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Pwyllgor Diwylliant, y Gymraeg a Chyfathrebu

Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee


Aelodau'r Pwyllgor a oedd yn bresennol

Committee Members in Attendance

Bethan Sayed AM Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor
Committee Chair
Caroline Jones AM
David Melding AM
Delyth Jewell AM
Rhianon Passmore AM
Vikki Howells AM

Y rhai eraill a oedd yn bresennol

Others in Attendance

Allan Herbert Canolfan Datblygu Cymuned De Glan-yr-afon
South Riverside Community Development Centre
Christopher Catling Prif Swyddog Gweithredol, Comisiwn Brenhinol Henebion Cymru
Chief Executive Officer, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales
David Thomas Pennaeth Gwasanaethau Cyhoeddus, Comisiwn Brenhinol Henebion Cymru
Head of Public Services, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales
Dr Victoria Winckler Cyfarwyddwr, Sefydliad Bevan | Cynghorwr Cymru, Sefydliad Joseph Rowntree
Director, Bevan Foundation | Wales Adviser, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
John Hallam Rheolwr Rhaglen, Maindee Unlimited
Programme Manager, Maindee Unlimited
Julia Barry Cyfarwyddwr Gweithredol, Theatr y Sherman
Executive Director, Sherman Theatre
Nia Williams Cyfarwyddwr Addysg ac Ymgysylltu, Amgueddfa Cymru
Director of Learning and Engagement, National Museum Wales
Owain Rhys Pennaeth Ymgysylltu â'r Gymuned a Chyfranogiad, Amgueddfa Cymru
Head of Community Engagement and Participation, National Museum Wales
Professor Helena Gaunt Pennaeth, Coleg Brenhinol Cerdd a Drama Cymru
Principal, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama

Swyddogion y Senedd a oedd yn bresennol

Senedd Officials in Attendance

Lowri Jones Dirprwy Glerc
Deputy Clerk
Martha Da Gama Howells Ail Glerc
Second Clerk
Robin Wilkinson Ymchwilydd

Cofnodir y trafodion yn yr iaith y llefarwyd hwy ynddi yn y pwyllgor. Yn ogystal, cynhwysir trawsgrifiad o’r cyfieithu ar y pryd. Lle mae cyfranwyr wedi darparu cywiriadau i’w tystiolaeth, nodir y rheini yn y trawsgrifiad.

The proceedings are reported in the language in which they were spoken in the committee. In addition, a transcription of the simultaneous interpretation is included. Where contributors have supplied corrections to their evidence, these are noted in the transcript.

Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 09:32.

The meeting began at 09:32.

1. Cyflwyniad, ymddiheuriadau, dirprwyon a datgan buddiannau
1. Introductions, apologies, substitutions and declarations of interest

Diolch, a chroeso i'r Pwyllgor Diwylliant, y Gymraeg a Chyfathrebu y bore yma. Eitem 1: cyflwyniad, ymddiheuriadau, dirprwyon a datgan buddiannau. Cafwyd ymddiheuriadau gan Mick Antoniw. A oes gan rywun rywbeth i'w ddatgan yma heddiw? O ran buddiannau—ddim byd arall. Grêt. Diolch yn fawr iawn.

Thank you, and welcome to the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee this morning. Item 1 is introductions, apologies, substitutions and declarations of interest. We have received apologies from Mick Antoniw. Does anyone have any declarations to make? I meant declarations of interest—nothing else. Great. Thank you very much.

2. Minnau hefyd! - Ymchwiliad i rôl y celfyddydau a diwylliant wrth fynd i'r afael â thlodi ac allgáu cymdeithasol: Incwm isel
2. Count me in! - Inquiry into the role of arts and culture in addressing poverty and social exclusion: Low income

Dŷn ni'n symud ymlaen at eitem 2, felly: Minnau hefyd! Ymchwiliad i rôl celfyddydau a diwylliant wrth fynd i'r afael â thlodi ac allgáu cymdeithasol. Y sector gwirfoddol sydd i mewn gyda ni heddiw, a'r tystion yw Allan Herbert, canolfan gymunedol south Riverside; Victoria Winckler yn cynrychioli Sefydliad Bevan a Sefydliad Joseph Rowntree; a John Hallam, rheolwr rhaglen Maindee Unlimited. Croeso ichi atom heddiw. Fel arfer, dŷn ni'n cael cwestiynau ar sail themâu gwahanol, felly, os yw hi'n iawn gyda chi, fe awn ni'n syth at y cwestiynau. Mae'r ymchwiliad yma wedi bod yn ddiddorol hyd yn hyn, gyda phobl yn dod i mewn i drafod nifer fawr o weithgareddau sydd yn digwydd ar lawr gwlad. Ond beth dŷn ni eisiau ceisio gwneud yw gweld sut maen nhw'n gweithio ac a ydyn nhw'n mynd ati i dargedu tlodi yn yr ardaloedd hynny sydd angen hynny fwyaf.

Felly, fe wnawn ni symud ymlaen at y cwestiynau, a Vikki Howells sydd yn cychwyn y bore yma.

We move on to item 2: Count me in! An inquiry into the role of arts and culture in addressing poverty and social exclusion. This session is with the voluntary sector, and our witnesses are Allan Herbert from south Riverside community centre; Victoria Winckler, representing the Bevan Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation; and John Hallam, programme manager at Maindee Unlimited. Welcome to you today. We usually have questions on different themes, so, if it's okay with you, we'll go straight into questions. This inquiry has been very interesting to date, with people coming in to discuss a great number of activities that are happening on the ground. But what we want to try to do is see how they work and whether they do actually target poverty in those areas that need that support most.

So, we will move on to the questions, and Vikki Howells will start.

Good morning to you all. I've got some questions to kick off around participation in the production of arts and culture. Firstly, looking at the barriers to participating in the production of arts and culture for people in poverty, I wonder if you could give us a little bit of information around those barriers and how they can be overcome.

For the population as a whole, the barrier first and foremost is cost, and not just the ticket price and those kinds of cost, but also costs to do with public transport or childcare. That, we think, for someone on a low income, is a particular barrier. The other barrier, which is perhaps less often acknowledged, is to do with time. More than half of working-age adults and children who are in poverty have someone in the household in work and, therefore, fitting in participation in arts activity around what might be quite unpredictable or non-standard hours of work can also be a barrier as well. 

My colleagues will have much more on-the-ground experience.


And I should clarify as well that my questions are under 'participating in the production of arts and culture' rather than attending those events.

Good morning. I would say that educational experience is probably one of the defining factors, and cultural expectation. So, do I feel as though I'm the sort of person who could be involved in cultural production or not? What do my parents feel about that? What do my neighbours and community feel about that? An extreme is that you could look at the Billy Elliot film and that type of, 'It's not for me'. So, I think there's a class-based issue here—that people from working-class communities, or sometimes immigrant communities as well, feel as though the arts are for the middle classes and for wealthier people, and that's both as audience and as participator.

Do you have any experience, John, in how those barriers can be overcome?

Well, in Newport, we've run the Maindee festival for the last 25 years, which is a one-day, annual community arts festival. Maindee is a poor bit of town. It's quite culturally diverse as well, and it was decided, not by me but by others, 25 years ago, that it would be a good idea, because of the diversity in the area, to use arts and culture perhaps as a way of—it's a bit of a cliché—bridge building. And that festival is taking place this June, sorry, July—the first Saturday in July—again.

We have a theme every year. This year, the theme is 'making Maindee' and we're interested in the STEM, or the STEAM, agenda—making things and that type of thing. And 60 per cent of the people who attend that festival live within a kilometre of the site. So, it's very local. Most people who come—. We don't hide the fact that it's an arts festival, but people just think it's a day out, and they do arty stuff, and we work with kids. And now we're working with kids whose parents we worked with 25 years ago, who are now also in the street parade, and so on and so forth.

So, I think it's not about being ashamed of the arts—you're not saying, 'Oh, it's not art; it's just sort of fun or whatever'—but being upfront about the arts and saying it's a good thing, and just giving people experience to engage not necessarily at a simple level, but at a basic level to start with to overcome that sense of, 'Oh it's not for me', really. We have a poetry tent and people sit there, listening to some quite intense poetry in English and Welsh, and come out and say, 'Well, that was all right, wasn't it?'

Have any of those in your audience then progressed to actually helping to participate in the production of the events? 

Yes. I've got a similar experience of festivals. We're lucky that we live in an area where we've got quite close interlocking wards in south Cardiff between Riverside, Grangetown and Butetown. Butetown carnival has got a history that stretches back 35 years. The Riverside festival has got a history that stretches back 25 years, and the Grangetown carnival with a similar heritage—20 years plus. So, people are used to the flow of things and, similarly to John, there's an expectation now that these things just happen. It's a bit of a mystery to people, I think, at times, how they happen, but if they're not happening, they're going, 'Where is it?'

So, how do they happen, then? At a very grass-roots level?

Very grass-roots and slightly chaotic, I must say—the way that committees come together. It's a mystery to me how it works, you know.

Yes. So, that does work. The most important thing for me, with all of this agenda about being part of the production of work, is the lack of consistency with engagement strategies that sit behind it, because the reason that—. I totally agree with Victoria that the extended impacts of poverty do have an impact, and time poverty is such a huge miss. The outside perspective is often, 'You're not in work; you've got all the time in the world', and it's exactly the reverse—you need to pack in every little bit. You haven't got a car to pick your kid up from school, so you've got to find two and a half hours a day to do it, and all of these things compress your life. A reason that a lot of people who do get involved in the arts in production and in attendance is the experiences they've had throughout their entire life. And they come from families and communities and extended families that would take them to things when they were five years old, would take them to all manner of different things, because it's part of the culture that sits around people. Again, money does help, but it's not the only thing. 

I've got 30 years' experience of doing this with arts. I do it all the time—constantly. And I don't go looking for projects, I just do it. In the last three months, we've had the Night Out scheme from the arts council that's brought a theatre production into a community venue, which we turned into a pop-up theatre; we've hosted and supported a whole load of community arts-based stuff from Guinea-Bissau, a community that's in Cardiff; we are creating a music project within the area; and we're just about to begin some creative writing courses with some charities that work with people who are quite marginalised and in recovery. And that's just in three months. And I've done that constantly, constantly, constantly through my working life.

It's never been on the agenda to put the arts in. I managed Communities First for 10 years, and I was constantly putting the arts into it. But you've got to have that consistency, and that's the way that you break down those barriers. Unless you do that, then it's a very alien concept to suddenly go to someone, from nowhere, 'Do you want a community opera?' [Laughter.] And I've seen some terrible—I've seen some good things that happen like that, but I've seen some absolutely atrocious things that have happened like that as well, where people just get mega involved in something, then all of the money goes, all of the people go and they're left standing there going, 'What was that?'


Moving on, because I'm conscious of time, you referred there to money, and funding is obviously increasingly difficult to come by for arts and culture and, in the culture of austerity that we're all subjected to now there's increasing scrutiny of the cost-benefit ratio. So I wanted to ask the extent to which you think participating in the production of arts and culture helps those who are socially excluded to get a job or better paid employment, and I know, Victoria, you've done some work, some research, on that. 

Well, paid participation, being employed in the arts and culture sector, is not necessarily a solution to poverty, because pay rates in the sector—it is one of the big, bad four of badly paying sectors that there are, with median pay below the real living wage. So, it's not necessarily a solution in terms just measured by income. There is evidence, not from work we've done, but work that other people have done, that participation, whether paid or unpaid, can do things like build confidence, can broaden social networks, can develop talents that people didn't know they had. Allan and John will have much better examples than me. And for some of those people, that can then be a stepping stone, but in research terms, there's actually not much evidence. Everybody will know somebody whose life has been transformed, but actually we would not see participation as one of the big solutions to poverty. 

Thank you. And coming back to you, Allan, because you mentioned your involvement in Communities First there, and I'm thinking there could be some parallels here in that both participation in the arts and culture and all the different pieces of work that Communities First did—people who are involved there right at the chalkface see the benefits that that brings to those who are socially excluded, but it's quite difficult to quantify that and put it down on a spreadsheet to submit to Welsh Government to show what those benefits are. 

My feeling around that is I think Welsh Government's done a disservice to the Baroness Kay Andrews report. I think it's a terrific report, and the breadth of that report was not just about employment. I think out of the 28 recommendations, there were about four or five that were about employment. And when that gets translated into an outcomes framework for Fusion—and they matched Fusion up in a very clunky way with Communities First outcomes as well—it distorts the entire intent of the recommendations of Baroness Andrews. They've co-opted another programme for an employment programme, and that does a disservice to the research, it does a disservice to people and their ability, because the real way that you get progress is not just through shoe-horning someone into a job; it's through increasing the engagement process with culture, and that will lead to more meaningful employment. If you don't do that, you're missing a real big trick, there.


Could I finally ask you all the extent to which you have worked with Welsh Government sponsored bodies in regard to the kind of schemes that can ameliorate the impacts of poverty and social exclusion through the arts?

I haven't done anything. Nothing.

Well, I mentioned Maindee festival, and that's had fast-tracked Arts Council of Wales funding for the last 18 years, and it had a three-year bigger funding package back in the 1990s that set it up. The annual budget of that event is around about £20,000 and in the first three years, that was funded exclusively by the arts council, and latterly they've been tapering their funding over 20 years. They feel as though—. And so we've diversified our sources of funding, and they now fund—we've got an application in with them for £3,500 this year, so the rest of that £20,000 is made up in other ways.

Trade unions. Unison has been a funder in the past. Sometimes when there's been a private sector development in the city, and, the usual thing, they've been looking for planning, and so we tap them before the planning is granted and they're very generous at that stage. So, we do that. I think the difficulty is, as you can probably gather from my accent, I'm a middle-class, well-educated man. The resources within the Maindee community that we serve are limited. People who want professional jobs tend to leave the area. They go off to university, and there's just a lack of the capability to deal with these funding applications, which are complex.

More latterly, we've an Ideas: People: Places grant by Maindee Unlimited, which was a major funding scheme that the arts council launched about three or four years ago, and we were one of seven communities across Wales that received more significant funding. This was separate from the festival. It was in the Maindee community, and we received about £365,000 and matched that with a further £250,000. So it was like a £0.5 million project over three years, so that was more chunky, and we found that the arts council was particularly helpful over that. It was a very risky scheme, I think, but for us it worked extremely well and it's delivered extremely good outcomes for the Maindee community.

Allan, briefly, because we have to move on to different questions.

Very briefly. I've got no overt concerns with the relationships that we've built up with a whole range of different Welsh Government-funded things like from museums to all manner of different things. It's all about the relationships you build up, and it's about communicating and keeping the channels of communication very open all the time. So, you tend to get a better response when you realise there's something you can do that can be a contributor to something they want to achieve, and once you start to align these things up, then that's the way you build your relationship, because it becomes a reciprocal arrangement then between institutions and community organisations on the ground. The one thing I would say is there's a lack of funding to create those connections. As I said, it's never been part of my actual job to do this, and I've done it for 30 years. Similarly with John, I'm sure, you go out of your way to make and maintain those connections, but that's not a funded role at all, and you are making up for the shortcomings of the public engagement processes of public bodies that are ill-equipped to do that engagement work, so we do it for you.

Allan, could I chip in just to make a brief note about the Cynefin project that operated—it was a Welsh Government-funded project about four years ago. That was about that brokerage within communities, and we were fortunate—I think the reason we ended up securing that Ideas: People: Places funding was we'd had a Cynefin project in the Maindee community for two years that had done that bringing groups together—the mosque, the church, the crazy artists. All these groups who were not necessarily natural bedfellows were brought together by Cynefin, and it was from that that Maindee Unlimited was formed. So, I think that on the ground—. Also, the other thing Cynefin did is: part of its brief was to establish links with the local authority, which is a big subject about the relationship with your local authority.


We'll come on to that now, but we have to move on, if that's okay. Sorry about that. I'm sure you can elaborate as we progress. David Melding.

Thanks, Chair. Something Mr Hallam said, actually, got me thinking. This issue of social capital—there's plenty of social capital in Newport. It may be somewhat restricted at the level of grant applications, for instance, for people in Maindee, or accountants and solicitors you can get advice from, but we could restructure public grant giving, either through Government, local authorities, or even the lottery and 106 arrangements and all that for planning. We could pair projects and communities, couldn't we? Part of the difficulties we have is that it's very atomised. It's an organisation in Maindee or in another part of Newport and they don't link up, necessarily. I live in Penarth, and I've raised this issue before in the Chamber that Penarth has an awful lot of social capital. So, if it's after public money, shouldn't it be pairing with Butetown, to use the Cardiff example, developing projects there that are still owned in that community but use some of that social capital? It seems to me we're not very good at this in terms of being creative enough to form those links, or am I just in a fantasy?

