Wales Mental Health Arts Festival 2016


wallsPerformances at the Weston Studio, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay

NOVEMBER 21st – 24th

The Weston Studio is wheelchair accessible and speech to text will be available at all performances

Monday 21st November

Double Bill and Question & Answer Session

7pm – 10pm

Tickets £6 / £10

Catriona James – ‘Worse Things Happen’

I was looking at the sea. I was thinking about how easy it would be to disappear.

What happens when you believe the stigma about you? Can you love your biggest failure? Worse Things Happen is a solo performance about one person’s experience of depression, told through true stories and dance.

Catriona is an actor, a lover of true stories, a physical performer and a depressive. She devised and wrote this piece with dramaturgical and directorial support from Louise Osborn, and movement direction from Lara Ward.

Prisons Within by Anthony Wright

‘The Prison Within’ project began life when Anthony was commissioned by ‘Mind’ to write a play as part of their campaign ‘ Time To Change’ to end stigma attached to mental health.

The play is set in a prison, an environment where many victims of this stigma end up.  ‘Was prison really the end? Or could it be the beginning? Could jail offer the chance to seek the help that, for whatever reason, evaded the characters? Why was this help not offered or taken at an earlier stage in the protagonists’ lives?’

‘Prisons Within’ takes us on a roller coaster ride and at the end, the journey forces one to re-evaluate who really are the victims?

Tickets available at the WMC, please go to:


Tuesday 22nd November

Double Bill and Question & Answer Session

7pm – 10pm

Tickets £6 / £10

Blackwood Little Theatre – The Ruins of Talgarth

This play is based on a true story, written by Vic Mills. Jean has been committed at the age of 18 to the lunatic asylum in Talgarth ( known as ‘The Bin’) at the insistence of her husband, William.  We try to understand what that experience might have been like for Jean and the reasons that her husband “put her in the bin”.

Blackwood Little Theatre was formed in 1929 and has been serving its patrons with high quality theatre ever since. It has its own premises in the town, which it owns and maintains itself. Blackwood Little Theatre produces at least 5 productions a year, as well as competing in One Act Festivals. Over the past 10 years, the theatre has been the proud recipient of 35 awards, including the Gwent Festival of One Act Plays, The IATA Liverpool (Nova Scotia) International Festival award for best new play (Fancying Sheep) and the 2008 Wales Final for Last Tango in Blackwood and the again in 2012 with Biscuits. BLT has represented Wales at International Festivals in Canada on 3 occasions and is pleased to be taking part in this festival raising awareness of mental health and women’s issues.


Paul Whittaker – Gods and Kings, a shared reading

Paul’s stage play is focussed on the moment he received his diagnosis of Bi Polar Manic Depression as a twenty-three year old Film Student in Newport, Gwent. He entered the room a troubled member of society and after a twenty minute consultation was told he had to take lithium (a side effect of which is coma) or he’d be dead by the time he was 30. To Paul’s surprise, the choice was not as straightforward as it seemed.
This work in progress piece is unapologetically honest, humorous and challenges the perceptions of what it is to live with mental illness. It is a piece that appeals to a wider audience, not just the mental health sector, and explores how people react to a mental health diagnosis and how an individual can be redefined by it in the eyes of the world.

Tickets available at the WMC, please go to:


Wednesday 23rd

Double Bill and Question & Answer Session

7:30pm – 10pm

Tickets £5

Re-Live Coming Home

“You just don’t feel anything. You feel dead inside. You know you’re hurting people, your wife, your kids, your mother. You’re breaking their hearts but you just can’t feel a fucking thing”

Re-Live present a new theatre piece, devised and performed by military veterans and their family members, exploring the impact of military trauma on the mental health of families.

Challenging, truthful and ultimately uplifting, this piece is a testament to the role of forgiveness and hope in healing minds and souls affected by conflict.

Streets Ahead Film – ‘Urgent Assistance Required’

‘Charlie has been feeling increasingly disconnected from and at the same time complacent about people and things around him. His agitation steadily grows, he finds it harder to concentrate. It all comes to a head in an explosion of anguish and loss of control. As his wife, Maria, says “he’s so sturdy. Why did this happen to him?”

