We were delighted to introduce our first cohort of Creative Associates last month. This dynamic group of eight artists and creative practitioners join our team at a crucial stage in our story.
Over the coming months, we'll be getting to know each associate a little better with a Q&A. This week, meet Tumi Williams...
TELL US ABOUT YOUR CREATIVE PRACTICE. WHAT KIND OF WORK DO YOU MAKE AND WHAT MOTIVATES YOU?
My main art form is music, making my own music in the genres of hip-hop, Afro-funk, and jazz. I’ve been part of the scene in Cardiff for nearly 12 years. Aside from performing, I’ve worked as an event promoter, organising gigs and tours for a wide range of acts – from brass bands to DJs, both home grown and from abroad – but more recently I’ve represented various acts across the city as an agent.
I’m also a part-time chef; during lockdown I started my street food business ‘Jollof House Party’ which serves vegan Nigerian food.
I first came to Cardiff to study fine art at university, with a particular interest in graffiti. I really enjoy being able to tie my various creative strands together as a creative practitioner for the Arts Council for Wales, working with young people in schools on art, music and drama projects.
I make my work in order to share my journey, and encourage us all to support each other. I’m just a human being like everyone else, and if there’s just one person out there who can relate to whatever I’m putting out there then happy days!
WHY DID YOU WANT TO JOIN US AS A CREATIVE ASSOCIATE?
I’ve worked in and around the Centre in various ways for about ten years, such as the contemporary urban choir project Hard-Cor, Radio Platfform, Festival of Voice, and more recently as one of the trustees at Tŷ Cerdd. My love for the arts and getting involved in the different projects that happen here really attracted me to the role. I heard about the positive changes happening here, and I really wanted to be a part of that.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO GET FROM THE NEXT TWO YEARS WORKING WITH US AT WALES MILLENNIUM CENTRE?
I’m hoping to continue making work that reflects our struggles as people of colour in Wales but also celebrates our differences. I’m also keen to bring my food knowledge to work with vendors at the Teras street food area.
Over the journey I’m hoping to engage with as many youngsters as possible, passing on the torch and inspiring them to explore their own creativity.
THE LAST 18 MONTHS HAVE BEEN DIFFICULT, BUT WHAT ARE THE POSITIVES THAT HAVE COME OUT OF THIS PERIOD FOR YOU, AND WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES FOR THE FUTURE?
Lockdown gave me the opportunity to think about what’s important to me. On a personal level, we welcomed our first child in January and as a creator, I wanted to make sure that my child was coming into a world that was more habitable for them. That has driven me to start my street food business Jollof House Party to create a more comfortable environment for my family.
Due to the way we’re all working at the moment, I’ve been able to link up with so many different organisations and collaborate further afield as an artist. I’ve also worked with three schools through the Arts Council as a Creative Practitioner and I hope to continue.