No, there's always room for improvement, I get your drift there. We're representing voluntary organisations, and, in a way, we're representing members of communities who aren't necessarily professional people in the thick of it, sort of thing. One of the things that I think we as members of communities feel is—and I'm coming on to the local authority issue, really, because although there are Welsh Government-funded institutions, the Arts Council of Wales being an obvious one, and Welsh Government itself as a direct sponsor of activities, we tend to operate at a local level so it's our local authority that tends to be our natural partner in crime, so to speak.

With the fact that culture is now a marginalised area within local authorities—library closures have been a big issue in Newport, as they are in many other towns and cities in Wales—arts funding is an easy target for finance directors looking to protect their social service budgets. I understand all that. But it means that, if that is the case and cultural funding is going to reduce, there needs to be a new sort of pact with those communities about giving them some responsibility, allowing them to take some risk as well, and this is really what it comes down to.

I think local authorities often don't trust communities, because they feel it's too high risk unless there's sufficient governance in place to mitigate that risk. That's often why local government, which have auditors hanging over their backs, as Welsh Government does too, are worried about taking a risk with real people in real streets, because they might spend it on a trip to Amsterdam or something and it would get in the papers and we'd have a scandal on our hands, as happened with Communities First in several areas. I think it's that ability to take risk—that, to me, is one of the issues.

It's about that relationship between the civic and civil, if you like, and how we can rebalance that. It might be Cameron's big society, it could be that, but in a slightly different form. Because, with respect, it's easier in wealthy areas such as Penarth to rally the troops to get the fête going on a Saturday, or to save the pier, or whatever. It's harder in poor communities, because there is actually, despite what you say, a lot less social capital in those areas. 

In poorer areas.

That's exactly why I think—. This is why I'm sceptical that there should be much public money  going to the richer areas or the areas with more social capital, unless they're showing they have links to those often neighbouring communities or very close or in the same area.

I agree with you—and this is a personal view, not representing the organisation—the vast majority of public arts funding over the last post-war period has enabled people to go to subsidised opera seats and—

Yes, and I've been a beneficiary of that, and that's great, but in these straitened times, we've got to look at some rebalancing, I think, in society.


We could re-engineer these programmes so that we pair up. Why should it be a six-month project all the time? If an area that has a lot of social capital can't show it's furthering a project in partnership in an area that doesn't have that—. That's really the thrust of what I'm trying to suggest, I think. 

Can I extend that point a little? I totally agree with the basic point you're making, and if you go back to the Warwick commission, which was done in England, I don't think it's going to be far off that in Wales—the findings—which showed that less than 25 per cent of the population of England benefited from the funding that went into arts. In some particular disciplines, it's even worse. I think dance is 8 per cent or something like that—it's crazy. It's pretty much the same in this country, which goes back to my point about the consistency of exposure to these things. Why the richer people consume such great degrees of it is because they're all set up to consume it.

I think in terms of the ways in which public funding gets used, there needs to be a greater emphasis on well-managed co-production working with communities. I've often said to some of the larger institutions—. I've used this as an example a number of times when speaking to the Wales Millennium Centre: you don't get a huge amount of Pakistani people in Cardiff that attend cultural events. They'll attend their own cultural events, but you won't get them going to the New Theatre or the millennium centre. Birmingham—they pack it out, and that's because partly it's to do with the size of the Pakistani community in Birmingham that demands it in its own sense, but it's also because they've listened through the years and they bring in things that the community wants. My point is that if you're going to engage communities in the consumption of arts, you need to involve them in the programming processes as well, not just being the audience.

One thing that could be done with a lot of public funding is, at the point of engagement, you start to look at not just co-producing things and ideas and projects, you look at participatory budgeting. So, you're actually taking the budgeting process and using that in a more co-produced way as well. That £10,000 you put aside for public engagement in your institution—if that £10,000 was used in a participatory budgeting framework, you'd probably end up bringing more money in by the time you've gone through that process, because you're involving third sector organisations whose bread and butter is fundraising. It's how we exist—without fundraising, we're gone. We're good at fundraising, it's just matching it up with statutory funds and finding the right way in which to do that, and I think participatory budgeting and co-production are the ways to do it. 

Yes, I think you make a very strong point that it's often because things aren't relevant to communities there isn't that much appetite, then, to engage. To be human is to be in cultural activity—it's unavoidable. Decision makers can sometimes not recognise the real worth of what's going on, say in the Pakistani community, representing one of the oldest civilisations in the sub-continent, with an incredibly rich tradition in drama, dance and all sorts of stuff. It's the same in traditional working-class communities here. Their choral tradition may be a bit different, but it's still glorious. Then, the subject matter of all sorts of things and with individual arts—there's a very proud tradition of community artists, I think. So, I think all those points are really important.

When you're engaging with the large artistic organisations, and when I talk about risk, as Mr Hallam did earlier, we obviously mean risk taken with due diligence; we're not being reckless. But are we too controlling of our collections, in terms of an awful lot of what we hold is in storage? It's often difficult to know what's in storage. It's not lent out very often. Trying to improve all that—. I guess the thought of a significant art collection going to a community centre in Riverside or Maindee—some people might get concerned about the insurance and security issues. Are these big barriers in terms of participation, or at least audience participation and attending events?


It depends what the art discipline you're involved with is. I mean, you've got to take due care of visual arts, and if you take the curatorial aspect of it seriously—which, you know, you would—then it's not just about how it's presented, it's how it's protected as well. So, that's particularly difficult to do in other environments, because of the amount of protection that needs to sit around it, and that can be all sorts of things. If it's more—. Like I said, the Night Out scheme is terrific, I think. It really does take theatre to places it's not normally seen, and I think that's brilliant. The one I talked about, the last one we put on—and this has been consistently the case, over the years, with things like this—I think there were nearly 80 people there, and at least 70 per cent of them had never been in a theatre, let alone being regular theatre-goers. They'd never been in a theatre. So, this was their first theatrical experience. So, you can make those things happen at low cost. You can bring certain things to communities; other things are more difficult, like things that need protecting. But the actual performances—it's not difficult to bring them in.

I would endorse the Night Out scheme that Allan's mentioned as well.

And another similar concept, I suppose: if you look at great institutions in Newport, and obviously in Cardiff, the access to the national museum and gallery—I just use this as an example; I'm not singling them out because I think they're poor performers. You've got this incredible resource on the doorstep, but if you turn up for the first time and just go through the gallery, it's a fairly daunting experience if you stop at every picture and read the interpretation. Now, constituents have raised with me the issue that we don't run the guided tours so much now, and even if we did, they're not necessarily going to be aimed at what may interest people from certain communities. Do we need to really think about that, as to how people are given a richer experience? And also, those people could be out in the communities as well saying, 'Let's take a group there next Thursday afternoon, and it's a fantastic place and—if we use visual arts—we'll see some paintings that really demonstrate what a remarkable place Butetown is', for instance.

Yes, we do it constantly, those types of things. I sit on a diversity forum for national museums and galleries, and that's had a stuttering kind of history to it. I've been involved with it for eight or nine years, I guess. At one point, it was very much something that was just pulled out every now and then when they needed to correlate something or other. I was sitting on it because of my access to a whole variety of different ethnic minority communities in Cardiff, and I can fairly easily pull together quite a lot of people from different communities. And we have had some good experience with that, but it's come on the back of some of the things through the diversity forum and through the processes we've gone through with that. So, I've taken groups of people into the museum. We've gone behind the doors and been in the bone room—the human bone room of the national museum—with a group of community members. We've looked at all manner of different artefacts in a different way. It takes that intensity of connection to open up these things.

Just very briefly, I think if the objective of our various arts and cultural institutions was primarily to ensure accessibility and to ensure people were educated and informed, we would have a rather different-looking map and a different-looking programme to the one we have now. I mean, we might have a network of different institutions with collections that revolved around—we might have much more focus on education and participation. There are very appealing programmes that some of the institutions carry out, but unless you are able and willing to go to Cardiff, know about them, and willing to go through those great big scary doors, then you're not going to do them. And I think if you had a different set of priorities, we would end up with something that looks quite different to what we have now.


Okay. Moving on—sorry, we're running out of time. Rhianon Passmore.

Thank you. Simply, do you feel that there are in-built challenges to those on poorer incomes to accessing and participating in arts? You've mentioned time previously, money—. Obviously, if I'm working three zero-hours contracts and I come home, unless I've got an absolute passion for dance or playing an instrument nurtured from when I was very young, I'm not going to spend two hours developing my skills. So, I think developing your skills is potentially an issue that I would like to dip into, if I may, later. So, are there or are there not any in-built barriers to those who we tend to call working class or those on poorer incomes to accessing the arts, or do you not feel that there are?

I think there are huge barriers in terms of the supply of opportunities. I mean, people who live in the catchment area of these guys are very fortunate, and there aren't equivalent organisations in huge swathes of Wales, across the Valleys, across rural Wales and north Wales, and if you want to learn dance, music—there are just no opportunities to do so. We've seen adult education be cut to the bone, part-time participation in further education has been cut to the bone, and in a lot of places, there's just no voluntary sector filling those things. At best, you have to pay for private provision, and, of course, if you're looking at £15 to £20 an hour for a flute lesson, and you don't have that, it's not going to happen. So, I think it's not—. There's a supply problem as well. 

And, John, I don't know if you've got a comment on that. 

Yes. When I was Googling to prepare for today, I came across an article—it was a paper by Ken Skates that was published four or five years ago introducing the subject of culture, and in his introduction he quoted Raymond Williams, which I thought was quite interesting. Raymond Williams is a, sort of, cultural historian, writer of Keywords, which is one of his famous books, and he wrote a lot about the word 'culture' and how that has different meanings to different people. I think this comes down to definitions, which we won't have time for today—

I would say, on the time and money issue, it depends how you're defining access to culture. It picks up on what Allan was saying. Perhaps, say, people from Pakistani heritage might have a particular cultural experience that is not part of our pretty white committee's view about what culture is, but that is at the centre—. It might be food-based culture, for example. So, I think cultural expectations are the issue here, but to answer your question, 'yes, of course'. Poor people have not got the money or the time or the education, almost by definition, to engage in broader cultural activities if they're not essential in their day-to-day lives.

Okay. So, I'll just add: if we look back to the 1900s, the 1850s, and we look at poor mining communities, we had choral societies putting on Handel's Messiah, brass bands—it was necessarily class, it was more culture, and I would tend to agree with that, and we won't get into the semantics now today.

So, in that regard, you've mentioned very early on in this the fact that you're getting that foundational confidence level building of participation in events, which is very different to participation in skills development. Do you feel that there is a lack of a vertical career accreditation pathway from that very foundational level for those that may be interested in listening to the poetry in the tent, that may be interested in putting on the next rock and pop festival in that community? And do you feel that—? Victoria's mentioned that there's been a deficit with regard to some of the programmes that we've had educationally of late due to austerity. Do you feel that there is a need for more accredited pathways right from that foundational level?

It's not so much the pathways, it's the understanding and the points of inspiration to follow that pathway.

Yes. You need to have a reason to go down that road. There are lots of roads there, but—

That's what I'm asking you: are there lots of roads there from that very first gateway when they attend your festival?

There are, but I think there's a strange kind polarity that's existed that's developing in Wales, really, around cultural industries, which is seen to be the way to bring people into employment, through cultural industries. There's a huge gap between cultural industries and the understanding of culture at a community level. So, perhaps people need to do too many long leaps to get into the thing, and those leaps are a bit daunting, if you like.


Okay. Victoria, I don't know if you've got a comment on that.

I think—. I think Allan's right. It depends exactly what you're talking about pathways into. I think, in the more established arts and cultural employers—so, thinking BBC or Welsh National Opera, say—I think they're very clear what their skills requirements are. I think there are probably question marks around the effectiveness of our educational institutions in matching expectations and meeting their requirements, and that's perhaps a subject for another day. But then I think there's also—almost by definition in arts and cultural activities, people's pathways are not straight. I think the pathways that people might follow, for example, to become a self-employed photographer who is able to pay their way, pay their bills, make a decent living, having done some training—that's not even recognised as a career option. Or young people in bands, they make—certainly, there are quite a lot of bands that make enough to get by, or enough to supplement their other income. Again, that's very rarely even thought of in careers terms. So, I think we've got a kind of sketchy and messy map, if that doesn't mix metaphors.

I'd say, to go back to the schooling, there isn't much careers advice in schools any more. That's been ripped out, so that's a problem because the schools often don't know about the opportunities. If you want to get into, say, the film industry now, it's a highly technical industry. There are lots and lots of jobs in the film industry. You don't have to be a director or a producer; there's tonnes of work in the film and tv industry. But it's fast moving, it's all software-based, and unless you know that industry you're not going to be able to advise some talented 15-year-old who likes playing with his phone—or her—that that's what they should be doing.

Okay. Finally, then, because I notice the clock and the Chair is now looking at the clock, in the regard of how Welsh Government can look at the diaspora of different—and it does come down to a plethora of different meanings for arts participation and arts culture—. How can Welsh Government then assist this landscape in terms of either creating better, more informed pathways, either connecting up communities that may have more social capital in some areas than others—what would be your magic wand solution to how we can improve the whole arts participation agenda?

By investing in that connector bit. You've done it with schools. You know, you've got the hubs in each area that are a connector of arts institutions and schools. Why not have the same thing for communities, so you've got a role? And that role, rather than what John and I do, which is just adding it on and doing it whenever you can fit it in—. Really, what we're doing is using a whole plethora of experience that we've built up. So, the kind of things I talk about doing, I do them in a heartbeat now. They just happen.

Yes. Well, you need more me, yes, certainly. [Laughter.] So, I think that role would solve a lot of problems.

Okay. Sorry, I have to move on. Caroline Jones. Diolch yn fawr.

Diolch, Cadeirydd. My questions are centred around arts-led regeneration. So, we understand that arts-led regeneration can be of much benefit, both nationally and locally. So, if we look at the local example—which John is very familiar with, but any other examples can obviously be used also. So, we look at Maindee Unlimited, a project that came to an end in February 2019 after three years. So, what I'd like to ask—and I'll put my questions into one, if I may—what was achieved? What were the benefits of the project, economically, culturally, and environmentally? And did it bring the community together? Do these projects bring the community together? Did it help businesses, for example, in ever declining town centres where footfall is declining? Did it enhance businesses in any way? You know, the town centres—obviously, did the footfall increase? What benefits did it bring to improve the identity of the area and bring people together as a community? So, I don't know, maybe, John, as you were in charge of this project—.


I was the designer of the project, really.

Yes, of course. This is the Holy Grail question, really: if you spend money on the arts, do you get a kick-back in terms of economic benefit or social benefit? Can we do a cause and effect thing? It's tricky, isn't it, just like it is with lots of things—

—but arts tend to get beaten with a stick over it, because it's hard to do. 

I spent 10 years working as an art therapist and was constantly asked by my hospitals, 'What's the benefit to the patient of the art therapy? We need nice, measurable outcomes.' It's hard to do. But—. So, this is partly, I think, one of the tricks—. Because there were several of these arts local regeneration projects funded. Some had difficulties with the partnerships. They spent a lot of their energy dealing with the partnership issues, and that was often cultural clashes between housing associations, arty groups, local authorities. They couldn't quite get around the table and work a common agenda. We were lucky, because, for all sorts of reasons, we'd already formed this partnership—for other reasons—because we were place-based and we wanted to do something about our place. So, we'd come together not because ACW was saying, 'You've got to have a partnership', but we were all too small to do anything on our own. So, it was the economies of scale. We thought that, if we get together, we could actually do a bit more. So, that was one thing—about the governance, really.

So, when you got together, did you decide on the outcome, the aim of the project?

We did. We did. This was a design issue, and it comes back to my earlier point. I used to work as a head of benefits strategy for the NHS in Wales. I know about outcomes and benefits registers and all of that stuff. So, we did all that stuff. Now, that facility is not available to most communities to do a detailed analysis—a baseline analysis. We did baseline measures. We were clicking the numbers of cars down the high street and knocking on shops and saying, 'Are you rented or are you owned?' and all that. And then we went back and we did repeat measures. So, we did all the quasi-scientific stuff that you like in order to justify this—

No. Now, was it a game? No, because actually those measures they did show, weirdly, that our district shopping centre—Chepstow Road in Maindee—has picked up over the last few years, against the trend. Was it because of us? Who knows?

We've reopened a library—if you want to come tonight, there's prize bingo on tonight. It starts at 7 o'clock. We had artists going around shops, going around Jim Oliver's—the butcher—saying, 'Will you give meat every week, every month, for prize bingo?' We had artists designing the bingo machine. We've got a whole stage set, designed by artists, funded by the arts council and it's on again tonight, and people are coming. And it's not ironic prize bingo; it's community prize bingo, because that's what the community said they wanted in the library. So, that's what they're getting.

So, it was that sort of—. So, yes, it can be done. But the arts council took a big risk with us. They gave us a lot of money and we had very good governance in place and we delivered. And I think that, if you can do those things, then, yes, you can do it and you can measure and you can prove those economic benefits. There are cultural industries moving into Maindee now. People think Maindee's the hippest place on the planet—it's not, but it's just talked about so much. We've done placemaking, we've done new logos—everyone thinks Maindee's great. That's why you invited me here today.

