Tag Archives: arts

We held a TEDx event in the smallest pub in Cardiff. Here’s what happened…

On a hot and sticky Saturday afternoon in May, the very first TEDxCanton event was held in our favourite micro-pub, St Canna’s! A tiny, very special audience attended the main event, and more watched through the day from the viewing party in the Printhaus, and even more caught the Facebook Live stream!


We had SUCH an amazing day listening to incredible speakers with fascinating ideas. We also drank (a lot) of Pipe’s special ‘From Acorns’ IPA (inspirational pale ale…), ate delectable smoked aubergine canapes made from food waste, and were captivated by beautiful music.

And even on the day of the Royal Wedding AND the FA Cup Final, TEDxCanton was trending in Cardiff on Twitter! Over 600 people watched the live stream on Facebook too.

This week, TEDx have uploaded the talks to YouTube. Here’s a round-up of all the speakers so you can re-live the day all over again!

Sabrina Cohen-Hatton: Ordinary people who do extraordinary things

How do firefighters make decisions in emergency situations? Sabrina explores who protects the protectors, and how our brains work in high stress situations.

“Firefighters are the last thing standing between a dying breath and another day…. Whose job is it to prioritise firefighters’ safety, so they can prioritise yours?”

Follow her @sab_cohenhatton / sabrinacohenhatton.com

Stepheni Kays: Building cohesive communities, beyond the buzzwords

What do we mean by ’empowerment’, ‘citizenship’ and ‘cohesion’? Stepheni tells her story of being a refugee in Wales to explain why welcoming, inclusive communities are better for everyone.

Imagine if you had no alternative but to leave everything behind that is dear to you…. For people looking for a place of safety, citizenship means ‘my humanity is acknowledged’.

Follow her @madamekays

John Parker: Why trees are better than people

Did you know that trees in urban areas can improve child development, reduce violence and boost house prices? John tells us about ‘nature’s air-conditioners’, and why we shouldn’t take them for granted.

The benefits of trees to human health are massive. Pregnant women who spend time close to green infrastructure have bigger, healthier babies. Children exposed to green infrastructure at a young age show less signs of allergies. Patients in hospitals recover more quickly and are discharged faster if they have a view over green infrastructure than a hard landscape or no view at all.

Follow the London Tree Officers Association @LTOA33

Josh Doughty: From west Wales to west Africa

The kora is a 21-string lute-bridge-harp used extensively in West Africa, which Josh learned to play under the Master player Toumani Diabate. Hear his beautiful music and listen to the extraordinary story of how he came to play the instrument.

One of the rules of the kora is that you don’t play it at night by yourself, because the spirits come and listen and corrupt your soul. But if you don’t fear the spirits and you listen to them, they have things to teach you.

Follow him @joshdoughtykora / joshdoughtykora.co.uk

Becca Clark and Lia Moutselou: How we turned a city’s food waste into a supper club

How much food do you put in the bin? Becca and Lia are community food waste trailblazers. Together they run Wasteless Suppers, which bring together local food businesses, food lovers and passionate people to create positive change and reduce food waste.

Our Wasteless Suppers are a collaborative platform of local food businesses to create a food surplus feast. We collect food surplus and our chefs create beautiful dishes from food that otherwise would have been wasted.

Follow them: @greencityevents @liaskitchen @moutselia

Matt Callanan: How to change the world with £10

What would you do if you found a £10 on the floor? Matt introduces us to the We Make Good Happen project, a movement that promotes everyday good deeds.

On Groundhog Day, I hid a number of £10 notes around the city and put photos of their location on social media. It turned into a good deed treasure hunt.

Follow him @matt_4_good / @wemakegoodhappn / mattcallanan.co.uk

Keep up to date with future events on tedxcanton.co.uk and @tedx_canton!






Green Man 2018 – final line up announcement! Got your tickets yet?

Our favourite Brecon Beacons based arts extravaganza Green Man Festival is looking REAL FINE this year, with a line up that includes plenty of Cardiff talent (boom) and headliners from ACROSS THE GLOBE. Tickets usually sell out early summer, so make sure you get yours in soon!

New music line up additions today (we’ve highlighted our We Are Cardiff fav picks in bold – in particular we can’t wait to see Bristol gig legend Big Jeff making his Green Man DJ debut …!)

