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.
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.
Free resource to help creative industries tackle climate change and understand their role in creating a more sustainable society now available online
Creative industries can play a fundamental role in developing a sustainable future for the planet, both by addressing the direct impact on the environment from their own practice, and through the influential impact their work could have within society.
But for many working in the arts, addressing these complex issues can be a daunting task. A new initiative based in Wales is encouraging creative practitioners to take direct action to develop a sustainable future for the planet, and by bringing together scientists and artists, the project is helping drive the issue of sustainable practice within the arts to the forefront of the political agenda within Wales.
The project, entitled ‘Emergence’, began as a collaboration between Swansea based theatre company Volcano and Cynnal Cymru-Sustain Wales, supported by Arts Council Wales and The British Council. In 2010/11 The arts community in Wales attended three major events to raise issues, discuss alternatives, and suggest practical solutions for a more sustainable future.
The series of conferences focused on creating an impetus for change within the arts, challenging practices and motivating artists and creative companies to discuss and develop practical solutions to reduce their environmental impact. In addition, the project encouraged artists to consider the role of the arts in influencing behaviour, and how they can begin to inspire change within society through their work.
The project has recently published a conference report in an engaging and informative 30 page document. This ‘Emergence’ document is now openly available as a free download, both in English and Welsh, and provides an invaluable resource for all those working in the arts, and anyone interested in the development of sustainable practice within this field.
The document can be downloaded online through the Volcano website here:
The Emergence document collates inspiring and educative transcripts from expert speakers on the subject of climate change, fair resource use, well being and the transition towards a more connected sustainable society.
From scientist Jean Boulton to the artistic director of National Theatre Wales, John McGrath, the pioneering talks documented within ‘Emergence’ provide inspiration, information and practical ideas for artistic practitioners, venues and companies alike.
The value of the project and the report has been widely applauded, Louise Wright from British Council Wales says ‘Emergence has worked from the ground up…it has been a creative catalyst’.
The conferences have already kick started investigations into current practice – a study by Cardiff University measuring the environmental impact of ‘Night Out’, an Arts Council Touring Scheme, was initiated by Arts Council Wales following the conference. During the launch event major key players such as The Wales Millennium Centre and Welsh National Opera agreed on the creation of a focus group to look at sustainable practise within these flagship organisations, actively supported by the Theatres Trust and Julies Bicycle. In addition many individual delegates have changed behaviour and implemented new strategies to reduce their environmental impact, as the project continues to gather focus and momentum within Wales and beyond.