Creu Cymru is the development agency for theatres and arts centres in Wales. It currently has 44 member organisations who pay an annual fee to receive a range of services. With support from the Welsh Government’s Support For Sustainable Living Fund, Creu Cymru is working with Cardiff University, Julie’s Bicycle and Cynnal Cymru-Sustain Wales to develop a project to support the theatres and arts centres of Wales in becoming more resilient in facing the challenges of the 21st Century, particularly addressing the following 3 areas: energy and waste – consumption & treatment, the supply chain – examining theatre production and touring, communicating to audiences the issues and potential solutions
This session is designed to give theatre makers and producers an opportunity to hear how the project is progressing and work together on collaborating over programming and artistic response. The event will be a learning seminar to share best practice and showcase this project to an international audience.
One of the Creative Spaces’ research focuses has been the role of the arts and artists in developing sustainable cities. Following our curiosity, we would like to take the opportunity of Mead Gallery’sexhibition “Artists’ Plans for Sustainability” to invite three artists to give 15-minute presentations of their work. This will be followed by a roundtable discussion with Warwick academics, addressing the question of:
‘The Role of Art in Developing the Sustainable City’
Visitors attending the roundtable will have the opportunity to comment or ask questions.
The event is free but places are limited, so please reserve a place in advance by phoning Warwick Arts Centre box office: 024 76524524.
Nils Norman, Ion Sørvin (N55) and Carolyn Deby (sirenscrossing)
Dr Nicolas Whybrow (chair, Theatre and Performance Studies)
Dr Cath Lambert (Sociology)
Dr Jonathan Vickery (Cultural Policy Studies)
Dr Ria Dunkley (IATL and Cardiff University Sustainable Places Institute)
Dr Susan Haedicke (Theatre and Performance Studies)
Nese Tosun (PhD candidate, Theatre and Performance Studies)
Creative Spaces is a network member of the AHRC-funded ‘Making Sense of
Sustainability’ arts and social sciences collaboration based at Cardiff
Creative Spaces Research at the moment focuses on two main areas:
The Role of the Arts in Developing Sustainable Cities
For Rosalyn Deutsche urban space is not only socially-produced but agonistic. Thus, the practices of urban societies – that which its various constituencies do or are allowed to do – defines or creates the space of the city, and such space is dependent for its very condition of existence on that which is produced by ‘conflicting interests’. As Henri Lefebvre puts it with regard to the abstract space of modernism and capital: ‘Inasmuch as [such space] tends towards homogeneity, towards the elimination of existing differences or peculiarities, a new space cannot be born (produced) unless it accentuates differences’ (1991: 52).
The city of Venice conveys an impression of sinking. It is known to be doing so literally – some twenty-three centimetres in the last century – with the fabric and foundations of buildings gradually dissolving and the seasonal floods of the acqua alta on the increase, whilst figuratively the sheer weight of tourists – estimated at 16.5 million annually – can be said to be forcing the city down and its citizens to ‘jump ship’ in a desperate bid to save their futures.
Whether a former miners’ institute, an Edwardian theatre or modern iconic buildings such as the Wales Millennium Centre or Galeri Caernarfon, arts venues occupy an important place in the communities of Wales. Today sees the start of a major, ground-breaking initiative to support forty two arts venues in Wales to become greener and leaner.
The venues are all members of Creu Cymru – the development agency for theatres and arts venues in Wales. They will be asked about the way they manage their use of energy and water, their waste disposal and other environmental issues. Those who choose to will take part in a more detailed investigation with on-going support.
Based on the results of the investigation venues will be given the tools and advice needed to strengthen their environmental, social and economic sustainability. By becoming more energy and resource efficient, managers of the venues will be able to save money. They will be helped to develop new strategies and communicate these to staff, contractors, suppliers and audiences. Overall, this initiative will make them fit for the future and better able to respond to the challenges of a changing world.
The initiative will address three areas;
energy and waste (consumption and treatment)
the supply chain (theatre production and touring)
communicating to audiences the issues and potential solutions (imagining the future)
The initiative is part of Emergence – an on-going programme of work led by Cynnal Cymru-Sustain Wales and Volcano Theatre Company that aims to make sustainable development a core organising principle of the arts in Wales. This Creu Cymru Emergence initiative has been made possible by the Welsh Government’s Support For Sustainable Living grant scheme through a partnership comprising Creu Cymru, Cynnal Cymru-Sustain Wales, the ESRC BRASS Research Centre (Cardiff University) and London-based arts and environmental sustainability experts Julie’s Bicycle.
BRASS and Julie’s Bicycle will provide the technical expertise. Both organisations have a track record of success in investigating and offering solutions for the environmental and social sustainability of the arts. Cynnal Cymru-Sustain Wales will use the information and learning that comes from the work to inform consultation on the development of the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Development Bill.
The Creu Cymru membership consists of Wales’ most cherished theatres and arts venues that have for generations acted as hubs of social and cultural activity. With this initiative, they will be able to continue to do this in the context of a changing world and make an important contribution to the development of a sustainable Wales.