“Anita has helped us to write a number of funding applications for our Hip Hop theatre and community participation work. She was able to understand, and write about, our vision, mission and values, and the needs of the people we work with. She was friendly, approachable, relatable and thoughtful. We have been so grateful that Anita has helped us find success in the world of funding and that she has enabled us to make a difference for our artists and community.”
Rachel Pedley, Director, Avant Cymru.
Hip hop and rap have a long tradition in Wales, from Welsh language exponents, Tystion, in the late-90s to the modern day artists like Ed Holden, aka Mr Phormula. So it’s no surprise that forward thinking theatre company, Avant Cymru uses hip hop as a central part of its community-driven work.
Avant Cymru is a small and relatively new company based at The Park & Dare Theatre in Treorchy, in the county of Rhondda Cynon Taf. It creates relevant, distinctive Hip Hop theatre and dance, as well as other theatre, dance, film, visual arts, music and drama experiences, with and for its community in Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT).
The people it creates with are aged 7 to 95, and often those who least engage with traditional arts and culture: those from low income families, and young people, particularly young men. A high proportion are disabled, have health conditions, and/or are BAME. The work is founded on strong principles of cultural democracy. Performances are created using a collaborative, co-creative, test-lab approach so that the work really means something to participants and audiences.
Arts Council of Wales approached us to see if we would be able to support a funding application for the company, as its directors are dyslexic. This neurodiversity brings huge strengths to the company, but can make it harder for them to complete funding applications.
Anita met with Rachel and Jamie, the two directors; discussed their vision, mission and values; what change they wanted to bring about as a result of their work; and their stakeholders and participants.
The application was successful, and we’ve since worked on three more funding applications with Avant Cymru, two of which have been successful and one we’re waiting to hear about.