"Community Music Wales gave us access to professionals who enhanced our work...Tutors brought out the best in all ages and abilities"
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Monday evening’s in Lampeter recently became more lively thanks to Community Music Wales’ creative workshops which ran up to the 19th of March as part of WWF’s Earth Hour celebration. The first week of classes began on Monday 29th February with almost 100 local residents participating in singing, drumming and natural sound sessions over the course of the evening.
The free evenings were designed to raise awareness of the annual “Celebration of our Brilliant Planet”, a concept promoted in Wales by WWF Cymru, and funded by the People’s Postcode Lottery. The workshops continued for three weeks and included a weekend class where participants were encouraged to make lanterns ready for use to light the performance that took place at Victoria Hall during Earth Hour itself.
Hannah Jenkins, Director of Community Music Wales said, “The number of participants joining us in Lampeter is really phenomenal, and the workshops have been a great success with the tutors commenting on the standard and commitment of those involved.”
As well as the workshops, people from across Wales were encouraged to join in the celebration by uploading noises from their local environment to CMW’s Interactive Sound Map of Wales, Mapsain. Previously the map had included sounds as diverse as a hydrophone recording from St. David’s and songs by Yr Ayes from Bangor. As such CMW thought it would be a good way to show how beautiful our country, and indeed the planet, can be. Sounds from the workshops were also uploaded to the map, and if you’d like to hear them as well as discover sounds from other parts of the country then please visit http://www.communitymusicwales.co.uk/mapsain
Throughout the workshop period CMW also worked to create social media interest in the project as well as Earth Hour itself, with many famous faces joining the #LightsOutCymru campaign and appearing in photos with the WWF Panda to raise awareness of the event.
CMW encouraged everyone to sign up to Earth Hour and participate in the switch off on the 19th of March.
The performance itself was absolutely fantastic, with the lanterns making the atmosphere very intimate while the drummers drummed and the choir sang their hearts out. Enjoyed by participants and audience members alike, Victoria Hall was really lit up – and not by electricity! Our favourite part was a giant puppet lantern (pantern? Luppet?) Created by artist Toby Downing.
— CommunityMusicWales (@CMW_CGC) March 19, 2016
A few weeks ago a group from our partners GISDA performed a piece of Forum Theatre at Capel Noddfa in Caernarfon, in the culmination of our Arts Council of Wales funded Momentum project.
As well as delivering a successful Forum Theatre facilitator training at the beginning of the year, we then worked with several partners to deliver Forum Theatre workshops.
The GISDA group met up once a week in Porthmadog through the summer with our Tutor Delyth Harries, an experienced Forum Theatre Joker (Facilitator) and who noted,
“it was a fun and powerful process which had a really positive impact on everyone involved; relationships, confidence and compassion grew throughout. Everyone participated, contributed, explored and learned from the wealth of support from each other and from sharing experiences in a safe space”.
Although our involvement had to come to end in September, we were delighted that the group continued and was facilitated by two of GISDA’s members of staff who had attended the facilitator training, and had then furthered their learning by attending the GISDA workshops and observing and experiencing Forum Theatre facilitating first hand.
The performance in Caernarfon tackled every day real life issue’s that arise in mental health, and as well as provoking the audience to stop the performance to take the place of the character who is being oppressed in the piece to try and achieve a more positive outcome, an essential piece of Forum Theatre, there was also a lively discussion at the end from all involved, audience and performers.
Martin our North Wales Project Officer said,
“It was brilliant to see the participants really grasp the concept of Forum Theatre and have the confidence to perform their piece, which can feel like a risk, and in turn provoke such an animated response and raise awareness of many of the issues, stigmas, and ignorance’s that surround mental health. Also great to see the work Elen and Enlli from GISDA have done in facilitating and keeping the group going”
The group now plan a second performance to invite a more targeted audience of people who work in mental health, or whose work brings them into contact with the mental health sector, and further on to the future GISDA are planning to engage more of the service users through Forum Theatre.
Gethin Evans Gisda’s Head of Development said
“The performance our service users gave today was amazing. The two members of staff who attended the Community Music Wales joker training in April have gone on to become brilliant facilitators. Watching the young people today, confident, assertive and feeling ownership of the work they produced have made us proud. Theatre Forum is an amazing medium to raise awareness and give our young people a voice. We look forward to continuing our work with CMW on bigger, better theatre forum projects in the future.”
|Today (23rd September), Arts Council of Wales announced their provisional portfolio; a portfolio of 67 organisations that it believes should be considered as priorities for support from April 2016 onwards. Community Music Wales (CMW) has been fortunate to be named as one of these organisations.
Assessing their application, the Arts council stated that CMW has put forward an impressive, relevant bid that presents a very strong case for support and that CMW’s “inspiring work with marginalised communities and people is one of the company’s real strengths.”
Lisa Davies, Acting Director, said, “We are delighted to remain part of the Arts Council of Wales provisional portfolio. We are however disappointed for our colleagues who have either lost their place on the portfolio or have not been awarded a place. We will maintain and forge new partnerships with as many of these organisations as we can to ensure that Wales continues to have a vibrant participatory arts sector. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank the team and board members for all their hard work.”
Moving forward, CMW will continue to deliver an impressive programme of activity across Wales, promoting the idea that there should be no barriers for taking part. Its latest project, Prosiect Uno, aims to showcase the diversity of the work that CMW does. A unique video and musical showcase, Uno’s goal was to unite different cultures of Wales through the medium of music. The classic song O Gymru by the late Rhys Jones was chosen as the inspiration for the project. The video produced for the project will be premiered tomorrow evening (24th September) at the Depot, Dumballs Road, Cardiff.
Notes to Editors
- Community Music Wales (CMW) is a registered charity and company limited by guarantee, which was incorporated in 1990. CMW is an organisation that works nationally. Our primary aim is to contribute to the empowerment of disadvantaged groups and individuals by enabling them to participate in creativity and learning through music – making.
- Lisa Davies was a Trustee of CMW for 5 years before taking on the role of Acting Director. Lisa is available for comment.
- We would like to welcome you to attend the premiere of Prosiect Uno’s “O Gymru”, please find an invitation here.
- For further information contact CMW on 02920 838060 or email firstname.lastname@example.org