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Age Cymru’s Gwanwyn Festival is celebrating its’ tenth birthday this year and we would like to celebrate this special occasion by offering the opportunity for Welsh artists (or artists based in Wales) to submit proposals to develop and create their own artistic work to be presented during Gwanwyn’s birthday year.
The Gwanwyn newsletter includes highlights from last year’s festival, features on Gwanwyn projects, interviews with our organisers and pictures and inspiration from the world of Gwanwyn.
Available in English and Welsh on the links below.
Gwanwyn veterans CAIN have shared this brilliant documentary about their work with choreographer Cai Tomos (pictured) at Galeri, Caernarfon.
It’s a really substantial piece of work which looks at the story of this group of older dancers and the ways that the group has benefited their lives. We’re really proud of them and we hope you enjoy finding out about their work.
“Before I Leave” is a funny, moving & uplifting production written by Tredegar-born poet and playwright Patrick Jones featuring versions of songs made famous by the likes of Tom Jones, Johnny Cash, Gerry & the Pacemakers and more. The play will also feature brand new songs written for the show by internationally famous Blackwood band, Manic Street Preachers.
The play is a joint production between National Theatre Wales and Wales Millennium Centre, presented as part of the Festival of the Voice and will play at The Sherman Theatre, Cardiff.
Directed by Matthew Dunster, Before I Leave tells the story of a choir of Men and Women living with dementia and the incredible bonding power of music. It will feature a Chorus of singers on stage performing key songs alongside our cast of professional actors.
You don’t need to have acting experience to take part, just a love of singing, a good voice and the ability to learn harmonies. If you can read music too, that would be great, but not essential.
If you have a curiosity to try new things, meet new people, sing some wonderful songs and have fun as part of the creative team bringing a brand new piece of life affirming Theatre to life, then they’d love to hear from you.
The commitment will include these key dates:
Initial Meeting – Mid March (Exact Date & Time tbc).
From w/c 28th March – One rehearsal per week (Times & days tbc).
From w/c 25th April – Two rehearsals per week(Times & days tbc).
23rd – 26th May – Evenings (Tech & Dress rehearsals).
27th May – 11th June (excluding Sundays) – Performances.
There will also be Matinee performances on 9th & 11th June.
All times tbc.
This is a voluntary opportunity to participate in a National Theatre Wales production though we will meet reasonable out of pocket expenses.
We appreciate that joining our Chorus will take some time commitment, especially during the run of the show. Please bear in mind that the show rehearses and plays in Cardiff, so this opportunity may be most suited to people who live in the Cardiff area.
It promises to be a lot of fun & a great opportunity to perform onstage in a major theatrical production.
Please get in touch if you’d like to be involved, or if you have any questions:
Tel: 07572 893 053
A weekend to try something, make something – Get Creative!
‘On 1-3 April 2016 BBC Cymru Wales, Arts Council of Wales and What Next? are teaming up for a bumper weekend to celebrate the nation’s creativity – and we’re inviting you to join in.
‘We’re shining a light on Wales as a place where we take part in arts and culture and love to get creative.
‘We’re asking arts organisations, community groups and societies or all shapes and sizes to invite others take part in a creative experience. It could involve making music, dance, film or photography. Creating with words, paint or digitally. Maybe just generally getting crafty! Whether it’s your usual activity or something specially planned, let us know what you’re up to. http://getcreative.wales
‘Want to try a new creative experience? Want to find out how you can take part? Our interactive site will go live soon where you can see all the events that are happening near you across the weekend’
cARTrefu, which means to reside in Welsh, is a two year programme run by Gwanwyn which aims to improve access to quality arts experiences for older people in residential care.
We have recruited 16 artists working in different fields to each deliver 8 x 8 week residencies at care homes across Wales. The programme has been a massive success so far and we hope that it will foster a greater appreciation of the arts among care home staff as they work with our artists. We want care home staff to acquire new skills and gain more confidence in sharing and practicing them in their daily work with residents
You can find out more about this fantastic project via cARTrefu’s newsletter, which you can download from Age Cymru’s website here: bit.ly/1LkIn3o
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from everyone at Gwanwyn!
