With artists and arts organisations forced to rethink how they deliver creative content for the next few months, Wales Arts Review brings together a roundup of what’s going on in Wales.
While their museums are closed, you can still engage with Wales’ national collections across their 7 sites via their website. Explore collections online, articles about our work and find activities to do at home. Discover new stories and please share your own through engaging with us via our social media channels: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.
Arad Goch Theatre Company based in Aberystwyth are sharing past performances from online. Search for #ArodGochOnline or visit their Twitter page for latest updates and instructions on how to take part https://twitter.com/AradGoch
You can tune in to Atmospheres Radio this weekend for our re-imagined Atmospheres festival which showcases the work of composers from Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama. The festival runs from 5:30pm Friday 1st May – Sunday 3rd May 2020
Ballet Cymru want to create access for all to the art of ballet. During lockdown, they have created online ballet tutorials for you to join in with at home, whether absolute beginner, or more advanced dancer, they have something for you! Tune in at 10am to their YouTube channel each day to learn an exercise led by one of the company’s professional dancers. There will also be clips from their creative team, and some surprises too!
*** Currently still scheduled to take place on 28th – 31th August 2020***
Between The Trees is a not-for-profit festival set in a 100 acre woodland site in South Wales; the fabulous Candleston Castle Campsite adjacent to the picturesque Merthyr Mawr National Nature Reserve and sand dunes.
Between The Trees has a unique theme of music, natural science and art. The festival aims to engage people of all ages with the natural world and to re-connect younger generations with the wonder and restorative qualities that this woodland environment offers.
A series of free online webinars to support musicians + music professionals during COVID-19. These take place every Thursday lunchtime over Zoom for the next four weeks. Sessions will cover a range of topics including getting to grips with emergency support packages, replanning your finances and how to promote yourself during this uncertain time. Visit their website for their full programme and to book your place.
Working behind closed doors like everyone else, this organisation is still supporting the regular M.A.D.E community by hosting online ZOOM groups for social connection. Their regular programme of arts and craft has moved online – Their Spring Open Exhibition will also be going ahead online from 30th April 2020, with selected works being showcased on social media and digital catalogue. Check out their events pages on Facebook and Instagram for more details.
Chapter are offering a digital programme of film, performance and art highlights and news via their website and social media channels for audiences to enjoy. Check their website for programme and running times.
A pillar of the Cardiff music community, Clwb is hosting live music via Instagram live every Sunday morning. Follow the link above. Consider also giving to their fundraiser to support their freelance and self-employed workers whose income has been interrupted during Lockdown: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/help-clwb
For COVID-19, Ffilm Cymru have made a guide of films they’ve funded and where to stream or download them from online to watch at home during lockdown.
Ffilm Cymru are the development agency for Welsh film, supporting film development, production, education, exhibition, business development and filmmaker career progression. They offer training and advice for those aspiring to be in or already in the film sector, and advocate for Welsh filmmakers and film policy that works for the people of Wales.
Ffotogallery invite you to revisit their archives of past exhibitions, festivals as well as the Ffotogallery Platform on Instagram. They are also publishing weekly competitions and artist led activity packs for you to download from home. Visit their Channels page on their website for the latest updates.
In line with current government guidelines for COVID-19 Gladstone’s Library – home of Gladfest in Flintshire – have cancelled all events, residencies and courses until the end of June. However, they are continuing to post new updates and content online – keep an eye on their website and social media for more news.
Hay Player contains thousands of audio and video recordings from Hay Festivals from 1995 to the present day. Each year hundreds of new events are added from Hay Festivals around the globe, giving you front row access to the world’s great writers and artists. Video isn’t available for all events, but audio recordings are available for all listings.
To stream content, you need an account on the Hay Festival website, and pay an annual £10.00 subscription fee – but it does mean you can play as much of the audio and video archive as you like. Well worth it, we think!
This April, Hijinx have launched their first free online festival of theatre and film called Hijinx Online / Ar-lein. They’re inviting people who are self-isolating to a screening of a world premiere, streamed theatre shows, workshops, Q&As with artists, as well as their end of festival party!
Full programme information can be found here.
Watch Hijinx Online / Ar-lein from the 24 April – 22 May, and find More details and links to screening rooms can also be found on their Facebook page www.facebook.com/hijinxtheatre
Set to take place in May, this festival is heading online, and will take place at the same time originally planned over 22nd – 25th May 2020.
