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CultureStep News December 2023

This December, the CultureStep Panel met to deliberate the applications received for the final meeting of 2023.

Eight investments were confirmed, which will help to strengthen and sustain innovative partnerships between business and the arts. They are:

  • Lighthouse Theatre & Cardiff Harbour Authority (CHA) The partners are working together on the second year of The Tides Are A-Changing, a play that charts the social, marine and industrial history of Tiger Bay, Butetown, Docklands and Cardiff Bay. As well as an increase in the number of performances, Lighthouse Theatre will develop the play in 2024 to highlight the diverse nature of the stories. CultureStep is strengthening the partnership by contributing to the overall project.
  • Mack Events Presents & CJCH Solicitors, Barry Training Services, Forklift Specialists, Finnegans Inn, Gary Watson Motor Company, Ruckleys, RJR BAR Services, ISO Guy Systems, The Rock Shop, Loaded Dice, Truffle Specialist Finance, Bro Radio & Sunkiss Tanning Salon. CJCH Solicitors has supported the GlastonBarry Music Festival for six years. GlastonBarry Juniors will take place on the first day of the 2024 festival with the aim of engaging young people with music. An under-18 bilingual talent competition, Search for a Star, will encourage and promote talented young singers. CultureStep is extending the reach of the partnership by funding 40 free family tickets for those living in economically disadvantaged areas of the local community.
  • National Youth Arts Wales (NYAW) & WSP UK In a new partnership, WSP UK sponsored NYAW to provide a professional platform for young alumni from the National Youth Orchestra of Wales (NYOW), including a performance during the International Mine Water Association conference at ICC Wales. The partners are now developing a pilot rehearsal scheme with the National Music Service of Wales, enabling up to 100 young musicians to benefit from orchestral experience through intensive regional string orchestra workshops. To complement this, CultureStep is funding a Peer Mentoring scheme, giving paid opportunities to current senior NYOW members and recent alumni. This will provide opportunities for the young people to develop their experience by rehearsing with participants and helping to deliver tuition alongside professional NYOW tutors.
  • Urdd Gobaith Cymru & Llaeth y Llan & Royal College of Psychiatrists In a 5th year of partnership, Llaeth y Llan and the Royal College of Psychiatrists are supporting the Urdd to engage 90 school children from English, Welsh and special education schools. Workshops will be delivered to create artworks which will be displayed on the Eisteddfod Maes. The workshops will be recreated at the festival to engage a further 200 children. CultureStep is strengthening the partnership by contributing towards the workshop costs.
  • The Other Room (TOR) & Bad Wolf TV Bad Wolf has partnered The Other Room for four years to support the arts organisation’s talent pool. In 2024, the business is sponsoring the production and staging of Dumpy Biscuit, a play by a debut writer which follows four young women as they navigate their sexual identities in the steel-working town of Port Talbot. CultureStep is extending the partnership by funding community outreach, as well as Touch Tour training for stage management which will enable access for blind, seeing-impaired, or partially sighted audiences and participants.
  • Engage Cymru & CGI Through an A&B Cymru Brokerage, CGI commissioned Engage Cymru to deliver workshops in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Swansea for 80 older people. The project aims to increase the participants’ digital skills while providing opportunities to socialise and connect with others in the community. CultureStep is contributing to the overall project.
  • Anthem & Bizspace Through the in-kind provision of its largest office space and subsidy of all overheads, Bizspace is supporting Anthem to grow a youth music cultural hub, engaging 30+ talented young people from a range of backgrounds and over 100 Bizspace employees. CultureStep is extending the reach of the partnership by funding hub members’ performances, as well as a youth-led webinar to enable an additional 100+ young people to explore inclusivity in the music industry.
  • Rubicon Dance & Rubicon Facilities Management Wales In its first year of partnership, Rubicon Facilities Management Wales supported Rubicon Dance to deliver sessions at St David’s Hospital and Woodcroft Care Home. CultureStep is extending the reach of the partnership by contributing to performances focused on the social issue of the housing crisis, at The Riverfront Theatre & Arts Centre. They will reach an audience of up to 600 people, including children from Primary Schools in Adamsdown, Cardiff.

To date this financial year, CultureStep has invested in 29 partnerships. The recipients confirmed at the previous Panels were:

  • Arts Connection & Wind 2
  • Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias & Les Harpes Camac
  • Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias & Pendine Park Care Organisation
  • Cowbridge Music Festival & Richard H Powell & Partners & Tidy Translations
  • Engage Cymru & Wales & West Housing Association
  • Hijinx & Morgan Quarter & FOR Cardiff
  • Making Sense & RWE Renewals UK Swindon Limited
  • Menter Caerdydd Tafwyl & Cardiff & Vale College
  • Mewn Cymeriad / In Character & The National Library of Wales & Merched y Wawr
  • NoFit State Circus & Cardiff Community Housing Association
  • NoFit State Circus (NFS) & Celsa Steel UK
  • North Wales International Music Festival & Ty Architecture Cyf
  • OPRA Cymru & Magnox & Castell Howell Foods
  • Riverfront Theatre & Arts Centre & Newport Transport
  • Role Plays for Training & Cartrefi Conwy
  • Shelter Cymru & HSBC & IKEA
  • studioMADE Creative & RWE Renewals UK Swindon Limited
  • Tanio & Linc Cymru Housing Association.
  • The Denbigh Workshop & RWE Renewals UK Swindon Limited
  • The Successors of the Mandingue & University of Wales Trinity Saint David
  • Vision Arts & Valero

Arts partners may apply for up to £1 from CultureStep for every £2 invested by the business partner. Find out more CultureStep – Arts & Business Cymru (aandb.cymru)

The next deadline is 1 March 2024. If you are interested in making an application, please get in touch at contactus@aandbcymru.org.uk