10 key moments

10 Key Moments in Welsh Arts | From Brexit to Covid

Over the years, many cultural milestones, political changes and even seemingly small events have impacted the arts sector and consequently shaped the Welsh arts scene. Wales Arts Review has always been at the forefront of the debate around the most important issues, from Brexit to Covid, from Welsh identity to representation and equality. We have selected ten of these key moments from our archive to remind our readers of how the Welsh arts have progressed and adapted in recent years, and to showcase the resilience of the Welsh arts culture more broadly.


Treading Water: What can the Welsh Arts Scene do to Survive Brexit?

Brexit inevitably provoked many changes across all sectors, and its impact will undoubtedly continue to alter our industry far into the future. In 2017, Caragh Medlicott looked into the effect Brexit would have on funding for Welsh arts businesses and how this cultural change would be navigated.

Read Caragh Medlicott’s article here.


Pushing for Progress for Women in Wales

Next is ‘Pushing for Progress for Women in Wales’, written by Dr Emma Schofield in 2018. Gender inequality is yet another significant issue which impacts the lives of many people across many sectors; focusing in our how it is handled in the Welsh arts, Schofield looked at how Wales can become a global leader in equality.

Click here to read Dr Emma Schofield’s article.


The Case for a National Gallery for Contemporary Art

In July 2018, Adam Price put forward an argument for the creation of a National Gallery for Contemporary Art in Wales, suggesting that reinventing ideas and doing the unexpected could lead to success.

To read Adam Price’s argument, click here.


The End of Free Movement and the Arts

Returning to Brexit, next is the impact that the end of free movement would have on the arts industry. Hal Fish considered the potential repercussions in 2019, warning against what could happen in the event of insufficient planning.

Read Hal Fish’s article here.


On Bear Ridge: A New Dawn For Welsh Theatre?

Following National Theatre Wales’ performance of On Bear Ridge, Gary Raymond discussed the connection between Ed Thomas’ play and the oppression of Welsh identity, encouraging a future where the arts can give the people of Wales a voice and political representation.

Read Gary Raymond’s full article here.


Coronavirus and the Arts: A New Kind of Cancel Culture

Just before the first coronavirus lockdown hit in March 2020, Caragh Medlicott reviewed how the pandemic was testing society and contemplated what the future would hold for the arts.

Read Caragh Medlicott’s article here.


The Value of Arts Criticism During a Crisis

Another reflection on the impact of the coronavirus came from Laura Kressley, who questioned the relationship between arts and arts criticism in the time of a global pandemic.

Click here to read Laura Kressley’s article.


Hopes for the Future

In a time when the need for positivity was high, a collection of Wales’ top writers shared with Wales Arts Review their thoughts on and hopes for the future. Short story writer Carys Davies expressed her confidence in literature to pull us through the pandemic and its aftermath.

Read Carys Davies’ article here.


Arts Council of Wales Appoints ‘Agent for Change’

Lastly comes the news that the Arts Council of Wales recruited an Agent for Change. Appointed in April this year, Andrew Ogun has already taken the first steps towards improving the equality and accessibility of the arts industry, a significant milestone in the history of Welsh arts.

Read more about the Arts Council of Wales’ Agent for Change here.


Header image: British-German musician Simon Wallfisch at a Brexit protest in 2019 (Credit: Getty)