So, it did improve the identity of the area, then, obviously.

It's not new—the arts being involved in regeneration. That's how the east end of London has changed. It started with the artists. The current phrase around it is an extension of gentrification into 'artification'. What it means is that you send the artists in, they create a bit of interest and then the property developers come in and kick the artists out and they turn it into something else. So, the arts are often used in quite a callous way by moneyed institutions as a battering ram to do the dirty work and do the hard work. That old tatty building is now a new building. I'm involved with a lot of people in Stokes Croft in Bristol, and it's happening there—it was a really rundown area; a lot of arts-based people went in and they made it look terrific. And now, the big building that was given to them—. The landlord gave them a huge old 1960s kind of office block and they've got it working, they've got it being used, and now the landlord's going, 'Oh, I think I'll put your rent up' or 'I think I'll take a bit of that bob off you', you know.


Yes. So, the arts is often used as this battering ram for regeneration.

Diolch. Rhianon—symud ymlaen at Fusion.

Thank you. Rhianon—moving on to Fusion.

Thank you. In that regard, then, in terms of your comments, some of you, around the fact that Fusion may or may not have been off the back of Communities First projects and programmes, one of the comments that has been made to this committee previously is how well some of the Fusion projects are working in different communities, but there's no doubt that, in terms of a limited nature, some of these projects are being used as co-ordinator posts to bring more match funding in. And, with the loss of community arts from local authorities, with the difficult budgets that local government has now, do you feel that, on its own, Fusion is enough of a project for our local communities? Should there be more projects around that? And, finally, if I can just add very quickly, in regard to the tiny amount of money that Welsh arts council spends on specific anti-poverty projects, do you feel overall that big funding bodies like the Welsh arts council are focusing enough on this as a main issue, and should they be spending more on smaller scale projects in local communities?

Right. A couple of questions there. [Laughter.]

I was involved at the very outset of Fusion, before it was called Fusion even—it was called Pioneer Projects. Ken Skates launched Fusion at one of the buildings that we use in Butetown. So, I'm very familiar with it and we were the only—. At the time, I was part of the conversations that were building up to framing the Pioneer Projects, as they were called then, and, at that point, we were working quite closely with Merthyr, with the 3Gs Development Trust in Merthyr, and we wanted to do something together, because we had a history of doing things together. And neither Merthyr nor Cardiff councils were much interested in it at that point, so I managed to persuade the whole thing that—

No. Well, I mean, it works by default, I'd say.

Okay. Very briefly, why? In your area, because it's different in different areas.

It's driven by the outcomes, which can be kind of limiting to the arts—

Which was a major criticism around the original Communities First programme, yes.

Okay. So, the final part of that—if I could just briefly ask you to respond to that—do you think that there should be more projects in the basket and do you think that enough money from the Welsh arts council is being spent on those?

I think you need to return to the recommendations in the Baroness Andrews report and redesign the outcomes.

Nothing to add to that, no.

It's difficult, because, from where you sit, you need a policy and you need a one-size-fits-all and you've got to have equity and all those things, but the nature of creative projects is that they vary. So, I think if you could have—. If I could bring in a consultant into my organisation, and, on behalf of them—they're funded by Welsh Government and they're saying, 'Actually, this organisation, what they could really do with is, you know, some new toilets'. Weird, isn't it? Because that's—. So, we use the cultural money for the new toilets, because then the people in wheelchairs can get into the building, and they're the ones who we're trying to target.

So, I think the difficulty is that you make a template—you know, Fusion, as a template—and roll it out and hope it bites and all the rest of it. But, with creative projects, you need to be creative, and that means that there is not one—you know, you should not be programming Welsh National Opera here, should you? Because you want creative people to be taking decisions on that one. And the same in local communities with their creative programmes—they need to be tailored to those communities and responsive. So, I think a little bit of risk, a little bit of—. It's great when people come with a bag of money and say, 'Look, we have got a bit of money here, but how could it be best used? I'm pretty knowledgeable and I can help you use it in a good way'. That's what we would really like.

Oh, certainly. Certainly.

Can I just ask quickly? I know we need to move on, but you said 'redesign outcomes'. I just want to know what they would look like just for us to know, if we are saying any recommendations, what would the outcome process look like. Would you be asking the community to tell the Government what the outcomes would be from the start?

Ideally. Ideally, yes. But you can take—. If you conduct the consultation process and the engagement correctly, you can take the Baroness Andrews recommendations and take them to communities and talk about them with communities. Right now, they're some kind of mystery document lost in time somewhere. So, yes, going to back to my more co-production, then I think you should give people a chance to actually interrogate the recommendations of Baroness Andrews at a community level.


Ocê, grêt. Diolch. I orffen, Delyth.

Okay, great. Thanks. To conclude, Delyth.

I'm going to ask you to answer first because I know that you have to leave very shortly, please. In terms of the disconnect that's between the actual benefits that programmes of this nature can bring and just cultural activity can bring, not just to individuals, but to entire communities, the disconnect between those benefits and how these programmes are meant to be evaluated, how have you found the process of evaluating, or how do you think this could be looked at to be improved, so that we actually take into account the so-called softer benefits that can come—but they're not that soft, are they—in terms of tackling isolation, community cohesion?

I think one of the challenges is that the outcomes that are expected or required by various programmes don't connect with the activities and with the funding, and that's because, I would say, there's not a clear theory of change that informs those. So, somehow, by some sort of magic process, by participating in x you get outcome y, although it's not clear. Now, to some extent, particularly with artistic and cultural activities, you can't necessarily map that process of change, because it's often quite individualised. But I think the first thing is that, for any programme, it needs to be very clear what its process is, and be clear about its baseline, as John said, the processes and then the outcomes that you're looking for. Those outcomes can partly be self-assessed outcomes or self-reported outcomes, just as in health we will measure not only, 'Has x condition disappeared?' but, 'How do people feel about their condition? Are they able to manage it? Do they live with it? What's their mood? Blah blah blah blah blah.' There's a whole raft of literature there. I think that's one of the softer outcomes—improvements to well-being, if you like, to personal well-being—that's quite hard to capture, but if you can capture it, it's a very important part. But my colleagues have got much more experience of actually doing this than I have.


Yes. Sloppy, yes. You're quite right.

I know you need to leave, Victoria. Thank you for your evidence. John.

Yes, I'll pick up on your point, David. In the analysis of outcomes or outputs or benefits or gain or whatever, or payback, or whatever it is, you divide between those measurable things—and bureaucrats like measurable things because they can say, 'There you go, Minister, there's the 6 per cent increase', and that's how decisions are taken. It's a short-cut way, it's a quick way, because everyone's busy, and they need to see a trend. They need to see whether this is good or bad or whatever. So, nice scientific measures are helpful to busy people who need to take decisions.

The qualitative measures: we're talking about the creative process here, which is a bit—it isn't muddy, it's not sort of vague, it just doesn't quite work around those—. And I don't want to—. You're all culturally astute people, but an artist doesn't go into a sort of—. A writer doesn't sit down and say, 'This month I'm going to write this book and it's going to be about that.' It's a process and the book turns out as they think it's going to—maybe a little bit how they think. They know you're going to be the main character, or whatever, but they're not quite sure what's going to happen to you in the narrative. That's the nature of the thing, so that's the problem with this, because funders always want to know what the outcome's going to be before they hand over the money, and the nature of the process is vague. It doesn't have clear outcomes, which is one of its weaknesses and one of its strengths. But that's the qualitative bit, really, which makes it so important, because when it does work, it's of incredible value.


I think qualitative outcomes are possible to measure. It's a matter of how you set up the framework for measurement—make sure you're measuring the right things and not trying to measure something that's unmeasurable.

We've been lucky enough, through the last 20 years really, to work quite closely with Cardiff University and social researchers. They've brought a lot of skill to us around participative research skills and they are very much about finding a way to take 'qualitative' and quantify it in some way that's recognisable, and you can measure change. It's about timescales a lot of the time. The impact it has on people's lives is not necessarily something that you can measure at the end of a six-week course; it's something that happens five years later.

There's a young girl from Riverside, she got involved in a youth arts project and she was painfully shy at the time, I remember really clearly, and she was about 13 or 14 at the time, but that built her confidence up. She went on then to go to the Sherman Youth Theatre, and spent about four years doing that. Then she turned and went to university and did a law degree, but about three years after that, she realised, 'No, I really want to go back to my arts stuff.' She's now a writer and she's got arts council development grants as a writer. That's all about the process that introduced her to the arts and built her confidence to the point where she could go. Without going to a youth arts project for a couple of years, she wouldn't have had the confidence to go to the Sherman Theatre and probably wouldn't have had the confidence to go to university.

That seed can be planted and you don't know when it's actually going to bloom.

No, but they do a lot though.

Can I also say that I think the arts get the short straw in this one? If you compare it with other areas of public sector expenditure, say, IT systems in the public expenditure. The amount of people who run around doing plans about the gains of the new ICT system for whatever department it is, and the millions or billions that end up being flushed away down whatever because the system has failed. Those have all been based on the most rigorous of business cases that have been scrutinised with the five-case model and all the rest, and every risk has been mitigated and planned and yet, they go wrong. The arts doesn't have all those people; it doesn't have all those people with all those skills, but I think it gets—. You have to be a bit generous as well, that, on that basis, I just think we often get an unfair—. We're expected, you know—. I've said what I've said.

Yes, I understand. Creativity means that you have to allow a gap for it to flourish in an unexpected way.

Yes, not in a slack way, but in a creative way.

Diolch, Delyth, am fod yn fras yn fanna. Dŷn ni wedi rhedeg mas o amser, ond os oes unrhyw beth ychwanegol, fel roedd Allan yn ei ddweud nawr, o ran profiadau unigolion, os ydyn nhw'n anonymous neu os ydyn nhw eisiau rhoi eu henwau i ni, byddai'n help i ni i wybod am rai o'r straeon personol yma a lle mae wedi arwain at ddatblygiad personol. Byddai hynny'n rili helpu ni. Felly, diolch yn fawr iawn am ddod i mewn a byddwn yn siŵr o gysylltu â chi pan fydd yr adroddiad yn dod mas ar sut y byddwch yn gallu ymwneud yn fwy â'r hyn rydym yn ei wneud fel pwyllgor. Diolch yn fawr iawn. 

Byddwn yn cymryd dwy funud o seibiant.

Thank you, Delyth, for being succinct there. We've run out of time, but if there are any additional issues that you wanted to raise, as Allan said, about the experiences of individuals, if they're anonymous or if they want to give their names to us, then it would help us to hear about some of those personal stories and where it has led to personal development. That would really help us. So, thank you very much to you for joining us today. I'm sure we'll be in touch with you once the report is published on how you can become more involved with the work that we do as a committee. Thank you very much.

We'll take a two-minute break.

Two minutes for a break.

Gohiriwyd y cyfarfod rhwng 10:33 a 10:39.

The meeting adjourned between 10:33 and 10:39.

3. Minnau hefyd! - Ymchwiliad i rôl y celfyddydau a diwylliant wrth fynd i'r afael â thlodi ac allgáu cymdeithasol: Treftadaeth
3. Count me in! - Inquiry into the role of arts and culture in addressing poverty and social exclusion: Heritage

Iawn, dŷn ni wedi mynd yn gyhoeddus. Croeso nôl i'r pwyllgor. Eitem 3: Minnau hefyd!—ymchwiliad i rôl y celfyddydau a diwylliant wrth fynd i'r afael â thlodi ac allgáu cymdeithasol. Dŷn ni'n ffocysu ar y sector treftadaeth nawr y bore yma. Tystion sydd gyda ni heddiw: Christopher Catling—neu Caitling? Catling.

Right, we're now public. Welcome back to the committee. Item 3: Count me in!—inquiry into the role of arts and culture in addressing poverty and social exclusion. We're focusing on the heritage sector now this morning. The witnesses that we have this morning are Chistopher Catling—or Caitling? Catling.


I just wanted to say it right.

Prif weithredwr Comisiwn Brenhinol Henebion Cymru. David Thomas, pennaeth gwasanaethau cyhoeddus, Comisiwn Brenhinol Henebion Cymru; Owain Rhys, pennaeth ymgysylltu a chyfranogiad cymunedol, Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Cymru; ac wedyn Nia Williams, cyfarwyddwr dysgu ac ymgysylltu, Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Cymru. Mae yna nifer ohonoch chi ar y panel, felly os byddech chi'n gallu bod yn ymwybodol o'r amser—mae awr gennym ni—pan dŷch chi'n ateb. Does dim angen i chi ateb pob cwestiwn. Byddwn ni'n mynd yn syth mewn i gwestiynau ar sail themâu gwahanol. Dŷn ni wedi cael sesiwn ddiddorol iawn y bore yma gyda'r sector gwirfoddol ar sut maen nhw'n creu celfyddydau yn eu cymunedau nhw. Felly, dŷn ni'n edrych ymlaen at glywed gennych chi yn y maes treftadaeth. Vikki Howells.

CEO of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. David Thomas, head of public services, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales; Owain Rhys, head of community engagement and participation, National Museum Wales; and then Nia Williams, director of learning and engagement, National Museum Wales. There are a number of you on the panel, so if you could be aware of time—we have an hour—when you answer. You don't have to answer every question. We'll go straight into questions on the basis of different themes. We've had a very interesting session this morning with the voluntary sector on how they're creating art in their communities. We're looking forward to hearing about that in the heritage sector with you. Vikki Howells.


Diolch, Chair. Good morning to you all. I'm interested in some of the barriers to participation in the production of arts and culture among those who are socially excluded—actually getting involved with creating, putting events on, et cetera. I wondered if any of you had any thoughts around that and about, particularly, how those barriers can be overcome. 

Dwi am siarad yn Gymraeg. Rŷn ni wedi bod yn rhan o nifer o raglenni gwahanol. Os gwnaf i sôn efallai am Cyfuno, o ran y gwaith ymchwil rŷn ni wedi ei wneud gyda'r uned [cywiriad: gwasanaethau] knowledge and analytical yn y Llywodraeth, wrth gwrs, mae rhwystrau i ymgysylltu yn un o'r themâu rŷn ni'n edrych arnyn nhw. Mae yna rwystrau sefydliadol sydd yn dod allan. Mae'r rheini i wneud gyda phrinder adnoddau, yn ariannol ac o fewn staff a chyllidebau, ond hefyd sgiliau, a sgiliau efallai o ran y sector treftadol a'r sector gymunedol yn cydweithio gyda'i gilydd i ddeall beth mae diwylliant yn medru ei gynnig, ond hefyd i ddeall sut orau i ymgysylltu. Mae hwnna'n faes rŷn ni wedi pigo lan dros y flwyddyn ddiwethaf gyda Cyfuno o ran trefnu diwrnodau hyfforddiant. Mae hwnna 'n rhywbeth efallai, fel sector ac ar draws sectorau, y gallwn ni edrych yn fwy manwl arno fe. Mae yna wedyn rwystrau allanol, a'r prif rwystr sydd yn ymddangos ym mhob ymchwil rŷn ni'n ei wneud o gwmpas hwn ydy trafnidiaeth: costau trafnidiaeth, medru ymgysylltu rhwng llefydd a'i gilydd, ac yn lleol, wedyn, costau'r ymgysylltu ei hunan. Dyna rhai o'r pethau mae Cyfuno yn dangos i ni. Dwi ddim yn gwybod os oes yna—

I will speak in Welsh. We have been part of a number of different programmes. I'll mention Fusion, about the research that we've done with the knowledge and analytical unit [correction: services] in the Government, and of course, barriers to engagement is one of the themes that we're looking at. There are institutional barriers that emerge. Those are to do with a lack of resources, be that financial or within staff and budgets, and in terms of skills, and skills perhaps in terms of the heritage sector and the community sector collaborating with each other to understand what culture can offer, but also to understand how we can engage in the best way. That's an issue that we have picked up on with Fusion over the past year in terms of organising training days. That's something perhaps, as a sector and across sectors, that we could look at in greater detail. Then there are external barriers, and the main barrier that emerges in all of the research work that we do on this is transport: costs of transport, being able to connect places with each other, and local costs in terms of engagement. Those are some of the issues that Fusion has brought to our attention. I don't know whether there's anything else—

Does gen i ddim byd i adio at hynna. 

I have nothing to add on that.

Beth am y comisiwn brenhinol, a oes gennych chi sylwad cychwynnol fan hyn?

What about the royal commission, do you have any initial comments?

Very much the same as Nia, that there are two types of barrier. There are our own barriers, which are that we've come fairly new to this field, it's not part of our traditional work. We've embraced it, but we are learning what works and what doesn't. I would argue that at least the royal commission is still very much at the learning stage. Then, there are other barriers to reaching those people who you want to help. You can't just go knocking on people's door and say, 'Hey, are you socially deprived? Do you suffer mental ill health?', or whatever. You've got to rely on professionals to bring you together. As I think I said in my written evidence, to begin with, we had to persuade the professionals that we've got something to offer. To begin with, that was quite difficult, but I think we're there now. 