Teenage Fanclub | Whyte Horses | Follakzoid | The Lovely Eggs | Insecure Men | Frankie Cosmos | Eleanor Friedberger | Ari Roar | J. Bernardt | Horsey | Celebrating Bert Jansch | Black Midi | The Cosmic Array | Squid

DJs – High Contrast | Huw Stephens | Tom Ravenscroft | Alfresco Disco | Heavenly Jukebox | Lycra | Dutty Disco | Big Jeff | Fever Club

Chai Wallahs Stage – Afla Sackey & Afrik Bawantu | Agbeko | Amy True | Animal Noise | Animanz | Ben Catley | Berget Lewis | Edd Keene | Friendly Fire | Gringo Ska | Groovelator | Holly Holden y Su Banda | Joncan Kavlakoglu | Kiriki Club | Lazy Habits | Lost Tuesday Society | Monster Ceilidh Band | Samsara | Snazzback | Solana | Soul Grenades | Sounds of the Siren | The Conservatoire Folk Ensemble | Tropical Tea Party feat DJ Hiphoppapotamus | Will Varley | Wrongtom

And in case you need more convincing, have a look at our Green Man video from last year …

Previously confirmed music line up:

The War On Drugs | Fleet Foxes | King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard |

John Grant | Grizzly Bear | Dirty Projectors | The Brian Jonestown Massacre | Public Service Broadcasting | Anna Calvi | Cate Le Bon | Mount Kimbie | Floating Points (live) | The Black Angels | John Maus | The Lemon Twigs | Joan As Police Woman | Teleman | Kevin Morby | Baxter Dury | Curtis Harding | Tamikrest | Courtney Marie Andrews | Susanne Sundfor | John Talabot | Simian Mobile Disco (live) featuring Deep Throat Choir | Wye Oak | Jane Weaver | Alex Cameron | Phoebe Bridgers | Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever | Kelly Lee Owens | Bo Ningen | Beak> | Chastity Belt | HMLTD | Sweet Baboo | A Hawk and a Hacksaw | Xylouris White | Lost Horizons | Shannon Lay | Pictish Trail | Marlon Williams | Lucy Dacus | The KVB | Omni | Goat Girl | Duds | Snapped Ankles | Jade Bird | Boy Azooga | Snail Mail | Nubya Garcia | Charles Watson | Ider | Ed Dowie | Haley Heynderickx | Bas Jan | Seamus Fogarty | Juanita Stein | Sacred Paws | The Murlocs | Jim Ghedi | Sorry | Stella Donnelly | Spinning Coin | Group Listening | Haze | Fenne Lily | Adwaith | Accu | Sock | Aadae | Teenage Fanclub | Whyte Horses | Follakzoid | The Lovely Eggs | Insecure Men |

ERMEGERD right?? All of this in addition to the amazing Talking Shop and Last Laugh announcements made earlier this year … Get your tickets and join the annual decamp to the beautiful Brecon Beacons!

Buy Green Man tickets now

Green Man website

Images from last year’s birthday bash!

More We Are Cardiff – Green Man coverage:




The Book of Cardiff – launch!

So I was in my trapeze class yesterday and my lovely teacher Olga said that a photo of me was on Facebook, and it was going to be in a photography book! Intrigued, I reactivated my Facebook account to check it out…

Photo by Craig Kirkwood

In the most Cardiff fashion ever, I was photographed riding my bike through a lovely park, past Bryce Davies’s (aka graffiti artist Peaceful Progress) van. In serendipitous style, Bryce had also recently done my tattoo (you can see it poking out of my right sleeve). If that’s not Cardiff, I’m not sure what is – cycling everywhere, parks, graffiti, everyone knowing everyone and a gorgeous photo of the whole thing.

Anyway, it turns out that the wonderful photographer Craig Kirkwood has gone and made a photography book about Cardiff! It features loads of incredible shots of lots of our friends. It looks really amazing, so we had a chat with him to find out more….

The Book of Cardiff is a hardcover bound portrait of the city told through around 300 stunning photographs taken over a 12-month period.

You can see some of the wonderful shots below, or on the book’s Facebook page.

