CultureStep Investments 2020-21

Arts & Diversity 

Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama (RWCMD) & Drama & Bad Wolf

Since 2018, Bad Wolf has supported a range of activities at RWCMD and its commitment to ensure an inclusive and diverse creative workforce endures.  As part of this year’s sponsorship, Bad Wolf is funding a Diversity Scholarship which will support a talented student from an underrepresented group in any of the college’s Production Arts courses.

CultureStep will enable two further Diversity Scholarships. The initiative will help enhance the diversity of those entering the industry and remove barriers to preventing talented individuals from diverse backgrounds accessing the College’s training programmes.

The Other Room (TOR)  & Bad Wolf

Bad Wolf has sponsored a new initiative, the TOR Emerging Writers Scheme, which provides professional development opportunities to 14 artists. The participants, each of whom has a connection to Wales, are benefitting from eight workshops with industry experts, as well as comprehensive feedback from their peer group and the TOR team. The programme will result in 14 new scripts, which can be used by TOR, Bad Wolf and the artists themselves.

CultureStep is contributing to the costs of a freelance filmmaker, who will document and share the rehearsed readings, increasing the profile and reach of the project.

Arts & Diversity, Arts & the Environment, Arts & Health & Wellbeing, Arts & Kids, Arts & Older People

Lighthouse Theatre & Cardiff Harbour Authority (CHA)

CHA is sponsoring Lighthouse Theatre to produce three immersive experiences that share the history and development of Cardiff Bay and Flat Holm. Up to 10 freelancers will create performance-based walking and cycling tours, and a condensed version for community venues and retirement homes.

The work will span the Stone Age to the present day, making use of research and interviews to create a digital archive, scripts and tour routes. From the Spring, 12 live performances will engage up to 350 participants, as well as a substantial online audience. CultureStep will support the project as a whole.

 Arts & Diversity, Arts & Health & Wellbeing

Hijinx Theatre & Cardiff & Vale Health Charity (CVHC)

CVHC sponsored Hijinx Theatre’s inclusive house band, Vaguely Artistic, to create and film a Christmas charity single. Four creative professionals supported 20 community participants, 10 lyric writing members and 10 band members to devise the piece over four weeks. Learning disabled, neurodivergent and non-disabled people collaborated on the project, which featured in Hijinx’s 12 Days of PAWB online community festival. CultureStep contributed to film production and marketing.

Arts & Diversity, Arts & Health & Wellbeing, Arts & Kids, Arts & Older People

Cowbridge Music Festival (CMF) & Richard H Powell & Partners

Richard H Powell & Partners, IQE and Tidy Translations are supporting CMF 2021 and its outreach programme.

CultureStep will fund the delivery of percussion workshops and concerts to 600 primary school pupils in deprived areas of Barry, Bridgend and the Valleys. CMF will work in collaboration with WNO, Children’s Musical Adventures and RWCMD students to offer a vibrant, hands-on, educational experience for the children. CultureStep will also fund a class from one of the schools to perform at the festival’s Family Concert. Finally, CultureStep will support concerts at seven care homes across the same disadvantaged areas, reaching 200 elderly residents during this isolating time.

Arts & Diversity, Arts & Health & Wellbeing, Arts & Kids, Arts & Tackling Poverty

Menter Caerdydd & Orchard Media

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 Tafwyl Festival was quickly reimagined as a unique virtual event. With support from established partner, Orchard Media, Menter delivered an ambitious and creative programme of digital events in June 2020. Music literature, arts workshops and children’s activities were broadcasted live from Cardiff Castle. Events were streamed on the AM online platform and made available across social media channels. Tafwyl expanded its reach across Wales and beyond.

CultureStep funding contributed to a comprehensive marketing strategy in the run up to the festival and helped to ensure that Tafwyl’s website and server were fit for purpose, particularly in terms of live streaming of events.

Menter Caerdydd, Orchard Media & Clwb Ifor Bach

Orchard Media is supporting Menter Caerdydd to deliver its 2021 Tafwyl festival as a wholly digital event. This approach was trialled successfully by the partners in 2020 as a live-stream from Cardiff Castle which reached a global audience of 25,000 people. This year, Tafwyl will culminate in a digital performance by up to 100 pupils from local Welsh-medium schools.

CultureStep is funding two professional performers from the Welsh of the West End ensemble to mentor the young participants. The high-profile figures will help to shape the repertoire and refine the performance via an online platform. Orchard will broadcast the final piece during Tafwyl, share it with schools and put it onto the AM platform after the event.                                                                                                

Arts & Employees, Arts & Health & Wellbeing

Act Now Creative Training & Valero

For the past decade, Valero has sponsored Act Now to deliver innovative employee development programmes. Recently, the business commissioned Ignite, a new initiative to enhance the team-working skills, confidence and communication of 10 apprentices. The five-module plan incorporates a range of arts-based training techniques to support the personal and professional development of participants.

CultureStep will help Act Now and Valero extend Ignite to 10 students at the RWCMD. The business will deliver its sessions free of charge and CultureStep will fund the Act Now sessions, as well as making a contribution to the project evaluation costs.

