Connect and Flourish is a £5m National Lottery supported fund, designed to encourage collaborative projects between organisations, individuals, and creative professionals.
Connect and Flourish offers grants of between £500 and £150,000 for projects with a strong emphasis on collaboration between individual artists, non-arts groups and arts organisations with the aim of encouraging new ideas that will support artists to emerge from the challenges of the pandemic and supporting a strong and resilient arts sector that properly reflects our country’s people and communities.
The new fund will help give unheard voices an opportunity to create and take part in the arts and will be a step towards making the arts in Wales more representative and accessible. The Arts Council approved funding for projects that show a real connection to local people and reflect the diverse communities of Wales.
Phil George, Chair of Arts Council of Wales said:
“Connect and Flourish is a remarkable achievement and a change-making fund. It's an exciting and speedy change in beginning to correct under-representation, and in promoting a new collaborative and investigative approach to artistic work.”
“We’re already seeing projects being approved that will improve access and representation for people from diverse ethnic backgrounds: black and Asian and minority ethnic artists, for disabled artists, and for artists who are developing work in the Welsh language. We have committed to increasing the amount of activity that we fund in these areas and Connect and Flourish, quite simply, makes a breakthrough.”
£5m has been made available for the first two rounds of Connect and Flourish in 2020 and 2021. In this first round, which closed at the beginning of November, 33 projects were approved, totalling £2.3m. There will be a further £2.7m available for a second round of projects, with applications opening on 27 January 2020.
For a full list of the awards: CLICK HERE
For more information, and to make an application, visit https://arts.wales/funding/get-started/organisations/connect-and-flourish
Some of the projects that received funds from the first round of Connect and Flourish:
- Taking Flight Theatre, Cardiff received £146,837 to work with Y Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli, Parc & Dare Theatre, Treorchy and Pontio, Bangor to develop a network of inclusive, accessible venues in Wales that are confident and supportive in welcoming diverse artists, backstage crew and administrators, as well as diversifying their audiences.
- Urban Circle, an independent youth arts organisation based in Newport received £130,510 to work with University of South Wales, freelance artists and local dance and theatre group, G-Expressions, to create new, recognised qualifications for dance leaders. They will also deliver black history workshops and courses, using film, music creative writing, and DJing, to examine issues faced by black communities raised by the Black Lives Matters protests.
- Ffynnon Community Church, Llandysul received £68,800 for ‘Calon’, a project to celebrate and reflect on the innovative community collaboration taking place in the Llandysul area by providing opportunities for a wide cross section of the community to respond creatively through story, performance, music, sound, dance, and pictures. Partners include a youth organisation, and a canoeing club