Foreword to the 1st edition

The Welsh capital is fast becoming one of the great post-industrial cities of Britain. Full of optimism, open spaces, and renewed foreshores, it’s taking its place beside so many urban centres which have emerged, finally, from the collapse of industry, manufacturing and mining that so brutally shook the Kingdom in the 1980s and 90s. It’s also a city that’s changing quickly as the industrial spaces disappear to make way for new retail, commercial and residential projects.
Craig says:
“This book covers about a year in the life of the city. As an expatriate Australian, I don’t pretend to understand the history of Cardiff in any detail. Nor do I have the cultural ties that would give me an informed, insider’s perspective. But I do bring the eye of a resident tourist still delighted with just how pleasant it is to live in a city that can be covered largely by foot or bicycle.
At the time of writing, I’ve lived in Cardiff just over a year. It’s not such a long time really but to delay this book any further would be to miss the opportunity of seeing the town as a fresh outsider.
As a photographer, it’s important to grab that ‘new car feeling’ and breath it in before the sights that seem fascinating become commonplace.”

About the author

Craig Kirkwood is an Australian-born photographer, publisher and entrepreneur. He moved to Cardiff in 2015 and immediately set about documenting both the landscape and the cultural life of the city, taking over 20,000 photographs of hundreds of festivals, events, concerts and everyday life in the city.
Prior to moving to Wales, Craig was the CEO of high- profile creative media consultancy, Fearless Media, which he founded in 1999. At the time, Fearless was the largest organisation of its kind in Australia with offices and facilities throughout the country. He was also a regional manager of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School and founded the renowned Flickerfest International Film Festival on Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach which continues today in its 27th year.

Where to buy and launch party details

The book will be available from Waterstones and many other book and gift shops around town or can be purchased directly from the publisher’s online store http://colourshop.co. The launch party is on Thursday 1 June at Little Man Coffee from 7pm, and our faves Maddie Jones and Sparkles Hoop Troupe will be performing.
Everyone is welcome to attend!

We can’t wait to see the finished book – best of luck Craig!!


Crazy Christmas Cabaret is coming to the Depot!


Get your Christmas cabaret on! A collective of international circus and cabaret artists famous for their thrilling, immersive performances is coming to the DEPOT warehouse at the end of this month.

On the 29 / 30 November and 1 December, guests are invited to dress in their craziest Christmas clobber and head to the DEPOT for an evening of wintery cabaret, circus tricks and ‘dodgy Santa comedy’ – courtesy of Mary Bijou Cabaret and Social Club’s ‘Fairy Tale Christmas’!


Having previously performed sell out shows at the Wales Millennium Centre, Edinburgh festival and around the country, The Mary Bijou Cabaret & Social Club are critically acclaimed for their immersive and intimate performances which are driven by playfulness and good fun.

Tickets for the Mary Bijou Fairy Tale Christmas are priced at £15 and available from depot.eventcube.io/events. Fancy dress is warmly encouraged!

 For more info see DEPOT’s social media pages, or search @themarybijou


Facebook.com/ Mary-Bijou-Cabaret-Social-Club







Super secret giant guerilla cross-stitch street art is landing in Cardiff…. intrigued?!

Oh, this is very exciting! With needles, thread and grand ambitions at their disposal, cross-stitchers of Cardiff have been plotting a super secret street art project that they plan to unleash at this year’s Made In Roath arts festival……


Whether you are cross stitch crazy, mad about the arts or just looking for something different at the Made In Roath week, look no further! All kinds of cross stitch lovers from the local community have been working hard behind-the-scenes to bring a new and exciting project to the streets called Crossing Paths.

The Crossing Paths team have been meeting regularly in secret, in order to create a series of giant cross stitch street art that will appear overnight just in time for Made In Roath Festival.

As Becca Clark at Green City Events explains:

“We had no idea that so many people wanted to create street art and it seems we have found a really accessible and unique medium – giant cross stitch! Plus, I think the secretive, guerrilla style group was a factor!”

Every piece has been made by a member of the community using different recycled materials such as t-shirts, tights, naturally dyed sheets and even old bicycle wheels. The aim of the project is to bring colour and art to the streets of Roath and Adamsdown using the resources within the community. It aims to create awareness of the beautiful community gardens in the area that can sadly be overlooked at times.

People from all different backgrounds and parts of Cardiff have joined forces and contributed their own personal pieces of art. Ten year-old Osian Allsopp explains why he wanted to get involved:

“I wanted to learn a new way of sewing and I had good fun experimenting. I can’t wait to tell people; I’ve been very good at keeping this a secret!”.

On Saturday 8th October, everyone involved in the project will come together to cross-stitch ‘bomb’ the Plasnewydd and Adamsdown community gardens and surrounding streets. There will be an array of designs that all relate to what you may find in a garden; plants, wildlife, garden tools and maybe even a Pokémon or two!