Sorry, Chair—can you clarify who you mean by professionals?

Local authority social services, education authorities, people working with people living with Alzheimer's—a whole range of people. 

Would anybody like to expand more on how those barriers can be broken down, then? We seem to see the same barriers time and time again.

Allaf i siarad Cymraeg hefyd?

Can I speak in Welsh as well?

Dŷn ni'n gweithio fel amgueddfa ar draws y sector gyda phartneriaid eraill fel Cadw a'r cyngor celfyddydau a chymunedau lleol ar draws Cymru. Dŷn ni'n gweithio efo cymunedau o fewn ardal Caerdydd, er enghraifft, ac yn cynnig taliad, os ydyn nhw'n un o'n partneriaid craidd ni, i ddod ar gyfer cyfarfodydd ac yn y blaen, neu yn fwy diweddar, dŷn ni wedi bod yn gweithio gyda chymunedau fel yr Innovate Trust a'r Wallich. Dŷn ni'n ariannu elfennau o'r gwaith maen nhw'n ei wneud drwy gael pobl maen nhw'n gweithio gydag i mewn i'r amgueddfeydd yn Sain Ffagan a Chaerdydd. Felly, dŷn ni yn gweithio o fewn ein gallu i helpu gydag ariannu hyn, ond dwi’n meddwl, yn fwy hirdymor, mae’n rhaid inni edrych ar weithio gyda’r Senedd, gyda’r Cynulliad, gyda Llywodraeth Cymru, i feddwl am ddulliau eraill o ariannu hwn. Mae honna’n sgwrs ehangach nag o fewn y gwaith diwylliannol dŷn ni’n ei wneud.

We work as a museum across the sector with other partners such as Cadw and the arts council and local communities across Wales. We work with communities within the Cardiff area, for example, and offer payment, if they are one of our core partners, to attend meetings and so forth, or more recently, we have been working with communities such as the Innovate Trust and The Wallich. We fund elements of the work that they do by bringing the people they work with into the museum in St Fagans and the museum in Cardiff. So, we do work within our ability to help with funding this, but I think, in the longer term, that we need to look at working with the Senedd, the Assembly, the Welsh Government, to think about other means of funding this, and that is a broader discussion than within the cultural work that we're doing.


Un o’r pethau, os ŷm ni’n edrych ar wledydd eraill—os edrychwn ni ar Sweden, er enghraifft, roedd hwn yn rhywbeth roedd Sweden yn edrych arno ryw 10 mlynedd [cywiriad: rai blynyddoedd] yn ôl, ac fe basion nhw fod trafnidiaeth am ddim i bobl ifanc dan 19 mlwydd oed, er enghraifft, fel polisi. Ac maen nhw wedi gweld newid yn y ffaith bod pethau'n digwydd yn gymunedol, ond bod modd i bobl symud allan o’u cymunedau nhw hefyd, a bod hwnna’n rhywbeth pwysig o ran codi uchelgais pobl a datblygu sgiliau. Felly, mae yna bethau polisi efallai byddai modd edrych arnyn nhw.

Un o’r problemau, mewn ffordd, yw ein bod ni’n edrych ar y pethau yma’n ynysig iawn yn hytrach nag ar draws portffolios gwahanol. Mae hwnna’n un o’r problemau, mewn ffordd, sydd wedi bod gyda Cyfuno; mae’n eistedd yn y portffolio diwylliant, ond mae e’n berthnasol iawn, iawn i’r portffolio addysg, i’r portfolios regeneration, iechyd ac yn y blaen. Buaswn i’n galw ar y pwyllgor yma, mewn ffordd, i edrych ar hwn fel rhywbeth ar draws portffolios.

One of the things, if we look at other countries, such as Sweden, for example—this is something that Sweden was looking at around 10 [correction: some] years ago, and they passed a policy that transport should be free of charge for people under 19 years of age. And they've seen a change in that regard in that things happen in the communities, but people can leave their communities as well, and that's important in terms of raising people's ambitions and developing their skills. So, there are policy issues that could be looked at.

One of the problems, in a way, is that we look at these things in isolation, rather than across different portfolios. That's one of the problems that have faced Fusion; it sits within the culture portfolio, but it is very relevant to the education portfolio, the regeneration portfolio, the health portfolio and so on. So, I would call on this committee to look at this issue as something that's across portfolios.

Diolch. Wyt ti eisiau dod nôl yn glou?

Thank you. Do you want to come back, quickly?

You touched there, Nia, on some of the benefits of participating in arts and culture, and with funding becoming increasingly difficult now, with austerity, those are the kinds of benefits that really need to be flagged up. Is there any evidence as far as you're concerned, anyone on the panel, that people who participate in arts and culture can then secure better paid employment or access employment as a result of their experiences?

We've got a few good examples of people who have—. I mean, with the work we've been doing, we work very much on sort of project-based approaches, which means that we use our externally funded projects, really, to go into communities. And the issue there is we can meet people and we can develop them. We've got examples of people we've worked with in terms of skills development, particularly in the kind of digital environment that we're working with—scanning and stuff like that—to take those skills and build up, as part of a portfolio that they can go ahead with in the rest of their careers.

The frustration from our point of view is that because we're using external project funding, we're only there for a certain amount of time, so we lose track, then, as time goes on. So, it's quite time limited there.

Mae yna sawl enghraifft o ddatblygu sgiliau. Mae sgiliau’n un, ond buaswn i hefyd yn dweud efallai fod yna dair agwedd rŷn ni’n tynnu allan o’r gwaith Cyfuno, er enghraifft. Un ydy cydlyniant cymunedol, y syniad o hunaniaeth a beth mae diwylliant yn gallu ei gynnig i hwnna ar lefel leol ac ar lefel genedlaethol. Wedyn, y rhwydweithiau cymdeithasol. Mae’r problemau y mae Cymru’n eu hwynebu heddiw ddim yn bethau y mae’r sectorau’n gallu eu gwneud ar eu pennau eu hun, ac mae’r cydweithio yna ar draws sectorau yn allweddol, dwi’n meddwl, i ddatrys rhai o’r problemau yma. Felly, mae hwnna’n rhywbeth arall rŷn ni’n gweld. Os ŷn ni’n gweithio gyda’n gilydd, er enghraifft, os ŷn ni’n gweithio gydag Arts Award, gydag Adult Learning Wales, mae’r gwaith defnyddio diwylliant fel cyd-destun i ddatblygu sgiliau gydag arbenigwyr sydd yn gwybod orau sut i ddatblygu’r sgiliau hynny—dyna’r math o approach rŷn ni wedi bod yn cymryd, rili.

There are many examples of developing skills. Skills is one. I would also say that there are three aspects that we take out from the Fusion programme, for example. There's the community cohesion, this idea of identity and what culture can offer that on a local and national level. And then, the social networks. The problems that Wales is facing at the moment aren't something that the sectors can do by themselves, and that collaboration across sectors is key, I think, to solve some of these problems. So, that is something else that we see. For example, if we work together, if we work with with Arts Award, with Adult Learning Wales, the work of using culture as a context for developing skills with experts who know best how to develop those skills, that is the kind of approach that we've been taking, really.

Ac mewn enghraifft fwy perthnasol neu benodol, dŷn ni'n gweithio gydag Oxfam, er enghraifft, i roi cyfleodd i bobl sydd wedi mudo ac yn cael trafferth i gael swyddi. Dŷn ni'n rhoi cynnig i wirfoddoli yn yr amgueddfa, a drwy hynny, maen nhw wedi mynd ymlaen i gael gwaith yn yr amgueddfa. Dŷn ni'n gweithio hefyd gyda’r is-adran amgueddfeydd, archifau a llyfrgelloedd a Creative and Cultural Skills i gynnig cyfleoedd i bobl ifanc sydd ddim yn cael cyfleoedd i weithio yn yr amgueddfeydd, yn Big Pit, er enghraifft, yn Llanberis ac yn Sain Ffagan.

And in a more relevant example, perhaps, or specific example, we work with Oxfam, for example,  to give opportunities to migrants who have difficulty in gaining employment. We provide them with an opportunity to volunteer at the museum, and through that, they've gone on to gain employment at the museum. We also work with the museums, archives and libraries division and Creative and Cultural Skills to provide opportunities for young people who perhaps don't receive other opportunities to work in museums, in Big Pit, for example, in Llanberis and in St Fagans. 

Jest cyn imi symud at David Melding, roeddwn i eisiau gofyn cwestiwn bach, os mae'n iawn. Roedd Nia'n sôn am gymwysterau a sgiliau, es i i ysgol arbennig yn Abertawe'r wythnos diwethaf, ac maen nhw'n gweithio gydag Agored Cymru er mwyn cael cymwysterau trwy ffilm a thrwy'r celfyddydau, yn amlwg, achos nad ydyn nhw'n mynd i allu cael TGAU oherwydd natur y problemau dysgu sydd gyda nhw. Oes yna le i ddatblygu pethau fel hyn o ran y maes celfyddydau i bobl yn y gymuned lle nad ydyn nhw'n gwneud cymhwyster ysgrifenedig, ond eu bod nhw'n gwneud rhywbeth trwy'r celfyddydau, ac mae hwnna wedyn yn arwain at eu bod nhw'n gallu datblygu mewn unrhyw faes wedyn?

Just before I move on to David Melding, I wanted to ask a brief question. Nia mentioned qualifications and skills. I went to a special school in Swansea last week, and they work with Agored Cymru to have qualifications through film and arts. obviously, because they weren't going to be able to get a GCSE because of the nature of the learning problems they were facing. Is there room here to develop things like this in the arts for people in the community where they don't go for a written qualification, but they do something through the arts and that then leads to something that can be developed in any area then? 


Yn bendant. Rŷn ni wedi gweld toriadau mawr ym maes addysg i oedolion yng Nghymru, ond buaswn i'n dweud efallai ein bod ni'n gallu ailfframio hwn. Mae'r gofodau sydd gyda ni ar draws Cymru—gofodau celfyddydol, treftadol—yn cynnig cyd-destun dysgu gwahanol iawn efallai i bobl a gafodd brofiad eithaf negyddol yn yr ysgol. Maen nhw'n creu cyd-destun kinaesthetic ar gyfer dysgu, a rŷn ni'n gweld budd mawr o hwn mewn dysgu iaith, dysgu Cymraeg fel iaith, dysgu Saesneg fel ail iaith. Rŷn ni hefyd yn ei weld e yn ein gwaith ni gydag Adult Learning Wales trwy sgiliau creadigol—crefft, ac yn y blaen—ond dysgu llythrennedd a mathemateg drwy hynny.

Mae'r gwaith 'accredit-o' yna rŷn ni wedi ei wneud wedi bod yn llwyddiannus iawn. Dwi'n meddwl bod modd inni 'upscale-o' hwn i wneud hwn ar scale mwy, a byddai hwnna'n golygu—dwi'n siarad ar ran yr amgueddfa, ond dwi'n meddwl bod modd i ddefnyddio'r modelau yma ar draws pob math o wahanol sefydliadau creadigol a chelfyddydol yng Nghymru.

Certainly, and we have seen huge cuts in the field of adult education in Wales, but perhaps we can reframe this. The spaces that we have the length and breadth of Wales, the heritage and arts spaces that we have, offer a different learning context for people who've perhaps had a negative experience in school. They provide that kinaesthetic experience in terms of learning, and we see a great deal of benefit in this regard in terms of learning languages—Welsh as a language, English as a second language. We also see it in our work with Adult Learning Wales, through creative skills, craft and so on, and learning literacy and mathematics through that.

That accreditation work that we've done has been very successful, so I think we can upscale this to do this at a much greater scale, and that would mean—and I'm talking on behalf of the museum, but I think that we can use these models across all kinds of different institutions, creative organisations and cultural organisations in Wales.

Os gallen ni gael mwy o wybodaeth ar hynny, byddai hwnna yn help mawr inni. David Melding.

If we could have more information on that, that would be of great assistance to us. David Melding.

Thank you, Chair. I thought it was interesting in the royal commission's evidence that—and I think you hinted at it in an earlier response as well, about the need to link up with a range of professionals—these interventions are not scalable. They are fairly limited. It doesn't necessarily lead to large-scale transformation, and I just wonder if that is the right way of looking at it, because it seems to me, when we see successful projects—I was interested in the homelessness one, Who Decides?, which the national museum did with The Wallich—. I'm not sure if the royal commission's been involved in the CAER project, but you'll be aware of it, this remarkable archaeological project in Cardiff West, in Caerau, in an area where the remains go back to the Mesolithic. It's incredibly rich, and they've used the local community, and some, I understand, are now accessing higher education courses. Now, if all archaeological digs, or the major ones, were doing that, that to me is scalable, and I just wonder with the national museum as well, how much has it been mainstreamed, this focus on your responsibility to all communities. Perhaps you could give an example of what you've learned from Who Decides? and how that approach can be more integrated. Also, I understand you've got 33 annual training placements over the next three years as part of the Fusion programme, so how much of that will be recruiting people from these relatively deprived backgrounds?

I think, in terms of when you talk about that sort of small-scale intervention, there is a general movement towards the culture of the sector moving much more towards involving people in escalations and people involved in other work. In fact, with our Climate, Heritage and Environments of Reefs, Islands and Headlands project, there's very much a community archaeology angle on that as well. So, we are building those things in on the basis of what's been learned at the CAER project, and the effectiveness of that has come into the culture of the sector as well.

The best example of that is Operation Nightingale, which is funded by the Ministry of Defence, and soldiers who've suffered injuries, mental or physical, have been involved in archaeological projects, and several of them have gone on to university to study archaeology. But, in saying that, the clue is: 'funded by the Ministry of Defence'. Most archaeology in the UK is funded by developers who have to pay for the archaeology on a polluter-pays principle, and they're interested in getting it done as cheaply as possible. We're constantly, as an archaeological profession, wanting to involve local communities, and being prevented from doing so. But as Dave says, we've built community archaeology into everything that we do as a royal commission, and so we're holding a field school this summer—

A lot of it is driven by funding source as well, so the Heritage Lottery Fund would require quite heavy involvement of the community, even more so with their new guidelines coming out.

And it's been tremendously successful. Again, in my written evidence, I talk about Carenza Lewis's work. She has been working with a project called Cambridge Access. A local authority in East Anglia has been identifying bright children who come from backgrounds where they're not being supported in their educational aspirations, and the family doesn't know about university opportunities. So, they've been coming and doing archaeological excavations on one weekend and then going to Cambridge to the faculty of archaeology and analysing the finds, and having dinner in hall and experiencing Cambridge life, and it's had a tremendous success. And that experiment has been going on for long enough now to be able to track the outcomes and they are very, very positive. Carenza has recently won funding to expand that programme, but I keep coming back to the word 'funding'.


Byddwn i'n dweud, fel sefydliad, fod y ffordd yma o weithio yn greiddiol i ni. Rwy'n credu bod gan bawb yr hawl i gyfranogi o ba bynnag oed, o ba bynnag gefndir ac mae hynny'n greiddiol i'n gweledigaeth ni fel amgueddfa. Felly, mae e'n ddibynnol ar nawdd, ydy, ond mae hefyd yn ddibynnol ar y ffordd rŷn ni gweithio. Un o'r pethau rŷn ni'n ei wneud yw herio ein staff trwy'r amser i feddwl sut y gallan nhw weithio mewn ffordd sydd yn dod â budd cymdeithasol i gymunedau tlotaf Cymru. Felly, rŷn ni'n gweithio'r syniad o wirfoddoli a'r syniad o rannu sgiliau i mewn i'n rhaglen waith naturiol ni. Mae gennym enghraifft eithaf da o archaeoleg ar waith ar hyn o bryd. Allaf i ddim rhannu lle yng Nghymru mae e'n digwydd, ond efallai y gallai Owain ddweud mwy ynglŷn â hwn, lle rŷn ni'n gweithio yn sir Benfro—wnaf i ddweud hwnna, ond wnaf i ddim rhoi mwy o fanylion na hynny—ar rywbeth diddorol iawn, iawn yn hanes Cymru.

I would say, as an organisation, this way of working is core to us. I think everybody has a right to participate, whatever their age or background, and that is core to our vision as a museum. So, it does rely on funding and sponsorship, yes, but it's also about the way we work. One thing we do is challenge our staff all the time to think about how they can work in order to bring social benefit to the most disadvantaged communities in Wales. So, we work on the idea of volunteering and sharing skills into our natural work programme. We have quite a good example of archaeology being undertaken at the moment. I can't share with you where in Wales it's happening, but perhaps Owain could say a little bit more about this, where we're working in Pembrokeshire—I'll say that, but I won't provide you with any more detail on it—on something that is very, very interesting in Welsh history.

