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A look ahead

Monday 21st December

We are rapidly approaching that time of year when we naturally cast our minds back and evaluate the year. Its been a busy one, despite having been closed since March. At the moment, there’s no clear sign when that might change but we are hopeful that sooner rather than later we will be able to welcome audiences back to Taliesin.

In the meantime, we’ve been working on all kinds of projects that respond in shape and tone to the strange times we are living through. Since, I arrived at Taliesin, I’ve been keen to develop different ways to involve others in the work we do, collaborating with artists and groups to find something new that none of us could have predicted. It’s taken an interesting path with plenty of false starts and setbacks as we continue to live through this health emergency, but there have also been lots of brilliant discoveries. This work has been about conversation, listening to what is important to others and thinking about how we can work with them on things that we both find mutually important. For instance, we’ve been working on a new mini-film series through the Changemakers Festival [City of Sanctuary project (taliesinartscentre.co.uk) ] to be screened when we are permitted to reopen.

We’ve been discussing with a group of independent artists in ‘Let’s start from here’, the importance of trust building, of transparency from large organisations and institutions and the need to be present whilst keeping an eye on the future. This will be feeding into our future planning in a big way and we look forward to sharing updates with you about that when the time is right. You can see who the members are of Let’s Start from Here, here:

[ Let''s Start from Here (taliesinartscentre.co.uk) ]

And, there will be opportunities to join some of the discussion via a new project called ‘New Futures’ between Taliesin staff and artist Owen Griffiths which will work with communities and groups to look at how art centres are working with communities in a post-Covid world and how Taliesin can enable a new kind of program of work to take shape locally.

[ New Futures / Dyfodolau Newydd (taliesinartscentre.co.uk) ]

I’m always keen to meet with artists to hear about their work and discuss what we are doing and want to make this easier to set up. In the new year we’ll be announcing ways for people to book meetings with members of the team to have a conversation and share our work with each other. It will be easy to book a time and the agenda is open; you can ask for advice, use us as a sounding board, tell us about the work you usually do or tell us about work you want to do in the future.

More to come on that, but in the meantime, regardless of whether you will be celebrating later this month, we’d like to wish you a peaceful and restorative end to the year. We’re all hoping for bigger and brighter 2021.

Simon Coates

Head of Cultural Services

Taliesin Arts Centre , Swansea University