‘Urgent Assistance Required’ shows that none of us are completely immune to stress and pressure and no one great traumatic event has to happen in our lives for our world to come crashing in around us.

This tale is about knowing what can happen, understanding what can be done about it and caring for our own and other’s mental health.’

The Q&A at the end of this session will be focused on PTSD.

Tickets available at the WMC, please go to:


Thursday 24th

Double Bill and Question & Answer Session

6pm – 10pm

Tickets £8 / £12

Elaine Paton – Elements of Momentos of Leaving: Dad and I

Following on from the success of Elaine’s project at Whitchurch Hospital, ‘Moments’ is an intimate evening of personal stories, performed by Elaine, weaving together her and her Father’s stories.

Tim Rhys-Evans – Lecture / Recital

Join one of Wales’ favourite Musical Directors Tim Rhys-Evans and stunning soprano Elin Manahan Thomas as they explore the lives of composers through the ages with mental ill health.

Tickets available at the WMC, please go to:

For a complete listing and further information of all the Festival Events please visit



Volunteering Wales Grant Scheme

WCVAHere are the themes:

•  Young people (age 14 – 25)
•  Welsh language
•  Tackling poverty
•  Under represented Groups (BAME, Asylum seekers etc)
•  Social exclusion
•  Higher support needs

The aim of the scheme is to help fund volunteering projects that aim to recruit, train and place new volunteers. It will support volunteering projects working towards meeting the Volunteering Wales Grants themes (based around Welsh Government’s Volunteering Policy).

The maximum you can apply for is £20,000.

You will find more information in this presentation. You can also find out more at

Closing date for applications: 10 November 2016.

Literature Wales

Ty Newydd 2017 Course Programme

Literature Wales 2Myths and Legends

Literature Wales has announced the 2017 programme of creative writing courses for Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre. The programme offers day, weekend and week-long courses and retreats suitable for beginners and more experienced writers both in English and Welsh. Inspired by Welsh Government’s announcement that 2017 is the ‘Year of Legends’ in Wales, the courses will focus on ancient literature in the landscape, re-imagining familiar folktales and experimenting with the magic of words.

Tutors include: Carol Ann Duffy, Gillian Clarke, Kaite O’Reilly, Holly Muller, Kate Hamer, Alex Clark, Anja Aska.

To see the course programme in full visit

Celf o Gwmpas


celf logoCelf O Gwmpas, Llandrindod Wells is hosting a week of events and activities in celebration of arts and mental health as part of WALLS:MURIAU, the Welsh Mental Health Arts Festival 2016, organised by Disability Arts Cymru and Making Minds.

Artist in residence Stephen Park and Powys artist Blue MacAskill are engaging and working with artists who have knowledge and experience of mental ill health from across the county. Working together, they are developing knowledge, practice, experience and creative aspirations and promoting wider understanding of arts and mental health.

Please join us from 10-15 November at Celf o Gwmpas. We have a varied and exciting programme planned.

Thursday 10th November 4-6pm – Exhibition Preview at Centre Celf

This exhibition is providing a platform for the artists involved in our Powys-wide Learning and Practice project to exhibit and screen work. With over 30 Artists involved on a National Level, it will be made up of sculpture, paintings, drawings, film, ceramics and more;

In parallel with Stephen Park: Residency Exhibition

Friday 11th November 6 – 8pm – Comedy Evening

With Sean Burn, Harriet Dyer and Talkestra

Tuesday 15th November 10am – 4pm – Panel Discussion and Artist Talks

With Stephen Park, Sean Burn, Jane Cooke and Amanda Wells

Tuesday 15th 2pm – 4pm Drop In Workshop

Run by Celf-Able pop along for a free family friendly workshop

Tuesday 15th 4:15pm – 5pm – Art with Impact

Artist talk with Blue MacAskill

For further details of all the events please visit –


Unlimited Commissions

Expression of Interest Reminder

unlimited logoUnlimited is a commissions programme, delivered by ShapeArts and Artsadmin, funded by Arts Council England with additional funding from Arts Council Wales, British Council and Spirit of 2012.

