Faced with the temporary closure of the theatre and the cancellation of its annual pantomime, Blackwood Miners’ Institute turned to community arts organisation, Head4Arts to come up with a novel solution – a DIY Panto Kit, as an offering to some local families who missed their usual Christmas treat in 2020.
Ever since lockdown, Head4Arts has been busy working with a team of freelance artists to deliver nearly 3,000 Doorstep Craft packs to support households struggling with lockdown. For this latest challenge they commissioned artist Cindy Ward, to design a pack containing everything needed to construct a mini-theatre, complete with a cast of popular pantomime characters and materials for costumes.
Head4Arts Creative Director Kate Strudwick said, “Our aim is to inspire people to be really creative in writing and performing their own pantomime. We hope there will be dressing up, cheesy jokes and lots of festive fun for all the family, so it will be in keeping with the spirit of panto – even if they couldn’t attend one last year”.
Marina Newth, Caerphilly Council’s Theatre and Arts Services Manager added, “This is a great example of a partnership project, working together to find an inventive way of demonstrating our commitment to connecting with communities during this difficult period. We are all looking forward to opening our doors to the public again this year and hopefully 2021 will see us back in full panto mode. Oh yes it will!”
The limited edition DIY Panto Kits are being distributed to some lucky households in the County Borough via Caerphilly Parent Network; there will a prize of a family ticket to the next live panto for the best video we receive of a home-made performance.
To celebrate World Mental Health Day 2020, yesterday we hosted a free poetry session with Francesca Kay as part of Cwm Taf Morgannwg’s Third Sector Mental Health Forum’s The Big Zoom event. The session celebrated kindness and saw participants discuss what kindness meant to them, resulting in a collaborative poem being written on the topic. We loved the poem so much, we thought we’d share it with you.
On Thursday 8th October, as part of Cwm Taf Morgannwg Third Sector Mental Health Forum’s The Big Zoom celebrating World Mental Health Day 2020, we are putting a free poetry session with poet Francesca Kay.
The session, between 14:30 and 16:00, will focus on writing a group poem in celebration of kindness. In these difficult times it is important to spread a little bit of positivity and warmth, so grab a pen and paper and we’ll see you there.
We have a new team member that we’d like to introduce….
Finley Neilens is Head4Arts’ new Community Arts Intern. He is a recent graduate from Cardiff Metropolitan University School of Art and Design’s BA Graphic Communication course.
During his degree, Finley got really passionate about how art and design could be a catalyst for social change and have a positive impact on people.
With less than two weeks into his internship, Finley is already involved in a load of different things, ranging from graphic design and social media marketing to helping run a choir session. Notably, he’s spending a lot of time working on promoting the upcoming Cwtsh Festival events.
Finley admits he’s not certain what the future holds. But, he has loved his start at Head4Arts, making a meaningful difference to people’s lives through creativity.