Maen nhw wedi darganfod cerbyd rhyfel a, gobeithio, corff. Roeddwn i yno'r wythnos diwethaf. Er mwyn gallu cynnig am arian allanol i gael y gloddfa i ddigwydd, roedd yn hanfodol i ni, fel amgueddfa, ein bod ni'n ymwneud â'r gymuned leol. Felly, mae yna grŵp o bobl ifanc o Goleg Sir Benfro yn cofnodi ac yn recordio ar y safle a byddan nhw, dros y flwyddyn nesaf, yn cael cyfle i ymweld â Sain Ffagan a'r amgueddfa yng Nghaerdydd i weld y gwaith cadwraeth. Mae yna ddau ohonyn nhw sydd eisiau mynd ymlaen i fod yn archaeolegwyr, felly rŷn ni'n gobeithio eu cefnogi nhw dros y flwyddyn nesaf, ac ymhellach os yn bosib, i wireddu eu breuddwyd.

They have found a chariot and, hopefully, a body. I was there last week. In order to apply for external funding to undertake the dig, it was essential that we, as a museum, involved the local community. So, there is a group of young people from Pembrokeshire College who are recording the find on the site and they, over the next year, will have an opportunity to visit St Fagans and the museum in Cardiff to see the conservation work being done. There are two of them who want to go on to be archaeologists, so we hope to support them over the coming year and further ahead, hopefully, to achieve that ambition. 

Felly, mae hwnna'n enghraifft o'r ffordd rŷn ni, fel uwch dîm, yn gweithredu. Wnaiff y prosiect ddim digwydd oni bai bod y tîm yn ystyried beth yw'r budd cymunedol lleol y maen nhw'n gallu ei gynnig fel rhan o'r prosiect hwnnw, o ran datblygu sgiliau a datblygu uchelgais pobl ifanc Cymru heddiw—

So, that is an example of the way in which we, as the senior team, are operating. The project won't happen unless the team considers what community benefit at a local level they can offer as part of that project, in terms of developing the skills and developing the ambition of young people in Wales today— 

Achos mae e'n treasure anferth [cywiriad: dileu 'anferth'] a dŷn ni ddim yn moyn pob metal detectorist yn yr UK yn troi lan yna. Felly, mae'r bobl ifanc hefyd wedi 'sign-io'—maen nhw'n rhan o hynny ac maen nhw'n gweld y broses honno'n digwydd. Mae gennym ni gwmni teledu hefyd yn rhan o hwn, so bydd yna raglen yn dod allan, gobeithio, ohono fe, a byddan nhw'n rhan o hynny hefyd. Felly, rŷn ni'n gallu cynnig profiadau y tu hwnt i beth y mae ysgolion neu'r gymuned leol ar ei phen ei hun yn medru ei wneud, ac mae cyfrifoldeb arnom ni i wneud hynny.

Because it is a great [correction: delete 'great'] treasure and we don't want every metal detectorist in the UK turning up. That's why we're not identifying it now. So, the young people have signed—they're part of that and they're seeing that process happening. We have a tv company that is also a part of this, so there will be a programme coming out of it, hopefully, and they'll be part of that as well. So, we can offer experiences beyond what schools or the local community by themselves can, and there's a responsibility on us to do so.

What about your Heritage Lottery training schemes and the recruitment intervals?

Are you talking about the Cultural Ambition programme?

Mae Uchelgais Diwylliannol yn rhaglen rŷn ni wedi'i datblygu. Rŷn ni'n un o'r partneriaid. Creative & Cultural Skills sydd yn ei rhedeg gyda Choleg Caerdydd a'r Fro ac y mae pob un o brif sefydliadau cenedlaethol Cymru ym maes treftadaeth ac amgueddfeydd yn rhan ohoni—y comisiwn, ni, Cadw a'r llyfrgell genedlaethol—a gyda'n gilydd, rŷn ni'n cymryd 33 o bobl ar leoliadau gwaith, sydd yn dod o gefndiroedd lle efallai eu bod nhw heb gael y cyfleoedd y bydden nhw yn eu dymuno, ond sydd â diddordeb, hwyrach, i weithio yn y maes yn y dyfodol. Felly, rŷn ni'n sicrhau bod y bobl rŷn ni yn eu cymryd ar hyn o bryd yn wynebu diweithdra ac efallai heb gael lefel uwch o addysg. Mae hon yn bartneriaeth gydag amgueddfeydd, archifdai a llyfrgelloedd lleol hefyd. A dwi'n meddwl bod hwnna'n rhywbeth arall rŷn ni'n edrych yn fanwl arno ar y funud [cywiriad: y gallem ni edrych yn fanylach arno], sef y berthynas rhwng y lleol a'r cenedlaethol a sut mae hwnna'n gweithio. Mae hwn yn un esiampl, efallai, o'r math o fodel y gallem ni fod yn ei ddatblygu yn y dyfodol.

Cultural Ambition is a programme that we have developed. We are one of the partners. Creative & Cultural Skills run it with Cardiff and Vale College and all of the major national institutions in Wales in the field of heritage and museums are part of that—the commission, us, Cadw and the national library—and together, we take 33 people on work placements, who come from backgrounds where perhaps they haven't had the opportunities that they would wish to have, but who have an interest in working in this area in future. So, we ensure that the people that we take on are currently facing unemployment and perhaps haven't had a higher level of education. This is a partnership with museums, archives and local libraries as well. I think that's something else that we look at in great detail at the moment [correction: could look at in greater detail], namely the relationship between the local and the national and how that happens. And that's one example, perhaps, of the kind of model that we could be developing in future.

Okay, I think that's encouraging. I just want to talk about our willingness to take risk with due diligence, because this seems to be quite a barrier sometimes. I was interested in the museum's example of—you got homeless people to come in, look at the collection, then sort of curate it, or at least with assistance, and be allowed to do that.

There's also this whole issue of an awful lot of material that we hold for the nation is not displayed and it's in storage of some kind—a more diffuse approach to the exhibition of materials and what is exhibited and how it's curated. We've got community centres all over Wales. I just wonder if there's enough interaction to get more of the collection out and viewed from a particular standpoint. Because the way I view collections is going to be quite different to how others would from different backgrounds. How can we do more of this and what are the problems that we face at the moment that are particularly difficult? Or is it just that we do need to change our core working habits?


Mae yna sawl peth fanna. Os gwnaf i gymryd Penderfyniad Pwy?/Who Decides? yn gyntaf. Dŷn ni nawr wedi cael partneriaeth 10 mlynedd gyda'r Wallich. Dyw'r math yna o waith ddim yn rhywbeth y gallwch ei wneud heb fod yna waith hirdymor, partneriaeth hirdymor rhwng Amgueddfa Cymru a'r Wallich, lle roedd y trust yna wedi cael ei adeiladu. Felly, mae'r syniad o gymryd risg yn llawer iawn is oherwydd mae'r cyrff yn adnabod ei gilydd. Mae yna risg hefyd i'r bobl oedd yn dod drwy'r Wallich o ran sicrhau bod gan ein staff ni y sgiliau a'r cymwysterau er mwyn gallu cefnogi yn y ffordd orau. Felly, byddwn i'n dweud bod hwnna, mewn ffordd, yn benllanw pum mlynedd o waith y tu ôl i'r llen gyda'n gilydd.

O ran y casgliadau, byddwn i'n cytuno bod tipyn gyda ni mewn stôr—ac mewn stôr gwael iawn, os caf i ddweud. Un o'n huchelgeisiau ni fyddai cael storws agored lle gallai pawb ddod mewn, a bod yna ddim pethau tu ôl i'r llen o gwbl [cywiriad: ac mae prin iawn o bethau fyddai tu ôl i'r llen]. Mae yna heriau i fynd â chasgliadau o gwmpas Cymru—heriau o ran amodau medru arddangos gweithiau sydd yn fregus ac sydd angen amodau cadwriaethol arbennig. Mae hynny efallai'n un o'r rhwystrau. Mae'n rhwystr rŷn ni'n edrych arno fel corff ar hyn o bryd, o ran gweld sut allwn ni ddod rownd hynny, gan sicrhau ar gyfer cenedlaethau'r dyfodol hefyd nad ydyn ni'n dinistrio’r [cywiriad: difrodi'r] casgliad cenedlaethol sydd yn ein gofal. Felly, mae yna heriau fel yna sydd angen inni edrych arnyn nhw.

There are a number of things there. Perhaps if I take Who Decides? first. We've now had a 10-year partnership with the Wallich. That kind of work isn't something that you could do unless there had been long-term work, a long-term partnership between National Museum Wales and the Wallich, where that trust had been built up. The idea of taking risk is much lower because the organisations know each other. There is a risk also to the people who are coming through the Wallich in terms of ensuring that our staff had the skills and qualifications in order to be able to support in the best way. I would say that that was the culmination of five years of background work together.

In terms of collections, I would agree that we have quite a lot in storage—and in bad storage, if I may say so. One of our ambitions would be to have open storage where people could come in, and for there to be nothing [correction: very little] behind closed doors. There are challenges in taking collections around Wales, in terms of conditions and being able to exhibit works that are fragile and need specific conservation conditions. That may be a barrier. It's a barrier that we're looking at as an organisation at the moment. We're looking at how we can overcome those barriers, while ensuring for future generations that we don't destroy [correction: damage] the national collection that we are in charge of. So, there are challenges such as those that we need to look at.

Os gallaf i ehangu ar hwnna, dŷn ni'n cael sgwrs yn fewnol o fewn yr amgueddfa, ond hefyd mae'r sector yn fwy eang yn cael y sgwrs yna hefyd. Mae yna ddogfen yn dod allan gan y Museums Association ddiwedd y mis yma, a'i henw yw 'Collections 2030'. Mae gan y sector amgueddfa yn fwy cyffredinol lot o ddiddordeb mewn gwneud hyn yn fwy hygyrch i bawb. Mae geiriau fel 'active' a 'dynamic' a phethau yn rhan o'r ddogfen. Felly, mae'r sector amgueddfa wedi bod yn symud lawr y ffordd yma ers rhyw 10 mlynedd, ac o fewn y 10 mlynedd nesaf dŷn ni'n bwriadu symud ymhellach a gwneud y casgliadau yn lot mwy hygyrch nag y maen nhw ar hyn o bryd. 

If I can just expand on that, we are having an internal discussion within the museum, but also the sector in its wider sense is having that discussion as well. There is a document that's coming out by the Museums Association at the end of this month, and it's called 'Collections 2030'. The museum sector more generally has a great deal of interest in making collections more accessible to everyone. Words such as 'active' and 'dynamic' and so on are part of that document. So, the museum sector has been moving along this pathway for around 10 years or so now, and within the next 10 years we intend to move further ahead and to make the collections much more accessible than they are currently.

Ac mae cwestiwn hefyd: beth ŷn ni'n casglu? Sut ŷn ni'n casglu? A bod pobl yn cyfranogi yn y cwestiynau yna ac yn yr atebion yna gyda ni. Mae hwnna'n rhywbeth rŷn ni hefyd yn edrych arno ar y funud o ran amrywio ein casgliadau ni. Os cymerwn ni ein casgliad hanes ni, er enghraifft, mae hwnna wedi cael ei ddatblygu dros 100 mlynedd, ac mae'n dweud math arbennig o hanes efallai. Felly, sut ŷn ni'n adlewyrchu'r holl wahanol gymunedau sydd wedi creu cartref yng Nghymru?

There is also a question about: what are we collecting? How are we collecting? And that people participate in those questions and in the responses with us. That is something that we're also looking at at the moment in terms of varying our collection. For example, our history collection has been developed over 100 years, and it says a certain kind of history. So, how do we reflect all the different communities that have made Wales their home?

Er enghraifft, dŷn ni wedi penodi, yn y mis diwethaf, gweithiwr maes hanes du Cymru. Felly, bydd y gweithiwr maes yn mynd o amgylch Cymru yn casglu elfen o hanes sydd ddim yn cael ei gynrychioli ar hyn o bryd yn Sain Ffagan.

For example, we have appointed, in the past month, a field worker in terms of black history in Wales. So, the field worker will go around Wales gathering elements of history that aren't represented at the moment in St Fagans.

From the royal commission's point of view, we come to it from a different angle because there's not much in our collection that's particularly valuable. Most of our stuff is built on imagery and stuff like that, so it's actually very portable and very easy to take out into the community. And of course the material that we're dealing with as well, in terms of historic buildings and archaeological sites, is kind of out there in the community already. There are issues of access, of course, to those. I think the work we've started doing recently with people living with dementia is quite interesting, because the photographic collections that we've got tend to be from the post-war period. There are a lot of townscapes and things like that, a lot of interior shots of people's houses, and so on. They're very, very powerful, actually, for reminiscence and memory cafes and things like that. So, I think that's where we've got a strength in our material, in that it is very portable and we can go out to communities.


I had lots more questions, but I fear I'll have to reserve them for when I visit these august organisations again.

Thank you very much. So, just to touch on one or two of the points that have been made, briefly if we can. So, in regard to whether we think there should be a far bigger onus on publicly funded bodies in Wales to be able to see as part of their core business that they provide a social benefit—I'll throw that in. Additionally, in regard to the discussion we've already had about skills development, I think it's absolutely critical. Do you believe that there is a dearth of accreditation, whether it's Agored Cymru or if we look at music we have the national qualification framework, which crosses across to GCSE comparability? So, at that very basic level, when we're looking at that foundational entry, that gateway, whether it's through a project or a programme—the Carenza programme that you talked about is of very great interest—do you think we need to have a far more structured approach across the arts sector as a whole in that regard?

Dwi'n meddwl ei fod—wel, dwi wedi dweud, mae'n greiddiol i'n gwaith ni. Rŷm ni'n teimlo ei fod yn greiddiol i'n gwaith ni, a dwi'n meddwl hefyd bod eisiau cydnabod bod—

I think I've said it's core to our work. We feel that it is core to our work, and I think there's also a need to recognise—

Na, ond dwi'n meddwl ei fod yn bwysig. Y stance y buaswn i'n cymryd yw'r hawliau i ddiwylliant a gafodd eu sefydlu nôl ym 1948 gan y UN declaration of human rights, sy'n dweud bod yr hawl i gyfranogi trwy ddiwylliant yn hawl sylfaenol. Felly, dyna fuaswn i'n cymryd: os ŷch chi'n derbyn pres cyhoeddus, yna mae gweithredu'r hawl sylfaenol yna yn rhan, neu fe ddylai fod yn rhan o'ch gweledigaeth chi. Ond dwi'n meddwl ei fod e hefyd yn deg i ddweud bod y sector wedi—yn genedlaethol ac yn lleol—cael ei dorri dros y pum mlynedd diwethaf yn eithaf sylweddol. Felly, mae angen cymryd hwnna i ystyriaeth hefyd.

No, but I think it's important. The stance that I would take is the right to culture, which was established in 1948 by the UN declaration of human rights, which says that the right to participate through culture is a basic right. Therefore, that's what I would take: if you accept public money, operating that right and implementing that right is part, or should be a part of your vision. But I also think it's fair to say that the sector, on a national and local level, has been cut over the last five years quite significantly, so one has to take that into consideration as well.

Do you think, then, that that is in a sense an opportunity to be able to fundamentally redesign how we provide our sector work around the arts sector in Wales?

Ydy, ond dwi'n meddwl bod hefyd eisiau ystyried faint mae Cymru yn ei wario ar ddiwylliant o gymharu ag agweddau eraill o'r gwaith ar draws y portffolios gwahanol. Beth yw gwerth diwylliant? Mae'n werth mwy na jest gwerth ariannol, ac mae hwnna'n rhywbeth i chi sydd yn llywodraethu ei ystyried, dwi'n meddwl—bod Cymru fel gwlad efallai ddim yn rhoi digon o statws i ddiwylliant, ac i'r pŵer y gallai diwylliant ei gael. Os ŷn ni'n edrych ar wledydd eraill—os ŷn ni'n edrych ar Tsieina, er enghraifft, nawr, [cywiriad: dileu 'os ŷn ni'n edrych ar Tsieina, er enghraifft, nawr,'] a faint maen nhw'n ei wario ar ddiwylliant, fel gwlad sydd yn tyfu yn economaidd, a'r cyswllt rhwng diwylliant a'r economi, dwi'n meddwl ein bod ni ddim yn gwneud y cysylltiadau yna ar draws y portffolio, a dylem ni fod yn gwneud hynny.

O ran yr ail ran, ar sgiliau, dwi'n meddwl bod sgiliau ac achredu yn allweddol bwysig. Dwi'n meddwl bod y sector addysg oedolion wedi wynebu heriau, ac mae angen edrych ar y sgiliau yn holistig. Rŷm ni'n ail-lunio'r cwricwlwm ar hyn o bryd, ond mae hwnna yn cael ei wneud heb feddwl am y TGAU, y lefel A, a'r holl achredu arall a allai ddigwydd. Felly, mae yna waith i'w wneud, efallai, i edrych ar hynny yn holistig gyda'i gilydd.