The guerilla stitchers tell us more:

How did the Crossing Paths project idea originally begin?

“After a trip to Valencia where the streets were just bursting with colourful art I thought it would be fun to brighten up our own streets back home. A couple of weeks and a sneaky Facebook group later we had gathered a group of keen cross stitchers to make our dreams a reality!” – Becca Clark, Green City Events.

What do you hope to achieve from this project?

“We hope that people stumble across our unique pieces of street art during Made in Roath and maybe see a part of their everyday surroundings in a new light. For those keen to see them all, you’ll find a map on the Green City Events website, you can follow the path of plants and wildlife and in turn discover three beautiful community gardens. We hope this is just the start of a new community project and that others are inspired to create random acts of art!”

What do the crossing paths team think of the giant cross stitch street art?

“The perception of cross-stitch needs to taken out of the parlour and onto the streets; nothing like a bit of subversiveness to challenge the every-day!” – Dorcas Frazer

“As a prolific stitcher, I was thrilled to be part of Crossing Paths. Not only was it a great opportunity to meet other Cardiff Creative types it was so much fun stitching up giant cross stitches” – Charlotte,Twin Made

Why will Crossing Paths be a great addition to the Made In Roath week?

“The made in roath festival is all about bringing art out into the community, be that in schools, on street corners, in community gardens, and anywhere else we can find. CDF Cross Stitchers & Green City Events have done just that, with the unexpected element of stumbling upon their work whilst we wander the streets we think we know so well. We can’t wait to discover what’s on our doorstep!”


On display from Sunday 9th October – Sunday 16th October

Mackintosh Community Gardens – 38 Keppoch St, Cardiff CF24 3JW
Plasnewydd Community Gardens – 5 Shelley Walk, Cardiff CF24 3DX
Adamsdown Community Gardens – Moria Terrace, Adamsdown, CF24 0EJ
And the surrounding streets.


Date: Saturday 8th October 6.30pm

Location: Secret meeting place – please contact Becca at Green City events to get involved.

Cardiff: City of the Unexpected …


Wales Millennium Centre and National Theatre Wales present … Roald Dahl’s City of the Unexpected! 17 and 18 September 2016

This September, take a trip to Roald Dahl’s City of the Unexpected for a once-in-a-lifetime experience…

Look out for unexpected happenings on the streets and buildings throughout the city…but don’t be fooled, not everything is what it seems!

Come on an adventure and discover unexpected spaces around the city while you sit back and enjoy extracts from Roald Dahl’s stories read by some familiar faces. Our unexpected readings in unexpected places will be announced in August, when tickets will also go on sale.

Don your pyjamas and join us for a fabulous, free family event at Coopers Field in Bute Park between 2-5pm. The Great Pyjama Picnic will bring together all the themes, stories, characters and cast of the weekend in a huge celebration of food, music and story. Bring your own Roald Dahl-inspired picnic, and you’ll be in with a chance to win a competition judged by Beca Lyne-Pirkis, presenter of S4C’s Becws and former contestant on BBC One’s Great British Bake Off! Beca will be keeping her eyes (and tastebuds) open for picnics in four categories:

  • Most Dahlian Picnic
  • Most Revolting Picnic
  • Most Beautiful Picnic
  • Most Unexpected Picnic

Start planning your Dahl-inspired picnic now!



The Welsh capital will become a place where reality is turned on its head, and where the laws of physics, logic and the predictable will give way to magic, fun, invention and the surreal, as if Roald Dahl himself is at the helm.

This epic weekend will involve a cast of thousands of performers from across the city and jaw-dropping spectacles. Immerse yourself in everything from large-scale events to intimate performances – all staged across Cardiff’s streets and public spaces, in shops and arcades, at iconic buildings and parks.

Born in Cardiff, one hundred years ago this September, Roald Dahl’s imagination has touched the most extraordinary number of people. It has been part of our childhood and our children’s childhood.

To mark his centenary and to give thanks for the legacy he created, this will be a totally surprising celebration of the man, his characters and his stories.

Produced by Wales Millennium Centre and National Theatre Wales, in association with The Roald Dahl Literary Estate, and led by a creative team from Wales and across the globe, Roald Dahl’s City of the Unexpected will be a world-class event worthy of a world-class writer.


