The Mycelium Storytelling Hub has appointed three storytellers as Contemporary Cyfarwyddion and two producers as part of its exciting new Wales wide collaboration programme between freelancers and organisations, supported by Arts Council Wales’ Connect and Flourish fund.
The Mycelium Story Hub is a network of organisational and freelancer partners, committed to sharing practice & nurturing less frequently heard stories from across Wales’ diverse communities. The model is inspired by nature’s mycelium networks and includes support for producers and a new role of contemporary Cyfarwyddion.
Beyond the Border, National Eisteddfod, People Speak Up, Menter Iaith and Citrus Arts, along with individual storytellers and community members, Head4Arts and Theatre Soar, will all be working to ensure the future of the storytelling sector in Wales.
“We had so many wonderful applications for the first round of our Mycelium Story Hub, and it was a difficult decision. However, the four new roles whose postholders we are announcing today are each bringing something remarkable to the positions of Cyfarwyddion and Producer. I’m delighted that Mair Tomos Ifans will be working in Welsh and with some bilingual communities too. We have two brilliant producers in Rhian Davies and Cathy Boyce – Cathy will be returning to her roots in the Valleys and Rhian will making opportunities for more storytelling in Mid-Wales. Finally, we have a shared role between Jo Munton and Nia Llywelyn, who will be working with the Welsh learners’ community across Wales. I’m convinced their work will be responsive, exciting, will take risks, and most importantly will explore what it means to tell stories in contemporary communities.” Engagement Producer for Beyond the Border, Tamar Eluned Williams.
In South Wales, storytellers, Nia Llywelyn and Jo Munton will be working in South Wales but also hoping to work pan Wales, using the artform to help Welsh learners.
Established producer, Cathy Boyce is passionate to be developing a programme on activity and events in South Wales, with a particular focus on her home village of Glyn Neath, and surrounding Neath Port Talbot, Rhondda Cynon Taff and Merthyr counties. Cathy is passionate that this is an opportunity to take storytelling to her roots and develop the next generation of storytelling.
“We’re really thrilled to see how Mair, Jo, Nia, Rhian and Cathy develop all the brilliant ideas they presented to the Mycelium Hub, and we are looking forward to supporting them as their residencies develop. It’s wonderful to welcome this full complement of practitioners to the Hub’s first year, including Phil Okwedy and Deb Winter who are Associate Cyfarwyddion with People Speak Up in West Wales. We’re all looking forward to hearing more about the very many fascinating stories we know are out there in our communities as the Mycelium project evolves,” said Beyond the Border’s Artistic Director Naomi Wilds.
The new team members will start developing their programme of activity over the next few months. Phil Okwedy and Deb Winter, the Associate Cyfarwyddion with People Speak Up have already started their programme of activity in West Wales working developing Stories by Phone, in Conversation with PSU’s Men’s Group and stories with Care Homes, with more planned for the next few months.