2015 has been an amazing year for us and we’re grateful to everybody who contributed to Gwanwyn over the last year, all the organisers, venues, audiences, performers, artists, workshop attendees and gee whiz, just everyone. You’ve all been great. Thanks so much for all the hard work and imagination you’ve put in. We’re totally in awe of every single one of you.
The Gwanwyn elves (pictured) are currently planning and scheming for next year’s Gwanwyn and we’re looking forward to making some very exciting announcements over the coming weeks. 2016 will be our tenth birthday, so we’re promising something extra special. We’ve had a record number of applications for the community grant scheme and there’s an incredible buzz starting to build.
Whatever you’ve got planned for the next couple of weeks we’d like to wish you all the best and we’ll see you next year!
Young Critics and 3rd Act critics are working in partnership with Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales (ACNMW) on a new free project focusing on the quality and standards of exhibitions and programming at their sites across Wales.
ACNMW are keen to generate feedback and data from interested visitors regarding what makes a good exhibition and programme. The project aims to make the work of museums more accessible to the general public and increase the reach of culture and heritage. The project may also focus on Cadw sites and local museums and galleries.
The project is expected to last for 6 months initially, before being reviewed, and participants will be expected to commit to the lifetime of the project. Staff at National Museum Wales will provide training and workshops, and exclusive expert guidance on their roles. All participants will be supported in critical response methods and use of digital technologies to develop critical thinking skills.
The first workshop will take place on Saturday the 5th of December 10-1pm at National Museum Cardiff, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3NP.
If you aged between 12-25 or 50+ and would like to be involved please contact project coordinator Guy O’Donnell on firstname.lastname@example.org
Ffilm Cymru Wales is a public funder dedicated to supporting the film sector in Wales and improving access to film and its benefits for the public of Wales.
To help them decide how best to support the future of how you experience movies in Wales they would like to know about how you watch films, where you watch them, and the types of films you enjoy.
More information, and the survey itself, can be found on the Arts Council of Wales web site.
From singing to knitting, amateur dramatics to painting, over 60,000 groups across the UK and Republic of Ireland provide regular opportunities for creative cultural activity.
The Epic Awards celebrate their achievements.
Could your group be an Epic Award winner? Nominations are now open!
“It’s good to grow older because…”
WALES’ amateur photographers are invited to take part in an exciting ‘age positive’ charity competition.
Age Cymru is asking photographers young and old to capture the theme ‘it’s good to grow older because…’ with the chance of winning £100 in high street vouchers.
“Grab that camera or phone and send us a picture you’ve taken capturing why you believe it’s good to grow older in Wales,” said Sarah Price, Age Cymru’s Engagement Support Coordinator.
“Our ‘age positive’ message celebrates the contribution older people have made and continue to make to our communities.
“We’re asking entrants to complete the line ‘It’s good to grow older because…’ when they send in their photo.
“We’re hoping for some fun and original images of ageing, which will challenge some of the stereotypes of growing older!
“There’s a separate category for under 16s and we’d love to see lots of entries from young people– so whether you’re a keen amateur photographer or simply enjoy taking snaps on your phone – join in!
‘Who said I’m too old?’ by Meirwen Jones and ‘Family Traditions’ by Joel Dixon were last year’s winning entries.
Could you be the next Age Cymru photography competition winner? Submit your ‘age positive’ images by midnight on Friday 6 November 2015.
Each May Gwanwyn’s Community Grants Scheme enables community groups and arts organisations across Wales the chance to provide arts experiences for older people. Every kind of artistic activity you can imagine takes place in just about every kind of venue you can imagine, from the Wales Millennium Centre to the garden shed.
Grants can be anything up to £500 and we are keen to include as many different kinds of community organisations as possible. 2016 will be a special year for Gwanwyn as we celebrate our 10th birthday, so we want to get as many applications as possible.
You can find out more here:
Applications close on 9th December 2015 and we will be notifying successful applicants from early January.
Are you an older actor? A former actor? With a good voice? Can you do characters … voices … accents? The Readers Theatre of Wales is a new amateur company, based in Cardiff, that is looking for actors who would like to take part in a short comedy play in the Readers Theatre format for distribution via internet radio and YouTube video. Would you like to know more? Would you like to help?