Hijinx & Cardiff School of Pharmacy (CSP)

CSP is sponsoring Hijinx to deliver a day of forum theatre workshops for its Year 2 students. The project builds on two successful sessions carried out at the start of 2020. One learning disabled / neurodivergent actor will perform alongside a neurotypical actor, demonstrating examples of poor communication with vulnerable people. The students will be given an opportunity to explore more effective ways of engaging with patients in a community pharmacy setting. CultureStep would extend the project to Year 4 students, funding two days of role play workshops with a further three Hijinx actors. The project supports personal and professional development, as well as raising the profile of Hijinx Theatre’s inclusive training work.

Role Plays for Training (RPFT) & Jones Bros

A&B Cymru brokered a new partnership between RPFT and Jones Bros Ruthin. RPFT will deliver a bespoke arts-based training programme for the 25 construction site managers at Jones Bros. Using drama techniques, two actor/facilitators will enhance the communication and interpersonal skills of the participants, increasing their confidence. The training will be delivered over three days to three small groups.

CultureStep would add a third actor/facilitator to each group and fund an online follow-up session with all participants. As such, the training would be more in-depth and fully embedded.

Arts & Employees, Arts & Health & Wellbeing, Arts & Older People

National Dance Company Wales & Western Power Distribution (WPD)

WPD is continuing its sponsorship of NDCWales’ Dance for Parkinsons in a new digital format for 2021. The adapted online delivery model will reach an increased number of WPD priority areas, offering a safe, sociable space for people living with Parkinson’s to creatively explore their movement capabilities and make friends. For WPD, the partnership provides pro-active promotion of the Priority Services Register, as well as opportunities for staff development through a newly devised volunteer initiative.

CultureStep will contribute to the fees of the dance artist and musicians.

Arts & Health & Wellbeing, Arts & Kids

The Aloud Charity & Cazbah ltd.

Like many organisations, The Aloud Charity has had to find new, inventive ways to continue its work during the past year.  Although the delivery of weekly online rehearsals for the 13 OBA choirs has been successful, Aloud is keen to enhance the experience for all involved. With the support of Cazbah and its business partners, the charity is launching a new, bilingual, online platform which will enhance the rehearsal experience, improve accessibility for participants with additional needs and enable increased outreach to rural communities. Through eventbocs, all 200 OBA members will have the ability to join rehearsals and access tutorials, guides and information from one secure platform.

Support from CultureStep will fund an annual subscription of ‘Class Manager’ software, deliver staff training and support the digitalisation of files and videos.

Oriel Colwyn & Cartrefi Conwy

Cartrefi Conwy is sponsoring Oriel Colwyn to deliver a photography project with local people. The community initiative coincides with the filming of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! in Abergele.

CultureStep will fund additional photography and storytelling activities with older residents. Up to 10 tenants will spend time with two photographers and a storyteller, sharing their favourite items and memories for inclusion in a brochure. The finished product will be shared with participants and their families in order to create a legacy for the project.

Arts & Health & Wellbeing, Arts & Kids, Arts & Older People

Theatr Clwyd & Lyan Packaging

Lyan Packaging is continuing its sponsorship of Fuse, Theatr Clwyd’s workshops for young people with additional needs, as well as supporting Arts from the Armchair for people living with early onset dementia and memory loss. This year, the business’ support has enabled guest artists to visit the Fuse workshops and the creation of Wellbeing packs for 50 carers.

CultureStep will fund two Creative Writing Workshops for parents of Fuse participants and six workshops for 25 carers of those with memory loss. The relaxed group sessions, supported by a creative writer, will help the recipients to therapeutically record their experiences, access a support network and reduce feelings of isolation during this difficult time.

Arts & Health & Wellbeing, Arts & Kids, Arts & Tackling Poverty

Catrin Williams & Cartrefi Conwy

Cartrefi Conwy is sponsoring Catrin Williams to coordinate arts workshops for the children of working families who live in poverty. Up to 20 young people from the Peulwys Estate, Llandudno, Rhos on Sea and/or Mochdre will take part in drawing and painting activities over eight full days or 11 half days. The workshops will help the participants to explore themes of identity, belonging, community and aspirations. They will culminate in an exhibition or a film or e-book, and the artworks themselves will be shared on clothing and accessories. CultureStep will contribute to planning sessions and materials costs.

Arts & Kids

Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama (RWCMD) & Valero

Valero has a long-standing partnership with RWCMD, providing bursaries for disadvantaged young people to access the Young Actors Studio (YAS) in Pembrokeshire. The initiative supports the creative and personal development of participants in West Wales.

CultureStep will extend the partnership by funding creative writing workshops in local secondary schools. Over the course of 12 days, a minimum of 120 students from schools in Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion will create short monologues that explore the theme Where I’m From. The best of these will be featured in a short film alongside monologues from 20 current YAS students.

CultureStep will also fund two bursaries for new students to attend the weekly YAS sessions in West Wales.

Theatr na nÓg, Cardiff Harbour Authority & Port of Milford Haven

Having had to cancel the in-person Just Jump project planned for June 2020, the theatre company created a digital, bilingual version of the play, which conveys the dangers of tombstoning and swimming around busy shipping areas. The revised script included the perspective of a doctor on a Covid-19 ward. Pupils were invited to send in questions for the actors and designer to answer.

This virtual solution had a broad reach and a direct impact, engaging schoolchildren and warning against antisocial behaviour as lockdown eases. CultureStep funded script edits, translation and the director’s time.