Wales’ unique fund that supports reviewing and mentoring of critics in Wales is to be run down following the closure of the Wales Theatre Awards.
The Wales Critics Fund enables critics to attend performance of ballet, opera, contemporary dance, Welsh and English theatre and performances for children and young people by providing travel, subsistence and accommodation costs.
The Fund also supports mentoring of young critics in schools and colleges and provides a safe space platform for their work and the work of other new reviewers or reviewers covering new genres at wereviewedthis.co.uk.
It has also enabled reviewing from diverse backgrounds, people who are not normally supported to be enabled to give their voice.
The Fund is administered voluntary with all funds spent on supporting the critics. It is supported by some of Wales’ arts organisations, individuals and increasingly the proceeds of the annual Wales Theatre Awards. Without the contribution generated by the Wales Theatre Awards each year the Fund cannot continue as it has no other guaranteed income. All other funding is voluntary.
Fund organiser Mike Smith said, “This unique fund has supported critics right across our nation, working in Welsh and in English. It has enabled well over 1,000 reviews to appear in publications and online sites ranging from our national newspaper, regional evening newspapers, magazines, community and youth publications and individual blogs and websites.
“I would personally like to thank the many arts organisations, individual artists and audience members who have enabled the work of the Fund and the critics throughout our nation who have taken up our encouragement to get out there and review shows from those created by our national and touring companies to individual artists. It has also enabled exposure to visiting performance and supported coverage of our artists outside Wales, including the Edinburgh Fringe.
“Such work is crucial for the health of a modern, creative and inclusive nation that rejects exclusivity, the view that the arts and arts criticism is the preserve of a small, privileged group that is often reliant on public funding, that should be used for the creation of performance in Wales.”
It is expected the Fund will close in early 2019.
Image: Arad Goch’s show for young people, Hudo. One of the many shows reviewed with the support of Wales Critics Fund.