane Pride Choir, based in Brisbane Australia. The choir not only just performed a new piece at the Queensland State Library as part of their ‘belonging’ concert, but the members also use meeting room space at the New Farm Library for their rehearsals. As David Hardy, Secretary of Brisbane Pride Choir writes, “As a community arts organisation (for community, read–culturally rich, financially poor), in an expensive city (Brisbane is Australia’s 3rd largest city after Sydney and Melbourne), we do rely on any venues and rehearsal spaces which are free or which discount considerably.”

The choir outside of its rehearsal space at the New Farm Library. Photographer: Tjeerd Tijhof.

The choir outside of its rehearsal space at the New Farm Library. Photographer: Tjeerd Tijhof.

Poster for 'belonging' concert at the State Library of Queensland. Designer: Jamie Waite.

Poster for ‘belonging’ concert at the State Library of Queensland. Designer: Jamie Waite.

While meeting spaces with enough room for a choir to rehearse are not available at every library branch in the city, those with the appropriate spaces do not charge for use by community-based organizations with lean budgets. Just another example of a simple but important way that libraries help keep the arts alive and thriving, all over the world. ~Laura

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