Chapter 3 of Literature Wales’ Invent your Event outreach scheme used the magic of Roald Dahl’s words to inspire creativity amongst people of all ages across Wales.
It is widely acknowledged that the work of Roald Dahl appeals to all ages and demographics. His work is universal and transcends time or place; it champions the underdog, encourages the peculiar, and celebrates the eccentric; but most of all it allows you to believe that anything is possible no matter who you are or where you were born. A diverse programme of outreach activity was delivered by Literature Wales and partners in 2016, offering a range of experiences to explore and celebrate the life and work of Roald Dahl.
Projects concentrated on social justice policies, working in specific areas and with targeted groups to encourage engagement and inclusion. Groups included: Pioneer Areas, Communities First, Asylum Seekers and Refugees, Young Carers, NEETS individuals, older people in residential homes, Mental Health Service users, Prisons, Gypsy Roma Travellers, and young adults with learning disabilities.
Literature Wales places literature at the heart of the well-being, literacy, employment and skills agendas to ensure it is seen as a vital part of a balanced, engaged and healthy life.
Chapter 3 project highlights:
Location: Parc Prison, Bridgend
Participants: Prisoners and their families
Prisoners and their families from HMP Parc in Bridgend worked with illustrator Sarah Edmonds and storyteller Michael Harvey to create a beautifully illustrated, giant, foldout story book. The project wove together performance, creative writing and visual arts to develop creative skills and confidence among adults and children alike.
Majoricalistic Mischief March
Participants: Families in Communities First areas
The so-called traditional nuclear family was rarely portrayed in Roald Dahl’s books. This project celebrated families in all their shapes and sizes. Young People’s Laureate for Wales, Sophie McKeand, and artist Rhi Moxon, worked with families from Wrexham to explore their surroundings using Dahl’s imagination as inspiration. Together they created a treasure trail as part of the Wrexham Street Festival.
Get Creative with Football
Location: Bridgend and Cardiff City Football Club
Participants: Dads and lads
This project was inspired by Roald Dahl’s recollections of visiting Cardiff City Football Club as a young boy, and experiencing the magic of a football match for the first time. Dads and lads worked with poet Mike Church and Literacy Co-ordinator for Cardiff City Community Foundation, Tom Knight. The film Inspiration, My First Match was then created with the help of Carter Films, in partnership with Ffilm Cymru Wales. It was screened to over 13,000 people during half time at the Cardiff City v Leeds match.
Champions of Memory
Location: Caernarfon and Newport
Participants: Older people in residential homes
Older people in residential homes, many with early onset dementia, worked with poets Martin Daws and Patrick Jones, musician Dan Amor and artist Ailsa Richardson. The project explored memories, using Boy: Tales of Childhood, Going Solo and James and the Giant Peach as starting points. These memories were collected through poetry, music and art created by the older people. The project linked with Age Cymru’s cARTrefu programme, which aims to improve access to quality arts experiences for older people in residential care.
Merthyr and the Wafer Factory
Location: Merthyr Tydfil
Participants: Employees of OP Chocolates and Merthyr Writing Squad
‘Many years ago, Merthyr made the finest biscuits in its mysterious biscuit factory’. So begins the fantastical biscuit picture animated film created by employees of OP Chocolates, their families, and members of Merthyr’s Young People’s Writing Squad. The interactive story and biscuit animation workshops were held at Merthyr Libraries with poet Mike Church, Head4Arts and Breaking Barriers.
Creating Giants with GISDA
Location: Blaenau Ffestiniog
Participants: Vulnerable young people aged 14 – 25
A project in partnership with GISDA, who offer vulnerable young people in north west Wales the opportunity to improve their quality of life so they aren’t disadvantaged because of poverty. The group worked with author Bethan Gwanas and graphic designer Ceri Redman on the theme of giants. They took part in creative writing, illustration and graphic design sessions, which enabled them to bring their ideas alive on the page.
Clowns and Twits
Participants: Young adults with learning disabilities
“You’ve got to be stretched”, said Mr Twit. The art of clowning encourages us to play, have fun,
be vulnerable and outrageous. This project enabled participants to enter into the spirit of Roald Dahl’s characters and words, bringing them to life through physical movement. The project was led by performers Clare Parry-Jones and Denni Dennis and supported by Theatr Ffynnon.
For further information, please contact Literature Wales:
029 2047 2266 / firstname.lastname@example.org