The Arts In Merthyr Tydfil
Local Authority Arts Strategy Mission Statement
The Arts in Merthyr Tydfil will be central to sustainable community development and creative regeneration in the County Borough, seeking to make the arts accessible and understandable to the people of the area, being both active and proactive throughout the County Borough and in doing so will complement the County Borough Council’s Vision and Aims, particularly in the fields of Leisure, Lifelong Learning and Economic Regeneration.
Current Provision in Merthyr Tydfil
The Arts Division comprises one full-time post – Arts Development Officer funded directly through Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council. Arts and cultural activities in Merthyr Tydfil have been given impetus by the formation of the Arts, Culture and Media Forum, which acts as a vehicle to exchange ideas among arts, culture and media practitioners and key stakeholders from a variety of different backgrounds. The Tydfil Festival is the major focus of the arts calendar. Held every October/November, this event has been running since 1997 and has formed the focus of the work of the Arts Division for a number of years.
A number of local groups have become important partners in delivering projects, and promoting the arts in Merthyr Tydfil, including: M Theatre at Merthyr Tydfil College, Glamorgan Gate, Canolfan a Menter Cymraeg, Yo! Maz, the Merthyr Tydfil Youth Music Action Zone and many more. There are also various community and education groups that run sessions and workshops.
The Arts Division organise various literature initiatives, using local authors, including the Merthyr Tydfil Short Stories book, initiated in spring 2006 with “All Roads Lead to Merthyr”, envisaged as an annual project. A monthly Open Mic Poetry evening began in July 2006, using professional invited authors, together with the opportunity for local authors to read their own work. Academi help to fund the Open Mic Nights and quarterly workshops for the Exciting Writing Squad and Ysgwad Sgwennu Cyffrous, young writers’ groups.
One of the more high-profile challenges for the arts in Merthyr Tydfil, is the issue of a purpose-built Arts Centre. There are a number of alternative performance venues throughout the borough, but these venues either have limited capacity or were designed with sport, rather than acoustics in mind. There is also a limited amount of available exhibition space.