If you are not familiar with Readers Theatre please visit www.readerstheatreofwales.com to find the answers to some of your questions and then send an email to email@example.com to tell us you are interested. We will send you more details about the production and invite you to a readers theatre introduction event in the coming weeks. Writers too…if you are interested in writing for this format we’d like to hear from you too.
This will be a ‘JFF’ production … that’s ‘just for fun’ … you won’t be paid and won’t be asked for money.
We hope to hear from you.
Age Positive Week is Age Cymru’s annual celebration of all that’s positive about ageing. This year it will take place from Sunday 27 September to Sunday 4 October 2015 and, as before, will coincide with the UN International Day of Older Persons on 1 October.
Age Cymru held the first ever Age Positive Week last year and we were delighted by its success. Age Positive events were held across the country and more than 60 different activities were registered, from boules and indoor golf to creative writing sessions, film screenings, tea afternoons and open days. These, combined with events organised by Age Cymru, led to a fantastic celebration of ageing enjoyed by hundreds of people across Wales.
Have a look at the events registered so far, including events organised by Age Cymru.
Keep a look out too for our sponsorship of programmes on S4C during the Week!
If you’re already holding an event next week – whether it’s a coffee morning or exercise session, a forum meeting or weekly bingo – then you can simply badge your get together as Age Positive. For more information about Age Positive Week and how you can get involved please visit Age Cymru’s website:
Tell us about it! We’d love to know what you’re planning, so please let us know about your event via Facebook or Twitter.
GWANWYN IS 10 YEARS OLD NEXT YEAR! Help to shape arts events for and with older people by answering a few short questions and be entered into a prize draw for free theatre tickets!
You can help us shape the future of Gwanwyn. We have a few questions that will help us to understand what you like about the arts and how you want to get involved in the future.
Your input will help develop the festival, and by taking part you will be automatically entered into our prize draw for two free tickets to an event at Sherman Cymru or Galeri, Caernarfon!
‘NOW – an exploration of the present with a chosen one’ invites couples who are living with dementia to explore the ‘here and now’.
The relationship could be a new friendship, or with your partner/husband/wife, carer, children or grandchildren.
This experience will allow you to find out what you enjoy about being with this person, how the relationship has formed and developed, to how it has affected you and how it is right now.
Clare Parry-Jones and Denni Dennis will spend up to 5 sessions with you, giving you the chance to enjoy the beauty and humour within your relationship.
Clare and Denni are artists based in South Wales, working locally and internationally, with community groups, arts in health, theatre, cabaret and circus.
Couples can express how they feel through word, music, movement, performance or visually through photography or film.
Clare is a trained Dramatherapist who has performed in care homes in Powys and both artists have taken part in dementia awareness training.
If you would like to get involved in this exciting new experience, please contact Emma Robinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 029 2043 1540.
Over 50’s in Denbighshire were given a fun and therapeutic introduction to mindfulness meditation as part of this year’s Gwanwyn Festival at Canolfan Ni, in Corwen.
Corwen is a small, rural community and it is easy for older people there to become isolated. But staff at Canolfan Ni work hard to show how art can be used as a tool for better health and wellbeing.
A Community Grant from Gwanwyn enabled thirty people to attend two workshops of drawing and meditation. Participants worked in sociable groups on zendoodle activities designed to relax them and free up their creative minds. They also had the opportunity to display their work after the session.
Everyone felt encouraged to expand their mind and enjoy a good laugh with each other. For many of the participants it was their first experience of mindfulness, and some of them were encouraged to find out more about how it could increase their creativity and wellbeing.
You can view some photos of the event on our Facebook page.
Red Cafe Community Project is a youth and community co-op in the Mumbles. They’ve been working with Gwanwyn for a few years now, and this year their Community Grant took them to Swansea’s Quadrant Shopping Centre to raise awareness about dementia.
As well as dance and music workshops from festival favourites Tan Dance, there were ballroom dancing taster sessions and a performance by the Musical Memories Choir.
Hundreds of shoppers witnessed the event and it was an important opportunity to show people how creativity could be an important part of living well with dementia.