Roald Dahl’s City of The Unexpected has many surprises in store for you, which you can find out about in our what’s on section. If you’ve got some extra time while you’re in Cardiff, you may want to explore Roald Dahl’s connection to Cardiff by visiting some of the city’s key landmarks. As well asRoald Dahl’s City of the Unexpected, you can also experience The Wondercrump World of Roald Dahl at Wales Millennium Centre, Quentin Blake: Inside Stories at National Museum Cardiff and Wonderman at the Tramshed (in association with Gagglebabble, National Theatre Wales and Wales Millennium Centre).


City of the Unexpected Facebook event

See also:

National Theatre of Wales
Wales Millennium Centre


Scratch This Too!

Scratch This Too! The second scratch night takes place at Cardiff Speaker Hire on Saturday 10 September. Come and join us for another night of weirdly fabulous wonderment – prepare to be amazed as you enter the world of Cirque Du Sparklet!

Scratch This Too Scratch This Too Scratch This Too

Scratch This Too is a scratch night featuring artists and performers from a range of genres. Come and support some of Cardiff’s newest performance artists as they show off their incredible skills!

Sideshow alley, bar and twerkshop will be starting at 6pm, followed by a spectacular cabaret at 7.30pm.
Tickets are just £6: Scratch This Too! tickets
Scratch This Too

The Actual History Museum of Roath

Every single suburb of Cardiff offers something different. But there’s something about Roath … Ellie Philpotts went along to investigate one project that certainly makes the area special.

actual museum roath

As readers of We Are Cardiff, you probably know just how vibrant this city is. Every day brings something new, while no resident has the same experience of living here. Plus, each suburb has its own cultural quirks. Where better to demonstrate this than Roath?

As a relative newbie to Cardiff, since moving here in 2014 to start English Lit and Journalism at Cardiff Uni, I’ve only ever lived in Cathays. Despite this, my favourite district has always been Roath. The place has it all – more international cuisine than you realised you could ever squeeze into a road (City Road, I’m looking at you); a beautiful lake, park and botanical garden; a tangible community spirit, with events such as the annual Made in Roath and Made in Spring festival; and now, of course, the Actual History Museum of Roath.

I’ve got to confess – I didn’t know much about this project, until We Are Cardiff’s wonderful founder, Helia, asked me pop along to do a piece on it. After as much research as I could do without ruining the suspense, I went along to the museum itself, and here’s what went down…

After getting kind of lost on the way (slightly embarrassing considering how close I live), I arrive at the address on Werfa Street, pretty soaked by that common thing called Cardiff rain, but excited to find out more. I’m offered a very warm welcome by the main curators, Dr Glen Roy and Sir Alfred Street, and before long we’re chatting away over a brew.

The first thing I want to know, from the horse’s mouth, is what it specifically is that the Actual History Museum of Roath represents? I’m told, ‘we bring knowledge to the ignorant, and open people’s eyes to the wonders of Roath. A lot of people know the aesthetics, of things like cafes, but they don’t think of the history much.’

Well now I’m intrigued. The Actual History Museum of Roath is a local project redefining Roath in a witty and unique way – leave your definitions of ‘truth’ firmly at the gate. The museum itself is in a garden shed at the Werfa Street home, featuring an interesting range of trinkets and artefacts which collectively form the north-eastern district’s rich history.

There are murals asking ‘what became of the Lake Roath Monster?’, plus maps, cave paintings and some rather amusing songbird rivalries with Splott…

The famous Roath vs Splott song goes as follows:

‘More beer landlord,
I’m a happy fella,
When I’m drinking in the Roath Bierkeller,
When I was young I travelled far,
I once went to Llanedeyrn,
The people there smelled funny,
And really did my head in,

(Repeat chorus)

Oh Roath it is a lovely place,
The pies are always hot,
Unlike those bits of gristle,
That they call pies in Splott,

(Repeat Chorus)

Oh landlord bring a flagon and we will make an oath,
To the greatest of all countries,
The place that we call Roath.’


This little hideaway and its connections play a vital role in Made in Roath, seeing visitors frequently flock to find out more about the true history of the place. The team behind the Actual History Museum of Roath all go by very Roathian names – there’s Dame Shirley Road; Dr Glen Roy and Professor Sir Alfred Street – and are keen to make Roath be considered independent. There’s no question about it – they certainly think it’s the pride of the capital, but this is taken to new heights with ideas such as their ‘Roatherendum’. 400 voted, with only eight preferring to stay dependent within Cardiff. Independence now!