Buaswn i hefyd yn dweud, fel roedd y panel blaenorol yn dweud, weithiau nad achredu a sgiliau yw'r man cychwyn. Mae angen cael pobl i gael hyder ac i ddeffro eu hegni creadigol nhw cyn y gallwn ni efallai drafod y rheina hefyd. Dwi'n gwybod bod Owain wedi gwneud tipyn o waith yn y maes yma, felly efallai y gall ddweud mwy ar hwnna.

Yes, but I think there's also a need to consider how Wales is spending on culture compared with other aspects of the work across different portfolios. What is the value of culture? It is worth more than just in a financial sense, and that is something for you who govern to consider, I think—that Wales as a nation isn't perhaps giving enough status to culture, and the power that culture could have. Again, if we look at other countries, China, for example, [correction: delete 'China, for example'] and how much they're spending on culture, as a country that is growing in an economic sense, and the link between culture and the economy, I don't think that we're making those connections across the portfolio, and we should be doing that.

In terms of the second part, regarding skills, I think skills and accreditation are vitally important. I think the adult education sector faced challenges and there is a need to look at skills holistically. We're redesigning the curriculum at the moment, but that is being done without thinking of GCSEs, A-levels and the other accreditations that could happen. So, there's work that needs to be done, perhaps, to look at that holistically.

But I would also say, as the previous panel was saying, that skills and accreditation aren't always the place to start. You need to get people to have confidence and to awaken their creative energy before we can discuss those. I know Owain has done quite a lot of work in this area, so perhaps he could say a bit more about that.

Mae gennym ni gynllun ar hyn o bryd sy'n cael ei rannu gan Gronfa Treftadaeth y Loteri—Tynnu'r Llwch ydy'r enw; Kick the Dust—ar draws y Deyrnas Gyfunol. Mae gennym ni bedwar llwybr ar gyfer pobl ifanc. Felly, dŷn ni'n cychwyn efo un diwrnod, jest i ddod mewn i'r amgueddfa, achos mae rhai pobl sydd ddim yn cael cyfle i ddod mewn i'r amgueddfa, ac mae rhai o'r partneriaid cymunedol yn dweud bod yr un ymweliad yna yn gallu newid bywyd person. Wedyn dŷn ni'n mynd reit i fyny i'r pedwerydd llwybr, sydd yn galluogi pobl ifanc i fod yn llysgenhadon ar gyfer diwylliant tu hwnt i Gymru.

We have a scheme at the moment that is shared by the Heritage Lottery Fund—it's called Kick the Dust—across the United Kingdom. We have four pathways for young people in that. So we start with one day just to come into the museum, because some people don't have an opportunity to go to museums, and some community partners say that one visit can change someone's life. And then we go all the way up to the fourth pathway and that enables young people to be ambassadors for culture beyond Wales.

Sorry to interject. It would be great if you could send us that information as a committee. We are looking to collate as many examples as possible. So, there are examples out there. With regard to pan Wales, rather than as an exclusive example there, do you feel that there is a need for more similar types of projects across the arts sector?


Yn bendant. Mae gyda ni Sefydliad y Gweithwyr yn Sain Ffagan, o gyfnod lle'r oedd addysg oedolion yn rhywbeth oedd yn cael ei weld fel rhywbeth oedd yn gallu trawsnewid bywydau pobl. Efallai ein bod ni wedi colli hwnna. Yn sicr, mewn ardaloedd yng Nghymru, dyw'r canolfannau yna ddim yn bod dim mwy. Dyw'r cyfleon yna ddim yna. Mae'r erydu yna wedi digwydd. Dwi ddim yn gwybod a yw Chris eisiau—.

Certainly. We have the Workmen's Institute in St Fagans, from a period when adult education was seen as something that could transform lives. Perhaps we've lost that. Certainly, in some parts of Wales, those centres don't exist anymore. The opportunities are not there. That erosion has happened. I don't know whether Chris wants to—.

I would add a couple of other points. One is that the Historic Wales strategic partnership—of which Cadw, ourselves, the museum and the library are the four partners—have recently produced a skills report and we have made some recommendations for upskilling and for apprenticeships. My second point is that a lot of institutions in Wales are paying into the apprenticeship levy and getting nothing back.

We're not yet, I think, as far forward with apprenticeships as we should be. 

Okay, so just very briefly, with regard to my first point, which is: do you feel that any publicly funded body across Wales should be using its raison d'être to be of social benefit to the nation it serves?

Absolutely, yes. My mantra—I'm afraid it doesn't work in Welsh, but it does in English—is the three Rs: we as an organisation make a record, we do research, and we have to be relevant. The change that is taking place in our organisation as a result of this sort of work is that we are becoming much more a people who take our material out rather than being passive and waiting for people to come to us.

And do you think that that needs any fundamental redesign or underscoring?

It's more a change of attitude, but we could always do with more money.

Okay. Finally, if I may, could you very succinctly summarise what you believe to be the major barriers to working within arts and cultural activity in Wales?

What I've just said: because our core funding is designed to do very specific tasks, there's very little discretionary funding for doing this kind of work. 

Byddwn ni'n dod nôl atat ti yn y man, Rhianon, ar Fusion. Caroline Jones—ynglŷn ag adfywiad.

We'll come back to you, Rhianon, shortly on Fusion. Caroline Jones now, on regeneration.

Diolch, Gadeirydd. My questions are centred around arts-led regeneration projects. We have some evidence of projects that have been successful. For example, the Maindee Unlimited project. So, first of all, I'd like to ask if you have any experience or involvement in this area, and if you could tell me how the success of such a project is measured, which can be very difficult. And how can the identity of an area be improved through such a project? How does the community benefit economically, culturally and environmentally from such a project? The key question, I suppose, is, really, with arts-led regeneration projects: does it bring people from all walks of life in the community together, such as people owning businesses, people purchasing from the businesses, shoppers, entrepreneurs—everybody, really, from all walks of life? Does a project bring people together in this way? Thank you.

I can't talk from personal experience, but I do know of an example, which is the market hall in Holyhead. The local conservation officer, Nathan Blanchard—you'd think that his job was to manage a building restoration project, but it's not. He spends all his time working with local people to convince them that Holyhead is a changing town not a dying town, and they're using this new hub as the means to do it. He spends a lot of his time as a sort of enabler within the community, getting them to believe in the town, based on the regeneration of this particular building, which is going to be a small business hub, a library and an arts space.

So, would it be fair to say, then, that when this project is completed, success could be measured by the amount of visitors and the increased footfall?

Indeed, and he's been trying to achieve that already by inviting people in to come and see the work as it progresses. He has tools-down days, which are very annoying to the contractors, where people come in and see the work in progress and feel part of the project. It's not as if the scaffolding goes up and then, three years later, there it is. It's a constant process.


I think this is very important that you've mentioned this, because then people feel a sense of ownership, really, and that leads to involvement and increased involvement. So, yes, I think that's very important.

And, of course, it will go beyond the actual building itself that's being restored in the centre of Holyhead, you know, that kind of—that core of Holyhead will be seen very much more in a historic and cultural way.

Yes. So, you think the identity will be improved through this.

Yes. I think so, yes.

Dyma'n union yr approach y gwnaethon ni gymryd gyda Sain Ffagan, ac nid dim ond o ran y ffordd roedden ni'n gweithio; gwnaeth yr amgueddfa ddim cau, roedd pobl yn cael bod yn rhan o’r gwaith ail-greu, ac wedyn fe wnaethon ni ofyn i’r contractwyr i gyd hefyd i gael community impact plan. Roedd yn rhaid iddyn nhw gael cynllun lle roedden nhw'n dangos budd a lle roedden nhw'n cymryd ymlaen gweithlu lleol a phrentisiaid a rhoi profiad gwaith ac yn y blaen, ac yn gwneud tools-down day, a ffactori'r rheini i mewn i'r rhaglenni. A dyna'r approach gwnaethon ni gymryd.

Dwi’n meddwl, o ran gwerthuso, fod hwn yn faes eithaf cymhleth. Mae mesur—rŷm ni’n gwybod hwn, ac roedd y panel cynt yn sôn am hwn hefyd—effaith diwylliant yn gymhleth iawn. Mae yna nifer o ffactorau eraill sydd yn gallu effeithio ar y newid. Ac felly efallai fod jest mesur rhifau yn ei hun ddim yn ddigon, ac mae eisiau inni i fesur beth rŷm ni’n gallu’i fesur, ond hefyd meddwl ynglŷn â sut rŷm ni’n disgrifio tystiolaeth mwy qualitative a meddal, fel petai, yn y ffordd rŷm ni'n gweithio. Mae hynny'n her. Dwi’n meddwl ei bod wedi bod yn her i ni erioed fel maes, mewn ffordd, lle gydag iechyd a phethau felly, efallai ei bod yn llawer iawn haws i fesur pethau. Felly, efallai fod eisiau inni feddwl am sut rŷm ni’n mesur a beth rŷm ni’n treial ei fesur, ac i chi hefyd i feddwl am hynny. Dwi’n meddwl lot ynglŷn â’r dangosyddion perfformiad rŷm ni, fel amgueddfa, yn cael ein gosod, sydd o gwmpas niferoedd. Wrth gwrs, mae cymaint o gyfoeth ein gwaith ni rŷm ni ddim yn ei ddal ac yn ei ddisgrifio nôl i chi, ac efallai fod hwnna'n rhywbeth i ni ei ystyried, really.

This is exactly the approach that we took with St Fagans, and not only in the way that we were working; the museum didn't close, people could be part of the regeneration work, and then we asked the contractors to have a community impact plan. They had to have a plan where they showed benefit and where they would take on a local workforce and apprentices and provided work experience, and also had tools-down days, and factored that into the programmes. So, that's the approach that we took.

I think, in terms of evaluation, this is quite a complex area. Measuring—and we know this, and the previous panel was talking about this—the impact of culture is very complex. There are a number of other factors that can have an impact on the change. And then perhaps measuring figures in themselves isn't enough, and we need to measure what we can measure, but also think about how we describe more qualitative, soft evidence in the way that we work. That is a challenge. I think it's been a challenge for us, and always has been, as an area, where with health et cetera, perhaps it's easier to measure things. So, perhaps we need to think about how we measure and what we're trying to measure, and for you also to think about that. I think a lot about the performance indicators that are around numbers. Of course, such a lot of our work isn't captured and we don't describe it back to you, and perhaps that's something we need to consider, really.

I think it's very difficult to measure the enjoyment and the fulfilment that people have from the arts and it isn't always possible to measure it by numbers, is it, so it's a very difficult process?

Efallai fod eisiau herio town planners hefyd, a chynllunio, i feddwl ynglŷn â beth—os ŷm ni'n meddwl mwy ar draws y portffolios pan mae ailgynllunio trefi neu ddinasoedd yn digwydd, bod diwylliant yn rhan o  hynny, bod creadigrwydd yn rhan o hynny. A nid dyna wastad yw'r achos, mewn ffordd.

Perhaps we need to challenge town planners as well, and planning, to think about—if we're thinking more across portfolios when town and city regeneration happens, that culture is part of that and creativity is part of that as well. And that isn't always the case, in a way.

Ocê, diolch. Wyt ti wedi gorffen?

Okay, thank you. Have you finished? 

Thank you very much. So, in that regard, what is your involvement, if any, with the Welsh Government's Fusion project and how do you view its effectiveness?

Rŷm ni'n rhan o Cyfuno mewn tair ffordd: rŷm ni'n aelod o'r bwrdd cynhwysiant diwylliannol gyda chyngor y celfyddydau, Cadw a phartneriaethau eraill, gyda'r comisiwn ac ati; rŷm ni hefyd, ein hunain, yn ddarparwr o raglenni—rŷm ni'n gweithio, er enghraifft, gyda Gwynedd ar y llofnod dysgu teulu, rŷm ni'n gweithio yn Abertawe ar nifer o wahanol raglenni Cyfuno, ac rŷm ni newydd sôn am yr uchelgais [cywiriad: y rhaglen uchelgais] diwylliannol rŷm ni'n rhan ohono fe; ac rŷm ni hefyd yn gweithio gyda gwasanaeth gwybodaeth a dadansoddi y Llywodraeth i werthuso Cyfuno, a dwi’n meddwl bod hwnna’n un o’r pethau pwysig, mewn ffordd—fod y gwerthusiad yna’n ei le.

Mae Cyfuno nawr yn dair mlwydd oed ac mae eisiau inni feddwl am y rhaglenni yma fel pethau bach mwy hirdymor, a dyma un o’r pethau mae’r gwerthusiadau eu hunain yn dangos i ni. Felly, rŷm ni’n rhan mewn sawl ffordd, ac rŷm ni hefyd ar y funud yn rhan o edrych ar beth fydd dyfodol Cyfuno. Mae yna bethau sy'n gweithio. Mae yna wyth ardal yng Nghymru yn rhan o Cyfuno ar hyn o bryd—mae rhai ohonyn nhw'n fwy llwyddiannus na'i gilydd. Ac rŷm ni'n trio edrych o ran dyfodol Cyfuno, yn bendant o ran yr arian—£200,000 sy'n mynd i mewn—dwi'n meddwl ei fod e'n bendant werth yr arian hynny, ond buaswn i'n dymuno gweld, efallai—

We're part of Fusion in three ways: we are a member of the cultural inclusion board with the arts council, with Cadw and with other partners, with the commission and so forth; we're also a provider of programmes—we work, for example, with Gwynedd on the family learning signature, we also work in Swansea on a number of different Fusion programmes, and we've just talked about the cultural ambition [correction: programme] that we're part of; and we also work with the information and analysis department of the Government to evaluate Fusion, and I think that that's one of the important things—that that evaluation is in place.

Fusion is now three years old and we need to look at these programmes as something that's more long term, and that is one of the things that the evaluation shows us. So, we're part of it in a number of ways, and also we're part of looking at what will be the future of Fusion. There are things that are working. Eight areas in Wales are part of this programme currently—some of them are more successful than others. And we're trying to look at the future of Fusion, certainly in terms of the funding—the £200,000 that goes in—I think it is certainly worth that funding, but I would like to see, perhaps—

So, to interject, you said that there are parts that are working, and, obviously, it's had a difficult birth, so in that regard, how would it improve, how could it improve, should there be a plethora of Fusion-type initiatives across Wales? And I'll come to you shortly. 


Rydym ni mewn trafodaethau ar hyn o bryd gyda MALD, gyda Cadw, gyda'r cyngor celfyddydau a chyda Creative and Cultural Skills am sut ydym ni'n mynd i symud hwn ymlaen. Fel mae Nia yn dweud, mae yna ardaloedd yn gweithio yn wych, a'r ardaloedd sydd yn gweithio orau ydy'r ardaloedd sydd yn cyfuno'r gwaith diwylliannol gyda'r gwaith iechyd, gyda'r gwaith cymdeithasol, gyda'r gwaith o gael swyddi, ac mae yna bobl, mae yna unigolion neu grŵpiau o unigolion, mewn ardaloedd yn deall hynny: bod diwylliant yn rhan greiddiol o leihau tlodi.

Felly, o edrych ymlaen, mae gennym ni opsiynau o fynd â nhw ymhellach o'r wyth ardal sydd gennym ni ar hyn o bryd. Mae gennym ni opsiynau o gydweithio â chymunedau sydd, ar hyn o bryd, ddim yn cael eu cynnwys, er enghraifft y gymuned fyddar, y gymuned ddu. Rydym ni'n targedu gwahanol gymunedau. Felly, ddim gwella fel y cyfryw rydym ni eisiau ei wneud, ond meddwl am ffyrdd gwahanol o ddod â mwy o bobl yn rhan o'r broses. 

We're in discussions at the moment with the museums, archives and libraries division, with Cadw, with the arts council and with Creative and Cultural Skills about how we move this forward. As Nia says, there are areas that are working very well, and the areas that are working best are those areas that combine the cultural work with the work on health, with the social work, with the work of generating jobs, and there are people, individuals or groups of individuals, in particular areas who understand that: that culture is a core part of tackling poverty.

So, looking ahead, we have options of taking these further from the eight areas that we have at the moment. We have options of collaborating with communities that are at present not included in the scheme, so, for example, the deaf community, the black community. We're targeting different communities. So, it's not about improving, as it were, but thinking about the different ways of bringing more people into this process.

So, with regard to that evaluation, and where it sits, and, obviously, as you've stated, it is different in different areas, and some would argue that that is meant to be the case, but with regard to whether it's worth upscaling fully across Wales, what needs to improve in your view in terms of making that model that is worthy of being rolled out across Wales and further funded?

