Wales Arts International, the international agency of the Arts Council of Wales welcomes the publication of the Welsh Government’s international strategy. We take pride in the ambitions of Wales to be a globally responsible nation that is pioneering a wellbeing economy and culture through the Future Generations Act. The Act is a brave initiative which is of growing interest internationally.
We have a culture in Wales that in the words of St David, relishes doing the little things that helps others and the planet. We have respect for “chwarae teg”, fair play, on the rugby pitch or on an Eisteddfod stage or in our commitment to fair trade with others. Our culture places great value on our many and diverse communities. We have a culture that looks to the future and that believes in offering our young people creative skills to navigate the world. We have a culture that cherishes its languages and respects its diverse voices. And our culture offers a Croeso cynnes – a warm welcome to those who are seeking refuge.
The Future Generations agenda offers all public service in Wales a compass to navigate how we work with partners across the sector and government to grow and to showcase Wales as a globally responsible nation with a thriving “wellbeing economy and culture”.
As the first nation in the world to bring the Goals of the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda into law, Wales is also pioneering in terms of cultural responsibility. Welsh Government is also the first to make culture the fourth pillar of the Sustainable Development plan for Wales.
We believe that Wales has a commitment to global cultural, linguistic and social responsibility. We should share our learning in an egalitarian way that allows us to learn from experience and needs elsewhere. Wales has a wealth of experience that it is starting to share in the field of language development and bilingualism.
There is also the need to ensure that the Future Generations and wellbeing economy is communicated, understood and promoted not just by UK institutions but also Welsh overseas offices and the wider global network/ assets.
Culture and the arts play a vital role in the wellbeing of the nation, from creating a unique sense of place and a quality of life to preventative health benefits or growing skills and confidence.
Working with young people, within the context of Future Generations, there are important opportunities to nurture a sense of global responsibility and international understanding through the new curriculum. There is great potential for the arts to enable young people to see the world differently as experienced in the pioneering Creative Learning through the Arts programme, which is attracting considerable international interest.
We agree that “Wales’ culture and language have contributed to international tourism and increased recognition as a visitor destination”. We see an opportunity for the arts to support the strategy’s aim to turn the Wales brand to a movement.
Wales Arts International and the Arts Council of Wales are looking forward to shaping the next cultural chapter for Wales internationally, that enhances this important strategy.
For further information on the work Wales Arts International has done in this area, the previously published ‘Notes towards a Cultural Chapter’ outlines fully its suggestions for developing a cultural vision for Welsh culture to fulfil its international potential.