A photgraph from the Museum's collection: Sir Lancalot Werfa, ever the Explorer of Roath, was already planning his next adventure with Sir Donald Street's grandfather Sir " Jimmy" Quality Street. This adventure never took place, due to his failure to successfully return from his Roath Recreation Park Crossing (1908, permission Actual History Museum Roath).
A photograph from the Museum’s collection: Sir Lancalot Werfa, ever the Explorer of Roath, was already planning his next adventure with Sir Donald Street’s grandfather Sir ” Jimmy” Quality Street. This adventure never took place, due to his failure to successfully return from his Roath Recreation Park Crossing (1908, permission Actual History Museum Roath).

Although of course unofficial and unrecognised by the government, the polls became quite the talking point around the close-knit community, and it seems even further afield – making it onto Radio Wales and Wales Online.

The Museum embodies the wacky charm that would surely only work on the good people of Cardiff. Engaging everyone by bringing a very new slant on what it means to be a Roath resident, I don’t think I’m alone in hoping the team keep up their open days; quirky Youtube videos and Made in Roath starring role for years to come. I’m just not sure their old rivals in Splott would agree…

PS – They’re expecting you to perhaps be a bit confused at first.

The actual history museum of Roath Facebook page

The actual history museum of Roath YouTube


Ellie Philpotts

Ellie Philpotts is our writer on the ground in central Cardiff. Telling it like it is!

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#cardiffwithoutculture – join the march to protest cuts to arts funding, Saturday 6 Feb

On Saturday, the #cardiffwithoutculture campaign will march against the council’s proposed cuts to the arts.

The march starts Saturday 6 February, 2pm at National Museum Wales.


The theme for the march is a New Orleans style jazz funeral procession, and music students from Cardiff University have invited any musicians to join them in a scratch band rehearsal also on Sunday 31st January from midday-5pm.

Information from the organisers:

Arts and culture are facing a potential funding crisis and we would like to raise our voice.

Culture makes life worth living. And Cardiff a city worth living in. Cardiff Council want to cut £700,000 from the arts budget. Which threatens the future of culture in the city.

As Europe’s youngest capital city, Cardiff enjoys national arts organisations and institutions including two symphony orchestras, the National Museum, the Welsh National Opera, Wales Millennium Centre, National Theatre Wales, National Dance Company Wales, St David’s Hall; and high profile events such as Artes Mundi, Cardiff Singer of the World, and Cardiff Contemporary. Not to mention countless grassroots and community arts projects.

This kind of activity keeps the city alive, and demonstrates how much it values creativity. It provides rich ground for new ideas and innovation, grassroots engagement and renewal. This is what attracts both people and investment. Where would a city be without this?

Our burgeoning reputation for arts and culture, built over many years, impacts on education, social services, employment, community cohesion, criminal justice, tourism, refugee agencies, youth services, the third age, library services and more.

Culture is all around us from the moment we wake to the moment we sleep. If the next generation of designers, makers, musicians, artists, writers, actors, dancers are placed in an environment that does not encourage them, what kind of Cardiff will we live in? Wales prides itself on its cultural heritage. We need to ensure that our future heritage is as strong.

Join us on Saturday 6th outside the National Museum to call upon the Council to cancel arts cuts and to celebrate Cardiff WITH culture. Bring your banners, signs, instruments, energy.

We will end outside the Central Library.

Made in Roath protest workshops

Made in Roath will be holding pre-protest workshops at the g39 gallery in Roath, for people to get and help make banners, badges, placards and a ‘float’ on the following dates:
4pm – 9pm, Thursday 28 Jan
11am – 5pm, Sunday 31 Jan
g39, Oxford Street (just off City Road), Cardiff CF24 3DT

Materials will be provided, but any unwanted picture frames would be welcome, we’ll be using them to make protest plaques so donations of frames in any state, the bigger the better, would be wonderful.

Tea and biscuits will be provided, but if you plan to stay all day, please bring sandwiches etc. Despite the serious message, we hope this will be a fun day for all, so please forward this on to any contacts and share with anyone who cares about Cardiff’s cultural life, this is important for everyone.

Cardiff Without Culture march: Saturday 6 Feb, Facebook event


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Creative Cardiff: a new network for the city’s creative economy…and a Christmas party!