It also strengthened ties between several organisations who work with people with dementia who were able to share information and build important new relationships.
Those taking part also included the Alzheimer’s Society, Age Cymru, YMCA, Community Connections, Swansea Museum, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea Carers Centre, Gower College, Gwalia and Forget Me Not Clubs.
Red Cafe kindly sent us some photos you can view on our Facebook page.
An important part of the Gwanwyn Festival each year is the Community Grant Scheme Project which enables small community groups to put on art events to promote creativity in older age. Carrog Craft Club in Denbighshire were able to apply for a grant to put on a creative writing and art workshop.
The work combined print making with creative writing about people and places dear to the craft club members. They looked at medieval illuminated manuscripts like the White Book of Rhydderch and the Book of Kells for inspiration, and their colourful work was displayed in Carrog Village Hall for everyone to enjoy.
The members had a great day and made lively art works which evoked loved ones and memories that were clearly very important to them. The session was delivered bilingually and the group invited residents from Glyndyfrdwy, Corwen and Bryneglwys for this special event.
Carrog Craft Club have sent us some lovely photos which you can view by following the link to our Facebook page.
It’s hard to believe that Gwanwyn 2015 officially ends this weekend. There are a few events still to go, but we wanted to thank all the artists, musicians, writers, dancers, poets, actors, crafters, knitters, singers, photographers, organisers, volunteers, participants, workshoppers and audiences across Wales who combined to make this year’s festival one of the best and most memorable yet! Three cheers for all of you!
Don’t forget to share any photos with us on Facebook. The ones we’ve seen so far are really amazing and it’s nice see our organisers sharing experiences with each other.
We’re already hard at work on 2016’s festival, so keep an eye out for news and announcements. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter or follow this link to sign up for our mailing list to keep abreast of funding deadlines and special projects.
A UNIQUE food-themed performance by a choir made up of people living with dementia and their families is taking place at Caerphilly Castle on 14 May.
The Forget-me-Not Chorus’s appearance in the castle’s banqueting hall is part of a Wales-wide arts festival for older people, called the Gwanwyn Festival.
Singing waiters from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama feature as special guests.
Kate Woolveridge – the accomplished mezzo-soprano and vocal animateur, who leads the chorus, says:
“The Forget-me-Not Chorus supports people with dementia and their families through weekly singing and creative workshops.
“We aim to empower both people with dementia and their families to use their voice in song to express themselves and to use the power of music to provide an escape from the everyday caring routine.
“We’re all really looking forward to this concert at Caerphilly Castle which promises to be a highlight in the choir’s history and a positive experience for us all of being together.”
This is the first time the Forget-me-Not Chorus has been on the festival’s bill, as Emma Robinson, Gwanwyn’s Coordinator says:
“I’m very excited that Gwanwyn Festival and the Forget-me-Not Chorus are finally working together.
“It is a privilege to have such an ambitious and pioneering organisation that shares similar aims and ambitions as the Gwanwyn Festival on this year’s bill.
“Art – in any shape of form that meets our own individual tastes, is something that we should be able to enjoy, appreciate and take part in at any stage of life.
“This performance promises to be one that will make quite an impact on everyone who experiences it –ether by taking part in it or as a spectator, and I can’t wait to see it served up on 14 May.”
Lovely interview with Peggy Seeger today in Wales Online about her forthcoming performance this Saturday at Attitude Festival in Merthyr.
Fancy using your knitting skills to create music?
We’re looking for five experienced knitters (you need to have the ability to look up from your work to follow conducted instructions) to join the performance of ‘Killing Time’ at Wales Millennium Centre on Saturday 16 May, led by contemporary composer Jobina Tinnemans
You will continue knitting on long white knitted ‘scores’ which were started by the knitting performers in New York.
You will need to be available for rehearsals in the morning (10 – 11am) and the performance on the Glanfa stage in the afternoon (3pm).
Jobina will also be delivering a workshop at 11:30 for up to 10 knitters and these events are part of a packed programme of Gwanwyn activity throughout the Centre.
If you would like to join Jobina and knit for the performance please contact us!
Wales’s only annual national arts festival for over 50s is back for its ninth year on May 1 and it promises to be bigger and better than ever before.