There will be hundreds of events, engrossing debates, groundbreaking solo talks, interactive hat sessions, stunning music performances and even a dance tent to enjoy. Currently organisers are developing the resources to deliver all of these events at the same time, enabling you to fully participate and meet other people attending the festival. Plus you never know which of our world famous speakers you might find enjoying a drink at one of our virtual bars.
For more details of the social experiences on offer click here. For updates on the festival – visit their website. Tickets are on sale now.
Based in Wrexham, Immerse Music Academy are offering online guitar, piano, and singing tuition. All the tutors are performers and have real-world industry experience in various roles, making the lessons fun and relevant to today’s ever-changing music industry. Their focus is to help young people build confidence for life not just for music.
Organisers of the Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival are making three short films from the Iris archive available for free on their YouTube channel, one per month over April, May and June leading up to their 2020 festival. The films are all directed by women who have made short films with the £30,000 Iris Prize, sponsored by the Michael Bishop Foundation.
Iris are still making plans for the upcoming festival scheduled for 6 – 11 October 2020. They are still answering emails and keeping in touch via social media. Their open call for LGBT+ short films 2020 submissions is currently open. Check their website for more details.
Literature Wales is the national company for the development of literature. They are regularly posting new projects and opportunities online to take part in – here is just a taster:
Literature Wales Writer Commissions
The first round of funding for freelance writers to devise and create original digital content and projects has now closed, but the next round will be announced via the Literature Wales website and social media channels in due course.
‘Mother tongues’ at Cúirt International Festival of Literature
British Council Wales, Literature Wales, Welsh Government and British Council Ireland collaborated on producing a multilingual event called ‘Mother tongues’ for the prestigious Cúirt International Festival of Literature. Originally due to take place in Galway, Ireland in 2020, the festival was broadcast online, entirely free of charge, between Thursday 23 and Saturday 25 April.
Weekly challenges for children by Bardd Plant Cymru & Children’s Laureate Wales’
Every Monday morning since Monday 30th March, Eloise Williams and Gruffudd Owen have set weekly writing challenges for the children of Wales. At a time when many workshops and events have been postponed, these challenges are a way for Gruffudd and Eloise to continue to engage with and inspire the children of Wales through literature. Everyone who sends in a poem or story will receive a postcard especially signed for them by Gruff or Eloise, and some of them will be recorded and shared online so that Wales and the whole world can see how amazing the stories are.
Live Music Now works with a very diverse range of people that rarely, if ever, have the opportunity to experience live music. Their musicians and staff are urgently exploring different ways to bring live music remotely to older people living in care, the community and hospitals and to schools as they move their instruction online.
Connections through live music can help ensure social distancing does not mean social isolation. In the meantime, if you are looking to find ways to make music and singing activities happen for older people in your care, please see our Live Music In Care Resources for Care Homes that support care professionals to run interactive music and singing activities.
NDCWales makes all kinds of dance for all kinds of people in all kinds of places. NDCWales has been working towards creating and connecting with audiences more digitally for some time, and this week (w/c 27/04/20) sees the launch of a long-term programme of work.
This week NDCWales will be broadcasting Desensitised by Associate Artist, Matteo Marfoglia. Desensitised is a film about the deprivation of senses that has renewed meaning in this time of isolation. Matteo was a dancer for the Company when he created this movement piece in 2015 as part of its artist development programme, Alternative Routes.
NDCWales are continuing to share pre-recorded videos for people to participate in during the week. There are sessions for those with limited mobility through to children / family workshops as well as creative ideas for professional dancers and artists to enjoy too.
Some of this weeks sessions are also inspired by NDCWales’ rugby dance piece. This is ahead of pre-recorded broadcast of Discover Dance on Wednesday 6th May and the broadcast of the rugby piece, Annywl i Mi / Dear to Me on 7th May. Annwyl i Mi / Dear to Me was created by Artistic Director, Fearghus O’Conchuir, which premiered at the National Eisteddfod in 2019 before touring Japan as part of the Rugby World Cup.
Developed to create opportunities for theatre makers while venues remain closed as a result of Coronavirus, Network is a new online initiative aimed at connecting communities, sharing moments, reimagining live theatre while enabling and nurturing the performing arts sector in Wales. It is a partnership between National Theatre Wales and Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, along with Sherman Theatre to provide Wales’ theatre and performance sector with a galvanised sense of community, crucial employment opportunities and the impetus to create. BBC Cymru Wales and BBC Arts will act as programme’s commissioning and digital partners, pledging broadcast and digital support to artists working on the programme, bringing this new initiative to the widest possible audiences across Wales and the UK.