7 November 2016 is when the portal closes for the Expression of Interest applications for all 3 Unlimited commission strands. Please click on this link to the Unlimited page from where you can download application forms for all three strands of commissions for this round:

  • Main: commissions & Research and Development (R&D) awards
  • International: International collaborative commissions
  • Emerging: commissions for young and/or emerging artists to make work or run participatory projects

The Unlimited panel will look at your ideas first, and shortlist according to popularity, balance across art-form, geography and diversity, as well as their key objectives to find quality, innovation and ambition across everything they commission.

By ‘artists’ Unlimited mean individuals, companies, collectives and partnerships, so you can apply according to what works best for your creativity.

You have to decide which strand suits you best. By ‘emerging artist’ Unlimited mean any artist who has yet to receive a major exhibition or showcasing opportunity.

Unlimited are inviting ideas from any artform – or cross-artform – and are consciously engaging in discussions around opening up access and visibility in different artforms.

If you have questions about the criteria, the application form or experience access barriers, the team are on hand to talk about the practicalities of making an application. However at this stage, to keep the process fair, they will not talk about the ideas.

For more details please click on this link to the Unlimited impact blog or visit the Unlimited page from where you can download the application forms

Mess Up The Mess

Techin’ It Live

mess up the messDuring half-term, 25 young people are taking part in an amazing week-long project called Techin It Live funded by The Arts Council of Wales.  Where they will be learning skills such as Lighting, Sound, Stage Management, Film, Costume Design, Props, and Set Design; along with  5 young actors thrown in for good measure. This will accumulate A Spooky Silly Halloween Spectre-acular called…

“Shaz, Kaz, Baz, Maz and … Brenda” written by Bethan Marlow.

The young people will use what they have learned and completely Tech and perform with no adults in sight.
Please come and support the young people in the hard work by coming to see the free event on Friday 28th October at  3.45pm and 6.30pm free performance in Pontardawe Arts Centre. Performances are only 30 minutes long and suitable for all ages.

If you are interested in attending please contact [email protected] or phone on 01269 591167.

Birdsong / Can Yr Adar

A collaboration of new music based on the Celtic rainforest within Carngafallt.

birdsongThere is a Celtic rainforest that lives and breathes in Wales.

Birdsong / Can Yr Adar tells a story through music inspired by Carngafallt, home to a complex ecosystem, which makes up some of the country’s rainforest territory and can be found near Powys.

Birdsong / Can Yr Adar brings this wild life to the stage through a live orchestral fusing of soul-folk and jazz.  Pianist and jazz composer Gwilym Simcock collaborates with Welsh/Bajan songstress Kizzy Crawford to create a special collection of newly composed and inspired songs.
This special performance tours venues across Wales this November, featuring the beautiful sounds of a classical ensemble from Sinfonia Cymru. Created in partnership with RSPB Cymru, audiences will be treated to unique sounds and visuals that come together to salute all that’s beautiful about the natural environment.

The show also raises awareness of endangered forests and wildlife outside of Carngafallt, an area which is looked after by the RSPB.  How can we protect natural land that is unmanaged and battling the threat of global warming, for future generations?

Touring Wales throughout November:

2nd   Pontio, Bangor

3rd    Neuadd Dwyfor, Pwllheli

5th    Theatr Mwldan, Cardigan

1oth  The Riverfront, Newport

10th  Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff – Children’s performance

11th   Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama – Sign language interpreted performance

14th   Hampstead Heath Arts Festival and EFG London Jazz Festival, London


For further information and ticket details please go to:

AGM – Film screening & presentation

film-cymru-picCome along to our 34th AGM for a Film screening of Changing the Focus, a film made by and with learning disabled adults, looking at the changes that have taken place in the last 40 years.

Our AGM takes place on Wednesday 26th October 2016 at 3pm at the Japan Room at the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay, CF10 5AL.

This will also be an opportunity to say thank you and farewell to Maggie Hampton who retired in July after 23 years of dedicated service to DAC and disabled artists across Wales.

We will  be screening the Changing the Focus film which has recently been completed by Ben Ewart-Dean as part of our project funded by Film Cymru Wales and the Heritage Lottery Fund. Changing the Focus is a film made by and with learning disabled adults, looking at the changes that have taken place in the last 40 years.

Please email or phone us 02920 551 040 to let us know you will be coming.