Ocê. Dwi'n meddwl bod eisiau ei gysylltu fe'n fwy gyda Deddf Llesiant Cenedlaethau’r Dyfodol (Cymru) 2015. Dwi'n meddwl bod eisiau meddwl amdano fe fel rhywbeth ar draws y portffolios, so o ran iechyd, o ran addysg, yn ogystal â diwylliant. Mae hwnna'n un o'r newidiadau. Dwi'n meddwl bod eisiau inni feddwl ynglŷn â chynyddu'r ariannu; mae'r arian yn fach iawn. Mae rôl y cydlynydd wedi gweithio, achos mae e'n gweithio fel broker i ddod â gwahanol bobl at ei gilydd yn lleol yn y gymuned, ac i ddod â'r cenedlaethol i mewn, yn hytrach na'r cenedlaethol yn 'parachut-io' mewn. Mae hwnna wedi gweithio.

Mae o'n fater wedyn o: a ydym ni'n edrych arno fe o ran ardaloedd daearyddol? A ydym ni'n edrych arno fe efo themâu hefyd, fel roedd Owain yn dweud? A ydym ni'n edrych ar fwy o ardaloedd daearyddol yng Nghymru yn dod yn rhan ohono fe? Ble mae e'n eistedd, gyda'r awdurdod lleol neu gyda'r sefydliadau cymunedol ar lefel leol, a beth yw rôl y cyrff cenedlaethol yn hwnna? Dyna'r math o bethau rŷm ni'n edrych arnyn nhw ar hyn o bryd. Rŷm ni yn gweld gwahaniaeth yn lleol, ac weithiau mae hwnna yn gysylltiedig ag agweddau'r awdurdodau lleol tuag at ddiwylliant. So, mewn meysydd fel Abertawe, lle mae yna strategaeth ddiwylliannol gan Abertawe, mae yna gyfeiriad clir. Efallai mewn ardaloedd eraill, wedyn, lle mae llyfrgelloedd ac amgueddfeydd i gyd wedi cael eu cau oherwydd y toriadau, mae'r agwedd yn wahanol. Rydym ni yn gweld hynny, ac yn pigo hwnna lan trwy'r gwerthusiadau rŷm ni'n edrych arnyn nhw.

Un o'r pethau sydd wedi gweithio yw'r partneriaethau, a dwi'n meddwl bod ehangu'r partneriaethau a bod pobl yn gallu rhannu gwybodaeth a dealltwriaeth ar draws sectorau a deall gwaith ei gilydd yn well, er mwyn gyda'n gilydd weithio i gefnogi pobl sydd yn wynebu sialensiau mawr yn eu bywyd—dwi'n meddwl bod hwnna'n un o'r prif bethau, really, sydd wedi gweithio ynddo fe. Ac, wrth gwrs, mae'r partneriaethau yna'n cymryd amser. Felly, efallai fod eisiau bod yn fwy realistig ynglŷn ag amserlen rhaglenni fel Cyfuno yn y dyfodol.

Okay. I think there's a need to link it more with the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. I think one needs to look at it across the portfolios, so in terms of health and education and culture. That's one of the changes. I think we need to think about increasing the funding; the funding is very small. The role of the co-ordinator has worked, because he works as a broker to bring people together on a local level and in the community, and to bring the national in, rather than the national parachuting in. That has worked.

It is a matter then of: do we look at it in terms of geographical areas? Do we look at it with different themes, as Owain mentioned? Do we look at more geographical areas in Wales becoming part of it? Where does it sit—with the local authority, or with the community organisations on a local level—and what is the role of the national bodies within that? That's the sort of thing that we're looking at at the moment. We are seeing a difference on a local level, and sometimes that is linked to the attitude of the local authority towards culture, so in areas such as Swansea, where there is a cultural strategy, there is a clear direction. Perhaps in other areas, then, where libraries and museums have been closed because of cuts, the attitude is different. So, we do see that, and we do pick it up through the evaluations that we do.

One of the things that's worked is the partnerships, and I think that broadening those partnerships out so that people can share information across sectors and understand each other's work, so that together we can work to support people who are facing great challenges in their lives—I think that is one of the main things, really, that have worked. And, of course, those partnerships take time, so perhaps there is a need to be more realistic about the timetable of programmes such as Fusion in the future.

Ac yn gysylltiedig â hwnna, dwi'n meddwl bod y 33 argymhelliad y gwnaeth y Farwnes Kay Andrews ddod atyn nhw bron â bod bum mlynedd yn ôl nawr—mae amser wedi symud ymlaen, ac mae rhai o'r argymhellion yna wedi cael eu cwrdd, ac mae rhai o'r argymhellion wedi newid. So, mae angen inni feddwl beth mae Cyfuno yn bwriadu ei wneud.  

Rŷm ni hefyd yn meddwl—o ran y cydlynydd, dwi'n meddwl bod hwnnw wedi bod yn hanfodol i lwyddiant y cynllun dros y ddwy flynedd diwethaf. Felly, ai pwrpas Cyfuno yw gwneud y cysylltiadau yna rhwng y cyrff diwylliannol a'r cymunedau lleol, neu ai gwerth Cyfuno yw creu sgiliau, creu swyddi, creu cyfleoedd, neu ydy o'n ychydig bach o'r ddau? Felly, mae'n rhaid inni fod yn gliriach am beth ydy pwrpas Cyfuno fel ein bod ni yn gallu ei werthuso yn ei erbyn o ac fel bod yna lwyddiannau a heriau a sialensiau yn gallu cael eu hadnabod.

And related to that, I think that the 33 recommendations that Baroness Kay Andrews made almost five years ago now—time has moved on, and some of those recommendations have been achieved, and some of those recommendations have changed. So, we need to think about what Fusion intends to do.

We are also thinking about—in terms of the co-ordinator, I think that role has been vital to the success of the scheme over the past few years. So, is it the purpose of Fusion to make those connections between the cultural organisations and the local communities, or is the value of Fusion to create skills, to create jobs, to create opportunities, or is it a little bit of both? So, we need to be clear about what the purpose of Fusion is so that we can evaluate it and so that there are successes and challenges that can be identified.


Okay, thank you. And, Christopher, I don't know if you've got any comment around Fusion or involvement with it. 

Really just to endorse what has been said. I think you're asking some questions that we haven't got answers to and that what we really need to do is to have greater clarity about what works, what doesn't and what the purpose of our activity is.

Pryd bydd yr evaluation wedi dod i ben, jest er mwyn inni wybod?

When will the evaluation be completed, just so we know?

Tua mis Mehefin, gobeithio—

Around June, hopefully.

Fyddwn ni'n gallu ei weld?

Will we be able to see that?

Bydd e ar eich gwefan chi—ar wefan Llywodraeth Cymru. Mae yna beilot gwerthusiad sydd lan ar gyfer 2016-17 ac wedyn, mae un y llynedd i fyny. Bydd un eleni wedyn yn dod, gobeithio, ym Mehefin eleni bydd hwnna'n cael ei gyhoeddi.

Mae wedi bod yn bwysig iawn, dwi'n meddwl, i weithio gyda gwasanaethau gwybodaeth a dadansoddi—KAS, ac felly, bod yr ymchwil sydd yn digwydd ar Cyfuno yn rhan o ymchwil llawer mwy. Mae hwnna, eto, yn rhywbeth sydd wedi gweithio, dwi'n meddwl, ac o ran efallai meddwl am sut ŷm ni'n gwerthuso, mae mewnbwn KAS, ac efallai'r Bevan Foundation ac yn y blaen, i hwnna yn bwysig. Mae'n rhywbeth y mae'r sector yn methu ei wneud ar ei ben ei hun mewn ffordd.

It'll be on your website—on the Welsh Government's website. There is an evaluation pilot that is up for 2016-17 and last year's is up. This year's will hopefully be out in June—that'll be published in June.

It's been very important, I think, to work with knowledge and analytical services, so that the research that's happening on Fusion is part of a bigger research project. That is something that's worked, I think, and perhaps thinking in terms of how we think about how we evaluate, the input of KAS and perhaps that of the Bevan Foundation and so on to that are important. It's something that the sector can't do by itself.

Ocê, diolch. Ac i orffen, Delyth Jewell.

Okay, thank you. And to finish, Delyth Jewell.

Dwi'n gwybod ein bod ni'n brin o amser, felly, roeddwn i eisiau gofyn am werthusiad hefyd, ond rwyf i'n gwybod bod Nia wedi sôn am hyn yn barod ychydig o ran sut rŷn ni'n mesur llwyddiant y rhaglenni yma. Yng nghyd-destun beth rŷch chi wedi bod yn ei wneud, gyda'r comisiwn, yng Ngelligaer, ar gomin Gelligaer, a hefyd beth dŷch chi wedi ei wneud o ran—beth yw Who Decides? yn Gymraeg? So, Penderfyniad Pwy?—mae'r ddwy raglen yna'n sôn am—. Maen nhw'n gosod pobl yng nghyd-destun straeon eu cymunedau nhw eu hunain. A oes yna ffordd, rŷch chi'n meddwl, y gallech chi neu allen ni, fel cymdeithas, fod yn dathlu hynna mwy?

I know we're short of time, so I wanted to ask about evaluation, but I know that Nia has spoken about this already—about how we measure the success of these programmes. In the context of what you've been doing in the commission on Gelligaer common and also what you have done with—what's Who Decides? in Welsh? It's Penderfyniad Pwy? Those two programmes place people in the context of the stories of their communities. So, is there a way that you or that we, as a society, can be celebrating that more?





Na, dim jest y cymunedau, ond y ffaith, pan ŷch chi'n sôn am rywbeth sydd yn digwydd yng nghyd-destun y gymuned lle mae'r bobl yma'n byw—os oes unrhyw beth hanesyddol wedi digwydd yna, fel gyda Gelligaer—ei fod yn rhywbeth sydd yn rhan o'u hunaniaeth nhw ac efallai y bydden nhw ddim yn gwybod am hynny, ac yng nghyd-destun gwahanol iawn gyda'r amgueddfa, gyda Who Decides?, ei fod e'n rhywbeth sydd yn rhan o'u hunaniaeth nhw, ond dŷn nhw efallai ddim wedi gweld hwnna fel rhan o'u hunaniaeth nhw o'r blaen.

No, not just communities, but the fact that, when you're talking about something that's happening in the context of the local community, where these people live—if something historic has happened there, such as with Gelligaer—it's something that is part of their identity and perhaps they don't know about that, and in a very different context in terms of the museum, and Who Decides?, that it's something that is part of their identity, but they perhaps haven't seen that as part of their identity before.

Mae honna'n sgwrs rŷm ni'n ei chael yn aml iawn gydag elfennau gwahanol iawn o'n hymwelwyr ni neu'r bobl sydd ddim yn ymweld. Mae yna lot o resymau pam eu bod nhw ddim yn ymweld â'n safleoedd ni, felly, rydyn ni'n ystyried ac yn datblygu ffyrdd o fynd allan at y gymuned. Un o'r rhesymau pam fod pobl ddim yn ymweld â'n safleoedd ni ydy oherwydd nad ydyn nhw'n berthnasol iddyn nhw. Felly, os ydy rhywun eisiau gwybod am hanes LGBT yng Nghymru neu hanes pobl dduon Cymru neu hanes crefyddau arall yng Nghymru, mae yna elfennau yn Sain Ffagan sydd yn dweud y stori yna, ond rŷn ni'n brin iawn weithiau o gynrychiolaeth o wahanol gymunedau. 

Felly, mae gennym ni gysylltiadau cryf iawn gyda, er enghraifft, Mis Hanes Pobl Dduon a Mis Hanes LGBT a dŷn yn gweithio'n agos iawn efo elfennau o gymunedau. Beth sy'n bwysig cofio, wrth gwrs, yw mai dim dim ond un gymuned sydd i gael—dim 'y gymuned ddu' ydyw—mae sawl cymuned ddu ac y mae sawl cymuned mewn sawl ardal yng Nghymru. Felly, mae gennym ni gynlluniau mewn lle, lle'r ydyn ni yn cydweithio ac yn rhoi arddangosfeydd i fyny ar y cyd gyda chymunedau ac yn cynrychioli'r cymunedau yna. Dŷn yn gweld eu bod nhw'n perchnogi'r amgueddfa drwy fod yn rhan ohoni hi.

That's a discussion that we have very often with very different elements of our visitors or the people who don't visit. There are several reasons why they don't visit our sites and why they do visit. So, we consider that and we develop ways of going out to the community. One of the reasons why people don't visit is that they don't feel that it's relevant to them. So, if somebody wants to know about LGBT history in Wales, for example, or the history of black people in Wales or the history of other religions in Wales, there are elements in St Fagans that do tell that story, but there is sometimes precious little representation of different communities.

So, we do have very strong connections with, for example, Black History Month and LGBT History Month and we do work very closely with elements of communities. But what's important to remember, of course, is that there is not just one community—it's not 'the black community'—there are several different black communities and there are several communities in different parts of Wales. So, we do have schemes where we do collaborate and we put up exhibitions with communities to represent some of those communities, but we do see then that they do take ownership of the museum by being a part of those schemes.

Specifically about what—. I'm very interested in what you did with or what's been happening with Gelligaer common because it's very near where I live, so how do you think we could be emulating that stuff?

We're not directly involved with the Gelligaer thing, but we know about the project.

Well, are we talking about taking people on guided walks?

There's a limit to what we can do, and, therefore, if you're asking about how you can scale that up, you've got to start thinking about teachers, about schools, about—. The National Trust had a very good scheme going for some years, where a school adopted a local site or project and what happened was that older children got younger children excited—'When you get to years 3, 4, 5, you're going to do this'—and it passes down through the generations.

I think that's what's been very fresh about our Unloved Heritage? project, there are different voices and those voices are coming from young people, celebrating the heritage in their communities and that's one of the most exciting things about that project.


I think schools could do a lot, and we could give them the tools to do that. This is an example of what you said about cross-portfolio working. Culture is tending to work in its silo, and education works in its silo. We're not talking enough. So, there may be a lesson there. 

Wyt ti eisiau un arall?

Do you want another question?

Ydw. Diolch yn fawr iawn. 

Yes. Thank you very much.

Thank you so much.

Diolch yn fawr iawn i chi am roi tystiolaeth i ni. Os oes gennych chi wybodaeth ychwanegol—rwyf i'n gwybod bod cwestiynau gan David Melding, efallai y byddwn ni'n ysgrifennu atoch chi yn sgil hynny. Ond, diolch i chi am ddod mewn, a byddwn ni'n cadw mewn cysylltiad ynglŷn â'r gwaith sydd yn dilyn y dystiolaeth yma. Diolch yn fawr iawn eto. Byddwn ni'n cymryd dwy funud o seibiant. Diolch.

Thank you very much for giving evidence. If you have any additional information—I know that David Melding has questions, perhaps we'll write to you as a result of that. But, thank you very much for coming in, and we will keep in touch regarding the work that follows this evidence session. Thank you again. We'll take a two-minute break now. Thank you.


Gohiriwyd y cyfarfod rhwng 11:30 ac 11:38. 

The meeting adjourned between 11:30 and 11:38. 

4. Minnau hefyd! - Ymchwiliad i rôl y celfyddydau a diwylliant wrth fynd i'r afael â thlodi ac allgáu cymdeithasol: Y celfyddydau perfformio
4. Count me in! - Inquiry into the role of arts and culture in addressing poverty and social exclusion: Performing arts

Dŷn ni'n gyhoeddus, ac felly, diolch, a chroeso i'r pwyllgor. Eitem 4, Minnau hefyd!—ymchwiliad i rôl y celfyddydau a diwylliant wrth fynd i'r afael â thlodi ac allgáu cymdeithasol. Dŷn ni nawr yn symud ymlaen at y celfyddydau yn y maes perfformio, a dŷn ni'n croesawu'r Athro Helena Gaunt yma heddiw, pennaeth Coleg Brenhinol Cerdd a Drama Cymru, a hefyd Julia Barry, sef cyfarwyddwr gweithredol Theatr y Sherman. Yn sicr, dwi wedi bod i'r Sherman yn y pythefnos diwethaf mwy na dwi wedi bod yno am sbel, ac wedi profi'r hyn sydd yn digwydd yno, ac mae perfformiadau gwych wedi digwydd. Byddwn ni'n gofyn cwestiynau ar sail themâu gwahanol, os yw hynny'n iawn, ac yn mynd yn syth mewn i'r broses honno, gan gychwyn gyda Vikki Howells. 

We are back in public session once again. So, thank you, and welcome to the committee. Item 4: Count me in!—inquiry into the role of arts and culture in addressing poverty and social exclusion. We now move on to the performing arts, and we welcome Professor Helena Gaunt here today, who is principal of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and also Julia Barry, executive director of the Sherman Theatre. Certainly, I've been more to the Sherman in the past two weeks than I have for a while, and I've experienced a great deal of the excellent performances that have taken place there. We will be asking questions on different themes, if that's all right, and we will go straight into that process now, starting off with Vikki Howells. 

Diolch, Chair. In your opinion, what are the key barriers to people who are socially excluded actually participating and getting involved in the production of arts and culture? And, perhaps, most importantly, have you seen any ways in which those barriers can be overcome? 

