Creative Learning Producer Alan Humphreys on Powerful Interventions, an exciting youth-led commission that took place during Festival of Voice 2021.
Throughout Festival of Voice 2021, a series of creative interventions exploring the concept of 'power' took over Wales Millennium Centre.
These were thought-provoking pop-ups encompassing a rich medley of artistic practice including live performance, installation, visual art, projection, film, spoken word, audio drama and written prose – all devised, created and performed by young people and youth arts workers of Sparc Valleys Kids, our partner based in the Valleys, through our Together Stronger partnership.
The project was led by artist Bethan Marlow. Bethan worked with the groups from 2018 and joined weekly sessions – in person and online – to collaborate with the youth arts workers and young people to develop pieces for the festival.
The work amplified the voices of young people from the Valleys and Cardiff from a range of backgrounds, including disabled, neurodiverse, care-experienced, LGBTQ+ and Black, Asian and ethnically diverse.
This was not a straightforward process and as you can imagine, Covid had an impact on planning and developing the production.
But while sessions moved online and the final production had to be delayed by a year, it allowed for deeper thinking and more meaningful development.
Looking back now, it’s hard to imagine how this work would've been presented if we didn’t have the additional year.
We continue to work with Sparc Valleys Kids to support and develop the young people we work with, providing different creative opportunities and champion their journeys and careers.
As an example, Hannah (who you’ll see in the film) has met with major arts organisations in Wales and the UK, continues to write and perform, and is now the Network/Participation Lead on the Make It! Project, which we are also partnering on.
The productions at Festival of Voice were a huge success and as you can see in this film, had an enormous impact on the young people involved.
Those four days in November came and went in a flash, so it’s important to stress that the young people continue to attend their youth theatres and clubs, looking at how they can develop and build upon the work they created.
All of this didn’t end at Festival of Voice; in some ways it was just the beginning, because this is what long-term embedded work looks like.
Alan Humphreys, Creative Learning Producer
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