Elan Valley awarded prestigious Arts Council funding for Creative Wales Fellowship

3 years 5 months ago

The Elan Valley will host a prestigious artistic fellowship opportunity thanks to Arts Council Wales funding and further support from Elan Links partners. The opportunity is one of only three Creative Wales Fellowships supported by Arts Council of Wales and puts Elan Valley on the international creative map.


The Elan Valley Creative Wales Fellowships offer a unique opportunity for artists based in Wales at a significant juncture of their career in any art form, including music, literature, theatre, visual arts, craft, dance and film. The fellowships will be a chance to experiment and reflect, offering the time and space for artists to develop their creative practice through research, study and practical inquiry, by providing them with an opportunity to spend time in the wonderful and secluded Elan environment. 


David Alston, Director of Arts, Arts Council Wales said “Council agreed to expand our programme of Creative Wales Fellowships as the Elan Links programme was in its development phase. The Elan Valley as a location for residencies was tested during the Arts Council of Wales and Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water funded Artist Place Time residencies in 2015/16 and more recently with the first Elan Links artist residencies held during 2018. It’s a programme the Council is seeking to support in various ways through to its whole duration. So some Creative Wales Fellowships across art forms is seen as a complement to the programme of residencies. The Council has been interested in developing a longer term involvement with Elan as a place for artists’ retreats and residency work focusing on the creativity and engagement the place can inspire.”   


Dr Ieuan Joyce, Chairman of the Elan Links partnership and Elan Valley Trust said: “We welcome this award by Arts Council Wales which is recognition indeed that the Elan Valley is a special place, and look forward to seeing how the successful Fellow develops and benefits from time spent here during their Fellowship.”


Initially, two one-year Fellowships are on offer, one for 2019/2020 and a further one for 2020/21. The selection will be a competitive process with applications invited from Wales based practising artists of all spectrums. The successful Fellow will need to demonstrate track record and how they could benefit from the Fellowship opportunity which includes an award of £9,000 in funding. The only requirement is that the Fellow must reside at the Elan Valley for a significant amount of time within the twelve-month period to enable full immersion. As such up to six months’ accommodation within the Elan Valley will also be included.


Catherine Allan, partnership member for Elan Links and Chair of Trustees at CARAD (Community Arts Rhayader and District,) said: “We see the Fellowships as an investment in an artist’s creative development, not only for them as individuals, but for further developing the Elan Valley and surrounding area as the creative heart of Wales. We hope artists will immerse themselves in the landscape and culture of Elan to stimulate and communicate new ideas, responses and understandings of the area.”


The Fellowships form part of the artist residency opportunities currently being offered at Elan Valley through the Elan Links: People, Nature and Water landscape partnership which is an investment of £3.3 million over five years by Heritage Lottery Fund, Elan Valley Trust, Dŵr Cymru, Community Arts Rhayader & District, Tir Coed and Natural Resources Wales. Applications will open in the Spring.