2015 Festival

Highlights include:

Wales Millennium Centre

music_with_knitting_needlesA packed day of Gwanwyn activity on Saturday 16 May, encompassing participatory activities throughout the Wales Millennium Centre including parkour, beatboxing and graffiti workshops.

Contemporary composer Jobina Tinnemans is performing Killing Time, originally commissioned for the MATA Festival in New York. The performance includes a chorus of knitters, who knit during the performance using specialised knitting needles to generate soundscapes (inspired by the landscape of Pembrokeshire).

The performance will be accompanied by a workshop that will work with groups of older knitters to create conceptual music using the knitting needle technology. This use of knitting needles in a new, conceptual piece will challenge stereotypes of what is expected and preconceived ideas of what it is to be an older person in Wales.

Aberystwyth Arts Centre

Building on the success of previous events, Aberystwyth will programme a full day of participatory arts and well being activities for older people. The whole centre will be utilised and workshops will include craft, photography, and digital storytelling and drawing. Tours and talks, tying into the centre’s existing programmes, will also be offered to older people as part of the day’s events.

Galeri, Caernarfon

Gwanwyn continues to support the development of CAIN, an older peoples dance group led by Welsh choreographer Cai Tomos. Tying into Galeri’s 10th birthday celebrations, CAIN is developing new work, including a piece with Cai and a member of CAIN who is blind. Mari Emlyn, Galeri’s Artistic Director, explains ‘it is one of the most moving pieces of choreography I have seen’.

The work will be presented as part of TONIC public sharing session on 14 May.

My Turn

Working in partnership with Valley and Vale Community Arts, My Turn aims to engage older people who feel marginalised or otherwise unable to join in with existing provision. Using person centred development techniques, Valley and Vale will take a group of older people and introduce them to a range of participatory arts activity. Gwanwyn has a responsibility to work with all older people in Wales, not just those who are confident enough to join in. The aim of My Turn is for participants to feel enabled to access further arts provision in the future.

Attitude Festival

attitude_350This day long festival in Merthyr Tydfil on Saturday 9 May showcases the work of older artists through a range of performances, master classes and workshops. It celebrates the work of arts professionals who continue to push at the boundaries through the creation of new work. Attitude is less about age than it is about the enduring power of the creative impulse, highlighting the practice of artists who share a belief that their best work is yet to come, and who are constantly honing their work and taking it new directions.

Peggy Seeger is headlining a packed programme of events

Gwanwyn are presenting this event in partnership with Head 4 Arts, Merthyr Tydfil Arts Development Team, Theatr Soar and the Red House.

Men’s Sheds

pimp-my-uke-smlThe Men’s Shed project is inspired by the typical man’s shed in the garden – a place where he can feel at home, be independent and get on with practical interests. A Men’s Shed offers a larger version of this to a group of men who share the tools and resources they need to work on things of their own choosing and at their own pace. They share skills and informally learn from each other, whether working on individual pursuits or community projects. A place of leisure where men come together to work.

Men’s Sheds are rapidly growing across Wales, and Gwanwyn is working with them on a project called #Pimp My Uke

Sheds will be given kits to build their own ukuleles and work with musicians to learn how to play their pimped up ukes. All ukes will be judged at a sharing event in Cardiff in September 2015.

Forget Me Not Chorus

The Forget Me Not Chorus is a Cardiff-based charity that supports people with dementia and their families with weekly singing and creative workshops. Gwanwyn is working with them on their new season’s work, which celebrates food, and will enable a performance to be presented at Caerphilly Castle.

The Forget Me Not Chorus have recently collaborated with Welsh National Opera on Demenstoria. The choir’s musical director, Kate Woolveridge, was recently nominated for ‘inspirational woman of the year’ on ITV’s Lorraine.

Head to the events page for more details.