When we first started our Sherman 5 project, which is funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation—and that was very much about getting people in as audiences to start with—one of the overarching responses that we were receiving from people as to why they didn't attend was 'Theatre isn't for people like me.' They talked about costs, they talked about transport, but actually, 'Theatre isn't for people like me'—. By not having the opportunities to attend from a young age, there's no clear pathway into then looking at getting involved in the production side of the performing arts. And so what we're trying to do is to develop those opportunities for young people to experience the wide variety of opportunities there are to be involved in the production side, to understand what makes up working in the performing arts and what opportunities there are within a theatre. So, through our engagement with schools and bringing school groups in to have a tour of the building and to see all of the different departments that come together to make a piece of work—so, seeing a wardrobe department, seeing lighting designers at work, seeing sound—. And just for young people to have that awareness of what's involved from the outset, I think, is a starting point.

But, equally, then it's about access to training, and probably that's where you would come in. But, in terms of going into it professionally, it's how people from certain backgrounds can access those opportunities and financially support themselves through those training opportunities. We are trying to overcome that through our youth theatre scheme and by offering placements with bursaries for people from lower income backgrounds to be able to access those opportunities and ensuring that our youth theatre scheme is not just about young people performing but really truly getting involved in every aspect of theatre making—so, being involved in design, costume, lighting. Again, widening awareness of those opportunities and giving them experience at a young age, I think, is key.


Yes, I completely endorse all of that. I think a key thing for me is actually how we understand the performing arts as a part of our lives in society. And, forgive me, because I'm very new to this context, so take everything I say with large pinches of salt, but, even in the language of some of the documentation that you've sent us for today, I see a lot of arts and culture being talked about in terms of leisure activity. And that probably goes alongside what you were saying about how people, young people, actually experience our disciplines. Do they experience this as a leisure activity, an optional extra, or do they experience this as a fundamental part of what it is to be a human being, as a fundamental part of identity, as a fundamental part of society and community, as a fundamental part of how we mark the rituals of our lives? I think that is a very critical issue that lies behind some of what we're then saying about barriers and feeling that these disciplines are 'not for me'. So, some of this is about where this sits within our daily experience, and I would point to some of the extraordinary practices that are around also in this nation—for example, those wonderful brass bands that come out of some of the deep traditions of Wales and the working practices of Wales, very much linked into daily life. Those are the kinds of examples across the world that are clearly sustainable and vibrant and the arts at their best building communities.

There are other parts, of course, that come into this around those perceptions of 'These disciplines are not for me', and I think we all have to confront the situations that our disciplines have been in of perceived elitism and of perceived irrelevance, at times diving into very narrow areas of concern, whether that be in terms of the material that's used for making work—the actual content, the subject matters—or indeed the skills and the development of skills towards those processes. I think the performing arts—you know, we are all waking up fast now to some of where traditions have fallen short, and a lot is happening to transform this, and I would totally endorse those things and want to champion them.

So, I think those are some of the barriers. I think, equally, there are difficulties that we all have with our venues and the way that music—


We'll come on to the venues later, if that's okay. Vikki's trying to concentrate on the barriers and we'll have that afterwards, if that's all right with you.


I've just got one final question, then, if I may, and I'm conscious of time so that my colleagues can ask their questions too. Clearly, we are in a very competitive market in terms of getting funding from Welsh Government. So, why should investment in arts and culture be prioritised over other areas? Is there evidence, to your mind, for example, that people who are socially excluded from participating in the production of arts and culture can enhance their CVs and their job prospects?

We have just come to the—I'm using Sherman 5 as an example because that's been our leading project in this area in terms of breaking down barriers to accessing the arts. Through the first five years of the Sherman 5 initiative, we have engaged with over 3,500 members. Some of those people we've had a very transactional relationship with and they've attended a production with their family, perhaps, but they've had their first experience of live theatre. For a significant number of those members, they have become regular attenders at the theatre and, for a smaller number, but nearly 100 people, they've become Sherman 5 reps, which is a volunteering scheme. Through our partnership with Tempo Time Credits, they are earning a currency—they're earning time credits for the time that they spend volunteering at the Sherman, they are demonstrating a much greater depth of engagement with the work that we are making and presenting and our audiences and, for many of them, it's the first step into a working environment. We have examples and case studies of individuals who, prior to their involvement with us, were not really leaving their house. They had certain conditions that meant that they were really limited in terms of their experience, and by engaging with us just in a very small way they have then progressed through coming along as an audience member, starting to get involved in volunteering and now going into paid employment. And we've got one example in particular of an individual who—not only has she gained paid employment with us, she's now applying to retrain as a nurse, which is what she used to do many years ago and, for various reasons, was no longer practising.

That sense of belonging within an organisation and within a civic resource, such as the Sherman Theatre, of coming into a building that really prioritises being able to tell stories and tell stories that resonate with our communities so that people are seeing themselves represented on our stages, they are hearing stories that are relative to them, for some, can be quite transformational in terms of their experiences and the way that they live their lives. I think, for some of our members, it's given them a real agency, it's given them—as Helena was saying, experiencing the performing arts, experiencing live performance and experiencing those moments that really make you think about your experiences, other people's experiences, can have a significant impact, I think, on people from areas experiencing social exclusion.  

Helena, did you have a view on this particular question?

I think there's plenty of evidence in different forms and from different nations. The problem that we've got is that much of that evidence is from fairly small data sets, and the evidence of the value of these disciplines in the particular context we're discussing today is often one that is about indirect benefits that ultimately lead towards improved lives and employment. You're not necessarily saying, 'This is the one and only factor that makes all the difference'. And I think it would be a mistake for the arts to try and start to suggest those things. It's part of a bigger picture.

So, it's the complexity of those benefits that I think is our challenge. At the same time, that is also their richness and their strength. You will not find anybody who works within music and theatre who would not say, 'Yes, engaging in these disciplines is transformative for people'. Whether it's in terms of improving their results at school, whether it's in terms of their sense of identity, whether it's about creativity, whether it's about social networks, it can do all these things. It will depend on multiple factors. It will depend on context, and pulling through that evidence towards the kinds of statistics and storytelling that are needed to persuade Governments to invest for the long term in a major way—that is the problem; that is the challenge.


Thanks, Chair. Both your organisations are situated in Cathays and it's obviously a remarkably diverse neighbourhood; it's probably—well, it could well be the most diverse in Wales in terms of its ethnic composition, its educational attainment and wealth. I mean, it's just a remarkable mix. It's got a huge high school. Are there any practical examples you can give us of how you use that incredible neighbourhood in which you're embedded to shape the sort of performances you choose to perform and the way you reach out to potential audiences? I would just like some practical examples. And, if the latest one is actually in another part of Wales or another part of Cardiff, then that's fine as well.

One of the most significant recent examples that I think we have at the Sherman is we created a community production for our main stage, but, acknowledging the diversity of the area that we inhabit, we framed it all around City Road, which I think is acknowledged as the most diverse road in Wales, certainly, if not the UK. We worked in partnership with Heritage Lottery Fund and we employed people to engage with people who live and work and inhabit City Road on a regular basis. This led to a main stage production at the Sherman Theatre, which involved, I think, 18 members of that community—everybody from the gentleman who runs the community garden to a couple who met in a nightclub on City Road and are now 40 years married, to a gentleman from Poland who'd only recently arrived in the city, but had discovered an environment in that area that he felt he belonged to. As well as those communities presenting their own stories on our main stage to two sell-out houses, our work with Heritage Lottery Fund trained people to archive those stories, so they've all been kept with Cardiff Story Museum, and to create an exhibition around that history, that very rich history, of that road, but also the identities that exist within it and the diversity of that part of the city, which is incredibly exciting and engaging. And those participants are now audience members and engage quite regularly. So, that's one example of how we've engaged.

We regularly work within a very short radius of the Sherman, because we do have lots of communities on our doorstep, and our engagement with Cathays High School is in depth and we've worked with them recently on an outreach project that was connected to our Christmas show, Alice in Wonderland, where they came and performed their own versions of Alice in Wonderland. So, we're constantly looking for relationships and engagements with those communities on our doorsteps, both in terms of them becoming co-creators in the work that we make but also as audience members.


That really is a fine example, if I may say so, so thank you.

I think there are several ways in which we are kind of really thinking about that more local community with the venue itself and the programming that we have. Our disciplines are very much—in music, we currently teach classical music and jazz; we don't have world music as such, but the creative programming has been absolutely diversifying in the last 18 months or so particularly and really starting to work to build different audiences and welcome different communities into the building. That's included building relationships with the Indian community particularly in Cardiff and more participatory practices, such as gamelan, and we're running quite a lot of free performances also in the atrium of the college, which is a much more immediately accessible and open kind of a context for people. And all the programming that's happening in that direction is starting to build very swiftly and really engage some different audiences.

I think, equally, things like—our orchestra outreach recently had a performance at St David's Hall, which was primary schoolchildren from across Cardiff from all kinds of backgrounds, preceded by participatory creative workshops. It was completely full. That was a free event as well. So, the things that we are doing are absolutely, I think, demonstrating value and building relationships with more diverse communities. That's increasingly an important thing for us to engage in, but it's— there's no question that the early signs are that it's doable and powerful work.

Do you have any further examples about how the outreach activities work? Because we've heard from earlier witnesses that one of the key ways you expand your audience and get it normalised that they may access your performances and then influence—write them, indeed—. At first, and continuing perhaps, it's taking the story and the performance to their local community centre or mosque or something—you know, all sort of—. So, do you do that at depth or is that another level, perhaps, that you aspire to but which has not yet been practical for you to do?

I think, for us, one of the examples we have of going into the community is through a specific strand of our work to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation in older people and, through a strand of work called Sherman Plays, we regularly take script-in-hand readings—so, they're not fully formed productions, but they are a professional actor, professional director, and we will go into community settings—so, whether they're residential homes or local community centres. There will be a reading of the play, followed by a post-show discussion with the director and the actor and the audience who have attended over a cup of tea with a slice of cake. These have been hugely popular and powerful ways of reaching out to the community and certainly of bringing provision to some people for whom actively coming to the theatre is not something that they are able to do for a variety of reasons, and particularly coming out in the evenings—some older people just wouldn't feel comfortable. So, that's one strand of our work that we have taken out to communities and do quite regularly that is having a huge impact.

And then, conversely, we do operate a similar system, a similar programme of work, within the theatre so that those people who are able to travel do come to the theatre and engage with us there as well in a similar format of presenting work. I suppose, in terms of going out to communities and the work that we do in communities, it's often more participatory, and always related to the productions that we have on our stages, but connected to—. So, it might be working with local schools and sending a playwright in for a six-week programme to work with a group of young people, using themes in a piece of work that's currently programmed at the Sherman, but encouraging them to write their own scripts, which they can then come back into the Sherman and perform at the Sherman.

In terms of actively taking out a piece of work, fully formed, I think the only time we ever do that to smaller community settings is at Christmas when we take our Christmas show—which is made specifically for young children, ages three to six, performed in Welsh and in English—and we tour that around smaller venues of south-east Wales, which does go to some theatres, but also some community settings and schools as well.


I think there are two things I want to say on this. In terms of really connecting across Wales and taking our national mandate to the next level, we're very much busy now with thinking about developing hubs of activity, particularly in north Wales, following and building on some of the models that we've already started to evolve in west Wales with our young actors studio. I think there's a lot of potential to develop that work further, both in English and the Welsh medium, which is what we're doing.

Of course some of this, in our focus, is very much on a direction of travel that enables young people really to think about careers in the creative industries and to think about that as a line of employment for the future. That's an important area of development, given the growth of the creative industries, given the potential for growing further work of that kind in Wales. We're partnering strongly with a scheme called Open Doors on this, which is a UK-wide scheme that is really looking towards opening up those career opportunities for those who have been disadvantaged in multiple different ways.

I think equally one of the things that we're working on in north Wales, with the Coleg Llandrillo Menai group, is to work at foundation apprenticeships in some of the technical areas of theatre—in stage construction, in costume and so on—as a very vibrant possible exciting career path that can be open and is much needed. You know, there really is work to be had out there. There's a difference between theatre in that sense, and the technical side of theatre, compared with acting, where there are plenty of arguments that say, 'Do we need lots more professional actors?' Possibly not, at the moment. In music, the difficulties are so strongly around the skills development that needs to happen at an early stage, which is a significant barrier for many people. So, that's part of our focus, on the more technical sides of theatre. So, I think that's one part of the story.

The other part of the story is just really about how we start to help to build professional capacity in leading some of this work, which clearly needs to be highly skilled. When you are talking about music and theatre with elderly people, when you are talking about it with people with various different disabilities or particular health challenges, you need specialist skills, and building that workforce is absolutely a part of what we can be helping to do in partnership with industry, and that's something that we're very much working on now.

If David doesn't mind, I just wanted to ask a question on—you said about the actors and whether we need actors. I'm just wondering, because obviously you focus a lot on musicians, whether when you're doing the orchestral work you identify potentially what instruments would be needed for career development within the ecosystem here in Wales or in the UK. For example, you might have a dearth of cellists and you might need a bassoonist. So, do you go into schools and say, 'Do you know what? For them to perhaps have a chance to get into the Welsh college of music and drama, perhaps you should be nurturing more bassoonists.' Do you have those types of conversations?


Not enough, and I'm surprised that those haven't been happening as much as they perhaps are happening elsewhere in the UK. There's quite a strong focus on these 'rare breeds', and they are the bassoons, the oboes—which is my instrument so I'm very passionate about this—horn players, viola players. These are well known less available instruments. Part of the problem with it is that, actually, these are some of the most expensive instruments, so there's that part of the barrier, but you've also got fewer people able to deliver and teach those things, particularly if you're going to do whole-class teaching; it tends to be flutes, clarinets, saxophones, not the oboes and bassoons. So, we do need to get extremely proactive about setting those schemes going and offering those opportunities. There's not enough of that happening.

It's interesting, just to conclude—I don't particularly need a response, it's just to highlight—. You are the second witness this morning to mention that we're perhaps not doing as much as we could to promote career paths in the back-up work for the creative industries. We have an immense amount of filming that goes on in south Wales now and possibly north Wales as well—that's beyond my region, so I'm not so sure. Schools and colleges—and especially if they're run by and some of the lecturers are my age—are not always able to spot the talents that are there and may even react to someone playing a game on their phone in a way that is not connecting up the possible opportunities that are there. So, I think that's quite an important thing for us to take back, so thank you.

I wanted to draw out a little bit a point you started to make, Helena, about the workforce. Julia, in your evidence you were highlighting how important Sherman 5 has been, not just to participants but also to the people working in the theatre. What barriers do the two of you see facing people who are coming from different backgrounds, particularly from poverty, in getting into working in the arts, in your fields? And what are you doing to overcome those barriers, please?

I've actually been talking about this quite a lot this week. We have just been part of the Weston Jerwood bursary scheme, so we've had somebody with us for the last year on an internship—a paid internship, and I think that's part of the issue. Historically, a lot of people who have gained experience in the arts have gone through unpaid internships and have accepted that that's the way in, and not everybody can afford that and people have to pay bills. So, I think one of the—. Just as a very rudimentary thing, we need to make sure that all of our training opportunities and internships are paid and that we are looking for funding to support that, which is where brilliant people like Jerwood Arts come in and can really support recent graduates from low-income backgrounds to have their first experience of working within the arts in a fully supported environment. So, that's part of it, and that's part of what we're trying to do. We are—. I suppose we are trying to offer work placements where we can, but making sure that we are always giving people a paid opportunity. We are trying, as I think I touched on earlier, to widen awareness within those communities of what career opportunities there are and how people can access those and get to them.

There are also other ways into the arts, and providing opportunities for box-office work, casual technical work, where being on those levels—those entry-level jobs actually can be hugely beneficial and really influence somebody at the start of their career and give extraordinary skills that can then lead them through a career in the arts and really springboard them through. But we also talk about perception, and we talk a lot about what those of us who do work in the arts—how we appear and how we need to identify those role models, those people who are working in the arts who've come from low-income backgrounds but who now, perhaps, have normalised into what it might look like to work in the arts, but actually to step up and say, 'This is where I came from. This is what my background was. This is how I got into it.' And to provide those role models who are taking those really exciting jobs and saying, 'Look, you could do this.' And championing those roles in the arts within those communities. We need to talk about it more. We need to talk about how we support people from different backgrounds. We need to talk more about how we support intersectionality within our workforces and how we put mechanisms in to ensure that people from all backgrounds feel able to and are supported to embark on those careers. 


Before I ask you, Helena, when—. I don't mean to pick you up on something—even as you said the word, I know you made a face, so I don't think that you'd meant it in this way. When, Julia, you speak about identifying role models who have normalised into what it looks like—[Interruption.] No, I know, I know that's not what you meant. But what do you think can be done to—because I think that is a perception that's there, that they'd need to become something different, so for both of you, what do you think can be done so that the normal is more diverse, as well as encouraging people who are diverse to become that? What do you think can be done?