Joint working “crucial in current economic climate”
The Arts Council of Wales and the Welsh-language public service broadcaster S4C have announced a key partnership agreement which will result in collaboration between the organisations over the coming years to support the best creative talent in Wales.
The organisations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding which outlines their shared commitment to public engagement in the arts in Wales, for the benefit of both the audience and the creative sector.
Ian Jones, S4C Chief Executive said:
"This partnership should be an exemplar for other organisations in Wales. In the current economic climate it is absolutely crucial that we work together and we're very happy to be signing this Memorandum of Understanding with the Arts Council of Wales.
“By doing so we can share our strengths and ideas, and create more projects such as Y Labordy in order to support and nurture the creative talents that exist here in Wales.
“We need to create opportunities like Y Labordy so that writers and all the individuals that make up the production crew can then create the best programmes, dramas, plays and radio scripts for the audiences in Wales and beyond."
Nick Capaldi, Chief Executive, Arts Council of Wales said:
“Arts, culture and public service broadcasting matter to the people of Wales. Between us, the Arts Council and S4C are significant investors in publicly funded creativity in Wales. It is our duty to create more opportunities to support and nurture this. By working together we want to find new ways of creating new opportunities for exciting new projects that audiences will be able to enjoy across a variety of broadcast and online platforms.”
To coincide with the publication of the MoU, S4C and ACW have also announced of the first scheme to be held as a result of the new partnership agreement - an ambitious scriptwriting project called Y Labordy.
Y Labordy (The Laboratory) will offer four outstanding individuals the opportunity to explore and develop the skills of writing drama for TV, film, theatre and radio. Y Labordy is funded by Creative Skillset Cymru and the Film Agency for Wales.
Over a period of eight months the successful applicants will have hands on experience shadowing writers on current productions, attend a series of master classes delivered by industry professionals, spend four days on three residential workshops and be assigned a mentor for the duration of the project who will expand their knowledge and skills in writing for broadcasters beyond the UK.
At the end of the project the four writers will possess the skills needed to take any idea and present it as a ready, professional script to commissioning executives in Wales, the UK and the international market.
Through projects such as this one, and by sharing ideas, knowledge, expertise and research, the organisations hope to support Wales’s best creative talent, making Wales more vibrant, inclusive and economically dynamic. The agreement will also mean that S4C or Arts Council of Wales funded investments will reach a wider audience, creating a greater economic impact.
Another joint aim is to explore new ways of using digital technologies to better connect arts projects with the audience.
Gwawr Martha Lloyd, S4C Content Commissioner said:
"There is a wealth of great writers here in Wales and it's crucial that we arm them with the skills that they need to go about making the best programmes, films, radio plays and dramas. Learning from professionals in the industry and attending master classes will give the four some great experiences, broaden their horizons and show them how to succeed in the broadcasting world in Wales and beyond. It's very exciting to be working with the Arts Council of Wales on this project which will prepare the next generation of writers."
Nick Davies, Portfolio Manager, Arts Council of Wales said:
"The Arts Council of Wales is delighted to be working in partnership with S4C to develop this exciting scheme. Both partners know we have a rich seam of writing talent working in the Welsh language. However, opportunities for our best emerging scriptwriters to hone their craft are sometimes limited. Y Labordy will provide some of these writers - whether working in theatre, television, film or radio - with the chance to develop their skills and to develop their careers, working in the medium of Welsh but with an international outlook."