Over 400 people from across the South East Wales valleys region came together at four events to celebrate Earth Hour with Head4Arts this March.
Earth Hour is a WWF global campaign during which millions of people turn off their lights to raise awareness of climate change. As Wales is celebrating the year of the sea in 2018, Head4Arts focussed this year’s activities on the effects of climate change on our ocean environments.
The events that were held at Blaenavon World Heritage Centre, Dowlais Community Centre, Parc Penallta and The Met Abertillery offered a range of family friendly activities based on an environmental theme, such as storytelling and lantern making. Participants were invited to make a promise for the planet – resulting in hundreds of families pledging to make small lifestyle changes to reduce their impact on the environment.
Each of the events concluded with magical lantern lit performances by local groups such as Abertillery Youth Drama and Musical Society in The Met, Tune Club members in Dowlais and the Celtic Café folk band in Blaenavon. The celebrations at Parc Penallta included a lantern parade featuring 40 giant sea creature lanterns, creating a stunning backdrop for the event.
A special motion graphic film using artwork created by school children from across the region was launched at the events. The film was created during a series of outreach sessions where children worked alongside professional artists and environment specialists to learn about the effects of increased water temperatures on sea creatures. The film is now available to download as a screensaver, using the following link https://files.fm/u/j5qszewu
Kate Strudwick, Head4Arts Creative Project Manager said “This year’s Earth Hour activities have enabled us to connect with large numbers of community members, using the arts to raise awareness of an important environmental issue. It has been encouraging to see so many families pledging to make a difference for the future. We have been thrilled with the positive response to this year’s events and we are looking forward to planning similar activities for 2019”
Head4Arts’ Earth Hour celebrations were made possible through partnerships with the following organisations:
Aneurin Leisure, Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Trust, Stephens and George Centenary Charitable Trust, Parents Network Merthyr Tydfil, Torfaen County Borough Council, Caerphilly County Borough Council Countryside Team, Parents Network Caerphilly and WWF.
The downloadable screensaver was produced by Breaking Barriers Community Arts.
Photographs – Mark Lewis