If you’re creative and are based in Cardiff, it makes ALL THE SENSE to join the wonderful new Creative Cardiff network. Plus, they’re having a Christmas party on Wednesday 16 December in Chapter – go along and get involved! Here they are to tell us more about it.

Christmas party flyer

Over the last year we’ve been working to build a new city-wide network that connects people working in any creative organisation, business or job. You may have been to our freelancers’ breakfast, to our event at The Abacus, or have met with one of our team to share your thoughts about what this should or could be.  

And now we’ve launched Creative Cardiff – a network which provides information and promotes new opportunities as well as enabling its members to find new people to work with, build their audience and promote their work. There’s already lots going on in Cardiff and there are many creative networks but, unlike other cities such as Edinburgh, Bath and Dundee we didn’t have something here which pulls it all together in one place and encourages people to work together across all the different creative sectors. We believe that by playing this connector role Creative Cardiff can help to make our city the most creative place it can be.

Over the first year we’re offering a programme of ‘52 Things’ which we want to make with and for the city’s creative community. Online we’re profiling the people and places in the city which give it a unique identity (look out for our forthcoming city guide which we’ve worked on with ‘We Are Cardiff’ and ‘I Loves the Diff’). And we’re running events – so far we’ve held a ‘Show & Tell’ event where people shared their work, we’ve had an ‘In conversation’ event with Dick Penny from Bristol’s Watershed and later this month we’re having a Christmas party

Come and join us at Chapter for a Christmas party for the creative community on Wednesday 16 December from 7:30-11:30pm. We’ll have music from DJs, GRLTLK, and live performances. And we’ll have a few surprises up our sleeves too! Celebrate the work you’ve done in 2015 and you might even meet some new people to collaborate with next year. Tickets are just £10 and include a glass of mulled wine and a hot buffet. Buy tickets.

Creative Cardiff is free to join. You’ll receive our fortnightly newsletter, invitations to our events and the opportunity to list yourself on our members’ directory. To find out more about the network and join for FREE visit: www.creativecardiff.org.uk
Creative Cardiff is run by Cardiff University with support from BBC Wales, the City of Cardiff Council and Wales Millennium Centre.


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Getting back to Grassroots – a creative Cardiff institution for young people in the city

Grassroots Cardiff is a youth project that has been based in Cardiff city centre for over 30 years. They offer support, advice, training and positive creative options to disadvantaged young people aged 16-25 years old in Cardiff  and surrounding areas. Grassroots has been a stepping stone for artists like the Super Furry Animals, Stereophonics, Cerys Matthews, Sian Evans (Kosheen), Andy Cairns (Therapy?), Bullet For My Valentine, Young Marble Giants, Astroid Boys, and many others.

Helia spoke to Mike Botzaropoulos, a youth worker at Grassroots to find out more about this Cardiff institution for young people in the city.

grassroots cardiff

Grassroots is a youth organisation helping young people 16-25 years old. We endeavour to instil optimism, promote self-awareness and self-worth in young people who often see themselves in a negative light. Grassroots offers training and experience in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, available in the areas of music, video, digital arts and media. This training can lead to qualifications or a progression to other more advanced facilities. We also run various other events and activities from time to time.

There is a low cost coffee bar where young people are welcome to drop in to socialise or find out more about current activities or workshops. Grassroots Advice Office provides a free drop-in service, where youth specific advice is available. The project aims to listen to young people’s problems and help solve them together.

We often deal with young people who face extreme poverty, adversity and despair, we offer positive relationships to all young people whatever their gender, sexuality, social or mental health status. Grassroots is not just about keeping kids off the streets, but engaging them in worthwhile activity, making them resilient and giving them a meaningful role to play in society.

grassroots cardiff

The organisation is partly funded by Cardiff Council and partly funded as a charity from various sources. Volunteers join the team from time to time. I volunteered back in 2007 before eventually being hired as the Youth Music Tutor. Now I run the Music Department.

I studied Music Engineering and Production at Glamorgan Uni, so I was going around music studios for work experience. I started in Grassroots in February 2007, and the tutor that ran the studio back then was leaving the month after so I took over for three months, then got the job full time.

It thought it was a great environment and something I wasn’t familiar with, as opposed to working in a commercial studio. Working with young people starting out was more rewarding than working with older artists that might have already been established in the local scene.

I’ve had a lot of stand-out moments since working at Grassroots. I’d have to say a very memorable one was the National Museum Takeover. British Council sent Mutle Mothibe (South African poet) to spend a week with our young people and at the end of the week we did an event in the National Museum, with singing and poetry ending with a collective song with the young people and the museum visitors (we handed out lots of percussion to people!)

