Wales Millennium Centre has announced its first cohort of eight Creative Associates.
More than 270 people applied for these newly created posts, working with WMC on two-year contracts. The Centre said the the successful candidates come from a rich and eclectic mix of creative backgrounds from across the creative industries – from performance and music to storytelling and filmmaking.
The Centre said these roles are part of a new proposal for WMC to build a new normal, with artists and communities at its heart. WMC said that it is, in part, a response to discussions with artists and freelancers throughout 2020 and the wider conversation happening across the sector about how building an arts sector that it regards a being is fairer, more adventurous and inclusive.
There had been pressure put on arts organisations and venues in Wales that are reliant on funding from Welsh Government, including through the Arts Council, to boost their representation of certain groups. This and other socialpolitical schemes have followed. It has also led to the closure of some arts schemes that stated they were not willing to compromise their artistic independence when put under similar pressure.
Speaking about the Creative Artists scheme WMC’s artistic director Graeme Farrow said, “This is a hugely exciting and important chapter for us – especially as it comes during a very challenging time for the arts sector. Artist and venues must do the often invisible and slow work together to develop, reimagine and change. I can’t wait to work with and learn from these 8 amazing artists who are not just hired to produce work, but to be and become with us. They will have time and space to focus on their own practice and will inform our practice”.
Tafsila Khan is a blind emerging theatre director with accessibility at the core of her work.
Tumi Williams is a multidisciplinary visual artist and emerging educator.
Jo Fong is an artist, and her creative work reflects the need in these times for people to come together.
Nerida Bradley Nerida is a freelance theatre director, maker and facilitator with an interest in how arts can be used as a tool for connection and wellbeing.
Ruslan Pilyarov is a driven digital storyteller using film, art and 360 ° virtual technology.
Ndidi John is a multidisciplinary artist and wellbeing practitioner, who combines her skills to create a holistic approach to wellbeing and communication.
Jaffrin Khan – a Welsh Bangladeshi writer and visual artist who writes and performs poetry as a form of activism.
Sita Thomas – multidisciplinary artist and director.
WMC said that the first cohort represents the beginning of a long-term commitment from the Centre with a new group of associates announced every two years.
WMC is best known as Cardiff’s venue for musicals and is home to Welsh National Opera which performs at the Centre several weeks each year before touring mainly in England ,and some small arts organisations. BBC Wales’ concert and recording facility Hoddinott Hall and the Urdd is also part of the Centre.