The Network programme features two key elements – New Digital Commissions (invite theatre artists of Wales to come up with innovative, exciting and human responses during the ongoing lockdown) and Play Readings (12 Plays in digital spaces). NTW and Sherman Theatre will work together with a range of independent companies and artists to produce play readings, showcasing the talent of playwrights, companies and creatives across Wales. The partnership will enable Welsh directors, actors, and designers to be fully supported and funded to deliver the reading, while providing a platform to share homegrown work, alongside contemporary classic titles that may not yet have been performed here in Wales.
National Theatre Wales and Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru are now welcoming submissions for their New Digital Commissions from Creatives and Theatre Makers across Wales in both English and Welsh. More information about how to submit a commission can be found by visiting www.nationaltheatrewales.org
An anthology of digital performances in response to COVID-19 as told by those that have had their lives interrupted before. As well as informing and challenging audience opinions of refugees and asylum seekers, Phosphoros Theatres’ mission is to bring the unseen to light, making bold, informed, resistant theatre that speaks to our lived realities of the actors involved.
In partnership with National Theatre Wales, BBC Wales, BBC Arts, the first of Play Readings – plays in digital spaces – is up online. ‘Ripples’ is a collaboration with RWCMD written by Tracy Bright & directed by Matthew Holmquist. Check social media channels for further details. If you keep an eye on Sherman Theatre’s social media, they are offering online workshops with key members of staff to help career development during lockdown. Look out for posts on how to take part.
“Here at Sofa Share Wales. We know the creative spirit and mind knows no boundaries and can move faster than any of our bodies or dang virus. So we will share! We will chat! We will stream and share this weird moment together. Solidarity to all and especially to the creative minds of Wales.”
Sofa Share Wales stream content daily at 3pm / 6pm / 9pm. You can apply to take part – the only thing organisers Fez & Justin ask is that you are respectful of all viewers and that you bring kindness and threads of light to our dark times.
Swansea Music Hub is a collective of musicians aiming to revitalise and support Swansea’s live, original music scene. During COVID-19, they’re hosting ‘Lockdown Sessions’ via their Instagram live. Follow the link to find out more.
“We can’t open our building right now, but instead, we’re bringing a small dollop of the amazing theatre, art and creativity that happens on our stages direct to you. Over the following days and weeks we’ll be uploading and sharing lots of beautiful theatrical moments to brighten your day. From Musical Director Dylan Townley creating improvised songs to dance workshops from our Dance Associate Angharad and behind the scenes footage. Enjoy and explore what we’re making but, more importantly, get involved and stay in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us @clwydtweets to share your experiences”.
In response to COVID-19 crisis, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru have launched a number of digital commissions and programming in this time of remote working. More details available here.
Based in the Wales Millenium Centre, Ty Cerdd promote and celebrate the music of Wales. All staff are still operating as usual, from home. They’ve made all of their sheet music and records available via their website. The organisation are also contributing to various emergency funding streams, which are all detailed on their website.
‘Tŷ Pawb Arts at Home’ offers an alternative programme online, working with artists to create projects for you to take part in at home to help audiences feel connected to them, to one another, in artful ways. Ty Pawb will showcase all creative outputs as part of an open exhibition after lockdown.
In the absence of their monthly Live @ The Square event, Ty Pawb are o providing live music experiences directly to your home via their Facebook page every Friday at 7:30pm – https://www.facebook.com/TyPawb
Plus! Family Art Club artists will create downloadable activities, which will be made available via their website and Facebook each Saturday. They have artists in residence who are developing Creative Assignments for audiences, young and old, to undertake whilst they are self-isolating / social distancing at home – something meaningful to do that makes people feel connected to others, and part of a community, be that their street, their town, or the wider world. And finally – to mark the final day of Kevin Hunt’s Wal Pawb commission, Ty Pawb are releasing the basic recipe for his popular ‘face – ade’ drink for everyone to continue making at home.
On 27th – 29th March, Wales Arts Review held a digital arts festival to raise emergency funds for artists and freelancers whose income has been impacted by delayed or cancelled work as a result of Covid-19. The Digithon saw three days of music, literature, performance and artwork delivered via their Wales Arts Review website, with the aim to bring people closer together in a time of social distancing. All content from the weekend is available at the above link.
Although not sharing content themselves, WNO have provided us all with the means to discover Opera from the comfort of our PJs and comfy sofas. All operas are free to stream – just pick your production house from Europe, Japan, North & South America.