2 February 2015back

Creative Partnerships

CultureStep funding encourages creative partnerships across Wales in 2015

A programme of far reaching creative workshops will be delivered to disadvantaged groups across West Wales this spring, thanks to a partnership between the VC Gallery, Valero and Arts & Business (A&B) Cymru.

The new initiative will work with military veterans in Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion, particularly sufferers of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), using the arts to combat social exclusion and help individuals to regain confidence. The scheme will also engage other groups, including disadvantaged children, young carers, mental health groups and adults with disabilities.

The 14-week-long project will focus on combining art and the environment, and will culminate in an exhibition of participants’ work across Pembrokeshire and beyond.


The VC Gallery & Valero Energy Ltd

The innovative project is just one of the diverse partnerships across Wales that have recently benefited from the support of A&B Cymru’s CultureStep programme. Others include:

• Glass Artist Rhian Haf & Phoenix Optical Technologies. CultureStep is funding an outreach project for children and older people in Denbighshire, providing them with the opportunity to understand and use glass in a creative way. Following 10 days of workshops and 2 site visits to the Pheonix factory, the resulting work will be exhibited at Rhyl Library.

• Ruthin Craft Centre & Jones Bros. CultureStep is contributing to the costs for a series of workshops for local children at the centre that will educate them about the importance of their environment.

• Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and Valero. A programme of drama workshops delivered by the college’s Young Actors Studio in Pembrokeshire to disadvantaged schools in West Wales. The project will also enable five means tested bursaries for the Young Actors Studio and the creation of a short film by the pupils.

CultureStep is one of the charity’s most successful initiatives. It exists to encourage new sponsorship into the arts and develop existing support by providing additional investment to strengthen and sustain partnerships. CultureStep projects focus on those that engage disadvantaged young and older people, demonstrate commitment to environmental issues, or aid health and wellbeing.

CultureStep was originally established in 2008 with funding from the Welsh Government and Arts Council of Wales. Due to funding cuts, the scheme was suspended for a year in 2013, but thanks to support from the Moondance Foundation and Jane Hodge Foundation, a new, revised version of the scheme was launched in May 2014.

Since 2008, CultureStep has invested more than £280,000 in 93 business-arts partnerships, levering more than £1.7 million from businesses directly to the arts, a ratio of more than £5 to every £1 of CultureStep funding.

The next CultureStep applications will be considered at a panel meeting on 26 February. For further information about the programme please click here.

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Arts & Business Cymru says...

“We are extremely proud of the meaningful and far-reaching projects that CultureStep has enabled across Wales; projects which have real impact for the communities they take place in. The scheme also provides a tangible way of sustaining and strengthening partnerships between business and the arts, allowing them to truly flourish.

“Since CultureStep was relaunched last May, almost 2,000 disadvantaged older people and 7,000 socially excluded younger people have been engaged with the arts across Wales. These facts alone prove the relevance and value of the scheme and I am truly grateful to the Moondance Foundation and the Jane Hodge Foundation. Without their vision and support, none of this creativity would be possible.

“The projects highlighted demonstrate the variety of projects that CultureStep supports, and clearly show the tangible benefits for individuals and communities when A&B Cymru, businesses and arts organisations come together.

“I am delighted at what CultureStep has already achieved and look forward to reaching out to even more people, in even more ways in the coming months.”

Rachel Jones, Chief Executive, A&B Cymru