This year’s Gwanwyn festival features a chance for older people to learn about parkour and graffiti, a ‘Pimp my ukulele’ project, music with knitting needles, and much more.
Emma Robinson, Gwanwyn’s Coordinator says:
“This year we’re proud to be working with Men in Sheds on a project to build and customise ukuleles and also with the Attitude Festival in Merthyr Tydfil on 9 May.
“On 14 May, we’ve got a performance by the ‘Forget-me-Not Chorus’ at Caerphilly Castle, led by the mezzo soprano and 2012 Inspirational Woman of the Year – Kate Woolveridge.
“There’ll be a performance by Cain – Galeri Caernarfon’s dance performance group for over 60s on 15 May.
“We’ve also got a packed day of free workshops for over 50s at the Wales Millennium Centre on 16 May, which will give over 50s the chance to try their hand at graffiti, parkour, singing and much more!
“And let’s not forget our amazing ‘music with knitting needles’ performance by Jobina Tinnemans at the Wales Millennium Centre, also on that weekend.”
Age Cymru is looking for 16 artist practitioners (four for each of the following art forms – Performing Arts, Visual Art, Music and Words) as part of a new project, cARTrefu, which will deliver arts based residencies to care homes across Wales.
For more information head to Age Cymru’s website http://www.ageuk.org.uk/cymru/about-us/work-for-us/
Poetry and Dementia
Friday 27 February – Sunday 1 March
Tutors: Karen Hayes and John Killick
Fee: £275 (single room) / £220 (shared room) (more…)
Gwanwyn Festival of Arts and Creativity for older people is organised by Age Cymru and supported by Welsh Government and Arts Council of Wales
Community Grant Scheme now open (more…)
MAD DOG CASTING IS LOOKING FOR EXTRAS!
THEY PROVIDE BACKGROUND ARTISTS FOR BIG HOLLYWOOD FEATURE FILMS AS WELL AS ALL KINDS OF TV SHOWS AND COMMERCIALS such as Sherlock and Casualty
They are currently seeking older people to join their books, especially those aged 60+ (more…)
The Gwanwyn team would like to wish you all Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.
We are looking forward to developing the exciting plans for the festival in 2014 and cant wait to start working on the creative ideas. There is still plenty of time to apply for a Community Grant for organisations who would like take part in the festival. For more informatioin on the scheme please visit the Download page on this website.
A huge thanks go to Bev and members of the Sax for Fun group for providing fantastic musical entertainment for all Age Cymru runners, and others, during the 1/2 marathon on 6th October
Age Cymru runners and supporters have all said how much the music lifted their spirits and tired legs.
Sax for Fun received a community grant for Gwanwyn 2013. The group run weekly workshops for people who are interested in learning to play the sax and offer regular performance opportunities. For more information please visit http://www.saxforfun.co.uk/about/4576822535
Thanks again Sax for Fun and well done to all the runners.
Age Cymru has appointed Emma Robinson as their new Arts and Creativity Development Officer. Emma will run Gwanwyn, the Wales-wide arts festival and arts programme for over 50s.
She will be curating and developing the charity’s Gwanwyn festival for over 50s which runs each May and a year-round arts programme.
The former touring officer with Hijinx Theatre has also previously worked with Brotfabrik arts centre in Berlin, Comic Relief and Cardiff Council. (more…)
Gwanwyn, in partnership with the Older People’s Commissioner, invited schools and youth groups to organise intergenerational projects that enabled young people to exchange stories with their parents and grandparents on what a Saturday night out means (or meant) to them. (more…)
Staff at University Hospital Llandough caring for older people with mental health problems have been getting hands on help from local artists, following support from Age Cymru’s Gwanwyn Festival.
Students from the Cardiff School of Art and Design were asked to submit concepts for a piece of art to help change the hospital environment for older people.
Would you like to review a Gwanwyn supported script A Lifetime on Tiptoes?
A Lifetime on Tiptoes is a play about the Partition of British India 1947. Director, Dominic Rai, who has strong links with Age Cymru’s Gwanwyn festival, has worked with writer and poet Mazhar Tirmazi to produce a script about the human cost of the Partition of British India. (more…)