The curtain has gone up on a never-seen-before collaboration that aims to bring even more arts development and programmes to South Wales.
ArtsConnect has seen four local authorities come together to deliver arts on a regional level.
By joining forces, sharing resources and working together, they aim to extend and enrich the opportunities offered to audiences, residents and communities – from household name stage shows to local talent, laugh out loud comedy and exceptional development programmes that let rising stars shine.
Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taf and the Vale of Glamorgan Councils officially launched this unique initiative on October 11th in a special event which sought to display their achievements to date – including a very special premiere of It’s My Shout which is a DVD that has been created by young people from across the ArtsConnect regions.
The event which was attended by various dignitaries, including the First Minister for Wales, Carwyn Jones, Professor David Smith, Arts Council for Wales Chair, George Jones, ArtsConnect Chair and Cabinet representatives from the four Local Authorities was a huge success and once again highlighted the importance of arts and culture in Wales.
First Minister for Wales, Carwyn Jones said:
“This project shows how the Arts can continue to be part of people’s lives despite the pressure on public budgets.
“It is great to see all these different organisations coming together to continue providing Arts services to their communities. It shows their determination to retain and improve these services, and by sharing resources, make the money they do have go further.
“I congratulate everyone involved in the launch of Arts Connect and wish it every success.”
All attendees were treated to various surprises during the event including a flash mob performance from Rhondda Cynon Taf’s Take Part Dance Crew who had been hiding in the audience – this demonstrated the fresh new approach to the arts that is currently taking the area by storm.
Their outstanding performance was also testament to what can be achieved when local talent from people of all ages and abilities is nurtured and encouraged through innovative arts development.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is the lead authority for ArtsConnect – George Jones, Group Director for Environmental Services and Chair of ArtsConnect, said:
“The launch of ArtsConnect is a significant milestone in the delivery of local government arts services in Wales and is an opportunity for us to share some of the highlights of our collaborative achievements so far in improving the range and quality of arts activity in our areas.”
Please note: The full press release can be viewed on the attached PDF below.