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The Eisteddfod: a hub and hearth for the nation

We often discuss at board meetings how Wales Millennium Centre can become a hub and hearth for the nation, inspiring and impressing Wales and the World. Last week showed how that can be achieved.

The Donald Gordon, Weston Theatre, Glanfa foyer, Roald Dahl Plass, the surrounding buildings and the Bay itself, all gave the perfect platform for the creative energy that exists in Wales to project itself on thousands of visitors and participants.

The artistic programme was breath taking in scope and standard and we can all be immensely proud. On a very local, national and international level it was a true celebration of how the arts can bring people together.

We heard and saw creative talent from Tylorstown to Tregarth, from Maenclochog and Maesteg to Machynlleth and Maentwrog – in a word, from all corners of Wales and beyond.

We learnt about science, law, history; we debated politics and discussed literature; we heard the voices of the LGBT community in Wales.

We celebrated the artistic work of refugees in Wales; we enjoyed Carnifal y Môr and all manner of music from Folk to Reggae, from Cerdd Dant to Cantatas and meshed Rock and Baroque as Handel met Jarman in new arrangements that sold out the DG.

We were mesmerised by the tiniest under twelve singer to the great Bryn Terfel.

We honoured poets and novelists, visual artists and composers, community volunteers and sportsmen and women and particularly enjoyed having Geraint Thomas’ company, complete with dragon flags and yellow shirts.

We saw theatre that provoked the mind, and then we danced the night away to a Sîn Roc Gymreig that seems to be growing exponentially.

All of this under the direction of Huw Stephens, Radio 1, as Honorary President, and Ashok Ahir as Chairman and an amazing smiling sun.

Mererid Hopwood