The Library of Life – Available to purchase

As part of its Green Month theme, Valleys-based community arts organisation Head4Arts is releasing a new book for children, written by storyteller/writer Tamar Eluned Williams and beautifully illustrated by Andy O’Rourke.  The environmental themed story is a voyage of discovery about climate and nature and the future of our planet.  

Alongside the book itself, a special animated video has been created featuring narration by leading Welsh Naturalist, Conservationist and TV Presenter, Iolo Williams recorded for Earth Hour 2021 as part of a community collaboration with WWF Cymru.

At the rainbow’s end, one tiny girl takes care of a very unusual Library. It is her job to watch over the precious books that keep the world in balance. This is the story of what happens when she notices that the library seems to be changing – books are disappearing, and sections are shrinking …. all apart from one. Something terrible is happening to the library, disrupting the balance and she needs to find help….

Creative Director Kate Strudwick said: “We wanted to our Lockdown period to produce something that parents and teachers would enjoy sharing with their children and that could be used to prompt conversations about the environmental challenges we face today. It helps them understand our relationship with nature and how caring for the planet helps us too”. 

Having developed the story, Head4Arts was able to work with Petra Publishing to get it into print, thanks to a contribution from DPD’s Eco Fund. The Library of Life is now available to buy for £6.99 (plus postage) from the Head4Arts website: http://head4arts.org.uk/library-of-life/  

Also available from the website is a free downloadable education pack, giving lots of ideas for how the themes of the book can be used to support learning about biodiversity and climate change, and how by working together, we can look forward to a better future. For more information about Head4Arts’ educational resources and training opportunities contact info@head4arts.org.uk

Head4Arts Goes Green for March with a Free Craft Pack Offer

Valleys-Based community arts organisation, Head4Arts, is celebrating all things Green throughout March, in a bid to raise awareness of the climate change and environmental issues that affect us all. The month will culminate with Head4Arts’ annual Earth Hour event, in partnership with WWF Cymru.

To support this, Head4Arts is offering a limited edition of 150 free shadow puppet craft packs for use at the virtual Earth Hour event, encouraging families to connect with each other whilst continuing to raise awareness of the biodiversity crisis. 

However, the fun doesn’t stop there.  Head4Arts is asking everyone to share their shadow puppets photos, to contribute to the creation of a digital mosaic of images that can be viewed later via their website and social media.

Head4Arts’ inspiration comes from WWF’s annual Earth Hour event where people across the world are encouraged to turn their lights off to call attention to climate change. This year’s virtual event will take place on Saturday 27th March between 20.30-21.30 (and there are more suggestions of ways of celebrating that can be found on WWF’s Earth Hour website and social media).

Head4Arts’ free craft packs have been designed by freelance artist, Megan Lloyd, and contain all the essential items needed to make the shadow puppets. In keeping with the green ethos, all materials are able to be recycled, reused or are biodegradable.

 Creative Director Kate Strudwick said:

“Even though our Green Month is largely a digital endeavour, we thought it important to feature an element of physical making, to encourage togetherness and connectivity amongst our communities at a time when it is difficult to be together physically”.

Additional activities will unfold throughout the month, including the release of the ‘Library of Life,’ a book which has been written by Storyteller, Tamar Eluned Williams with inspiration being taken from a workshop with Bryn Bach Primary School pupils last year.  Further details of how to purchase this book are available at www.head4arts.org.uk . 

For more information about Head4Arts’ Green Month or to reserve your free craft pack, contact Head4Arts at greenmonth@head4arts.org.uk Please note that craft packs are limited to one per household.

A different sort of pantomime? Oh yes, it is!

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.

For further information contact: info@head4arts.org.uk  

Welcome to our new Community Arts Intern!

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.