Creative Wales Awards

Welsh Books Council

Creative Wales Awards - 23 February 2007

On 22 February, 19 professional artists shared a total of  £300,000 funding from The Arts Council of Wales in the form of individual Creative Wales Awards of up to  £25,000. For many of these artists, the Award represents the gift of a year to focus on creativity away from other work and financial commitments - room to breathe, a chance to evaluate, to experiment, innovate, and take forward their work in the art form. Essentially, it's an opportunity to create anew and to explore new avenues.

This year's Creative Wales Awards Ceremony was held at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay on 22 February. The event has become the one of the highlights of the arts calendar for artists throughout Wales and provides a significant boost to the creative life of the nation.

Amongst last year's winners was the renowned composer John Hardy. Commenting on the results of his 'year to create' he said:

"The award came at a perfect time, giving me a block of months in which to focus on composing a great deal of music. A crucial by-product of that opportunity was that I had the time to completely re-evaluate my work, my work environment, my work patterns, who I choose to work with, and how I think and speak about my work. Pretty major stuff, really.

"I now have ambitious plans to get my work out in front of the public in new ways, and I feel excited and optimistic about the future."

The Creative Wales Awards are unique in celebrating the creativity of artists living and working in Wales and represent a significant investment by The Arts Council of Wales in individual artists. Grants of up to  £25,000 are awarded to established artists from across the spectrum of arts disciplines including visual arts, applied arts and crafts, drama, literature and music.

The awards aim to develop excellence and to build sustainability in the arts by supporting artists in creating new, experimental and innovative work that takes forward their art form and artistic practice. It provides artists with the opportunity to concentrate on developing their work in time intensive and exploratory ways, temporarily free from their usual commitments.

Professor Dai Smith, Chairman of ACW, said:

"The Creative Wales Award is a vitally important investment in the future success of the arts in Wales. Each of the awards demonstrates the Arts Council of Wales's continued commitment to developing the talent of individual artists who are the foundation of everything in the arts. We have been delighted by the range and quality of artists' submissions for this year's awards and look forward to announcing the successful recipients, and to watching their progress and discussing the results of their year to create in the months to come."

Alun Pugh, Minister for Culture, Welsh Language and Sport said:

"For a small nation, Wales produces an extraordinary number of artists, musicians and performers with an international reputation. They act as excellent ambassadors for Wales on the world stage".

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