Another time was when two of my young artists got to perform a song with Sian Evans of Kosheen at Clwb Ifor Bach. It was a fundraising gig for Grassroots with the support of Sian who did her first ever recording here and the audience gave the biggest applause for our young ones.

We have a great variety of young people from various backgrounds and walks of life and with various skillsets. The majority of our young people are in need of support for issues like housing, relationships, mental health. The young people I deal with in the music department might be more motivated than others (again not necessarily). However, each and every young person we’re dealing with is unique in their own way.

I’m originally from Athens, Greece. I moved to Wales 10 years ago. It feels like yesterday! I studied MSc Music Engineering and Production at Glamorgan Uni when it was in Trefforest, then moved to Cardiff a year later, got the job in Grassroots a year after that. I live in Swansea now to be closer to family, but travelling everyday is a testament to my commitment to Grassroots! I used to live 10 mins on foot away from Grassroots, ah – the good old days!

Also if you want to pop in for a coffee, our legendary coffee bar is alive and kicking. this is the same place where Cardiff post punk legends Young Marble Giants played and recorded for the first time ever. Without that coffee bar we might have not had Nirvana, Hole, REM, Garbage (greatly influenced by YMG). Crazy thinking about it really! But yes it’s still here and it’s the main social hub for our young people and a great little venue for starters to experiment with audiences up to 50 capacity. It’s a place for anyone within our age range 16-25, and is a platform for young artists that don’t have the experience or the confidence (or the status for that matter) to play a commercial venue.

grassroots cardiff

I absolutely love Cardiff. If I had people visiting for the weekend, I would take them for a walk around the arcades, to Sophia Gardens, around Roath Park – I do love Cardiff more than Swansea!

My favourite Cardiff pub is the Traders Tavern, it’s like the official pub for Grassroots staff. I love the atmosphere especially before a gig. I’ll extend my answer by naming my fav place for burgers and that’s The Grazing Shed behind Grassroots. You’d swear they don’t let me walk far from work haha!

I used to I lived in Adamsdown, so literally 10′ walk from work. Now it takes me an hour and a half!

If people want to support Grassroots, anyone can volunteer whether it’s for the coffee bar or the music and digital arts departments. Fundraising-wise, people can donate items or organise events. Any bright idea that can help is welcome!

You can also donate money, if you can spare any cash – details are on the Grassroots website.

grassroots cardiff

Thanks Mike! Tune in for more of Cardiff’s creative institutions soon …


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Cirkopolis at the Millennium Centre: fast, funny, sexy and unmissable

Cirque Éloize’s Cirkopolis turns greyscale to technicolour in a heartpounding performance that traverses circus, dance, comedy and theatre. 

With echoes of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and 1984, even flashes of The Hudsucker Proxy, the show portrays a drab, grey world punctuated with joy and colour. Mechanical movements and tightly-performed dance routines make way for fluid, effortless acrobatics within a few minutes and it doesn’t lose pace for the entire 90 minutes. 

From an electro-swing Andrews Sisters-style juggling routine, to the solitary, mesmerising cyr wheel, the first half is incredible. It also includes the sexiest German wheel performance that you’ll ever see (I guarantee).

Photo credit: Cirque Eloize

If it’s even possible, the second half is better. It begins with a perfect tandem trapeze routine (I’ve been learning trapeze for half a year, and I don’t think audiences really appreciate just how hard it is to make it look so easy!). 

The Chinese pole performance was easily the best of the night- the twirling, fast-paced climbs and HUGE drops harvested so many gasps from the audience that I’m surprised there weren’t a few asthma attacks. The three primary performers didn’t make one wrong move, and did it all in time to banging music. This scene is worth the ticket price alone. 

The finishing routine, complete with seesawing, flying acrobats is fast, perilous and fun, just like the rest of the show. None of it wears thin, and the whole thing passed in an instant because of its unfaltering magnetism.

The CGI scenery gives the set a depth that I’ve never seen on stage before – from rising skyscrapers during the handstand tower to the twisting door panels in the comedy interlude.

There is little to complain about- the performance was essentially flawless but for a few imperceptible hiccups, and the music is hit and miss. 

Don’t miss your chance to see the show, which is on at the WMC until Saturday. You’ll never look at office furniture the same again…