Understanding World War One

On Tuesday 10th November, Head4Arts was delighted to take part in an event at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay. The event was hosted by the Heritage Lottery Fund in Wales and was designed to showcase projects that have received support through the First World War Then and Now grant progamme.

Two young people who took part in the World War One: A Valleys View project in Torfaen accompanied the Head4Arts team at the event to present To My Dear Mother, an animated film that they helped to create. The film tells the story of a Welsh soldier who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his gallant work.

The young people had an opportunity to share their experiences with a number of guests at the event, including other grant recipients, Assembly Members and Heritage Lottery staff. The photograph opposite shows the young people meeting Sir Peter Luff (Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund) and Richard Bellamy (Head of Heritage Lottery Fund in Wales).

Kailynn, one of the young people who attended, described the event in a recent blog post, explaining that:
“It was very nerve racking to get up on the stage in front of such important people… but it was such a brilliant feeling when others watched the film and commented on how good it was. I felt so proud of what we had achieved and would not hesitate to be involved with another project”

It was a pleasure for the Head4Arts team to accompany the young people at the event, they did a fantastic job of representing the project and talking about the things they enjoyed about it.
The event was very useful as it highlighted the range of innovative projects taking place across Wales to mark the centenary of the First World War. We would like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund for inviting us along.

World War One: A Valleys View is the first of a series of arts and heritage projects that Head4Arts plans to deliver over the next few years to explore World War One history.

The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Ukulele!

In 2013, Head4Arts worked in partnership with Ebbw Fach Communities First to offer a series of ukulele taster sessions as part of the Menu for Life programme. Due to the popularity of this activity, the sessions have continued to run and are attended by 15 community members each week.

Over the past two years, with the help of tutors Brian and Lynsey, participants have been able to hone their musical skills and have developed the confidence to perform as a group. The sessions also offer a great opportunity for members to meet with like-minded people, develop a support network and, most importantly, have fun.

Highlights for the group so far have included recording a CD and performing at a range of community events. They have even starred in their own mini documentary – click here to find out more.

Following a well-earned summer break, the group will reconvene in September and are looking forward to their next musical challenge.

If you are interested in joining this group or finding out more information please contact our Communities First partners on 01495 291765.


Head4Arts worked in collaboration with the team at The Incidental to introduce ShedVox at Tai Fest, Tai Calon’s annual tenant fun day.

What is ShedVox?

From the outside, ShedVox is a standard garden shed but when visitors step inside they enter an interactive audio installation that records their voice and transforms it in to a music track.

Over 100 people sang, screamed, whispered and clapped into the ShedVox microphone at Tai Fest and were able to hear these sounds instantly remixed into a piece of music. We were even visited by some superhero’s who wanted to give ShedVox a go….

This playful, participatory activity was used to raise awareness of the Arts & Minds project which is funded by Arts Council Wales as part of the Ideas: People : Place programme. This three-year project is designed to embed arts and creativity into the regeneration and design process. Arts & Minds will be delivered across Blaenau Gwent by an innovative partnership between Tai Calon, Head4Arts and Aneurin Leisure.

More details on this exciting project will be released shortly – keep an eye on the website for further information.

World War One: A Valleys View

Over the past few weeks we have celebrated the achievements of people who took part in the World War One: A Valleys View project at a series of community events.

During these events the digital stories and animations created during the project were shown for the first time. The events were attended by 725 people and were held in Big Pit, Redhouse Cymru, the Winding House and Abertillery Comprehensive School.

“World War One: A Valleys View” is a Head4Arts project, supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund. During the project, with help from Breaking Barriers Community Arts and Gritty Realism Productions, Head4Arts worked with 379 people from across the South East Wales Valleys to create a series of films that combine personal narrative and oral history with contemporary interpretations of World War One heritage.

We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who took part in this project and generously shared their stories, thoughts and ideas with us. These contributions have led to the creation of an insightful, moving and fascinating collection of films that will help to preserve the memories and heritage of those who lived through the war. We hope that, through presenting heritage in an engaging and accessible format, the films will help more people to learn about this important period of history.

The films produced are available to view online through People’s Collection Wales, History Pin and on the Past Projects section of this website. They will also be shown at the Urdd Eisteddfod in Llanciach Fawr and will be incorporated into the Winding House’s Our Duty to bear exhibition.

The Summer of the Van / Tent

The Head4Arts van has undergone a transformation this summer, allowing it to play a role in the Arts & Minds project that we are delivering in partnership with Tai Calon.

As part of the project, which has received funding through the Arts Council of Wales Ideas, People and Places initiative, the van has been decorated in the style of a magical eastern pavilion and has been used to spark imaginations in communities across Blaenau Gwent. In its new guise the van has been used as a mobile arts space, hosting a variety of activities including song writing, digital storytelling and visual arts.

Instead of using a building as a base for activity, the use of the van has enabled us to reach the heart of communities and allowed us to create a neutral space where people feel at home – in fact some people chilled out in the tent with us for the entire day!

All of the creative activities delivered were designed to consult communities about their local area, the responses collected will be used to inform environmental improvement plans for each of the areas visited.

Alongside workshops taking place in the “van tent”, The Arts & Minds project also included a range of innovative community arts activities, such as ….

Painting steps as a creative provocation

Connecting with the natural environment through the creation of environmental art

Catching views on the local area in our arts net

Reclaiming space through the creation of a community gallery

For more information on this project and related activities please get in touch.