At the end of My Year – a participation project between Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, Communities for Work+ and Carmarthenshire Theatres – I’m pleased to look back on a project that has inspired me, made me smile and made me cry, and see the arts have such a positive impact on the mental health and wellbeing of local people.
The arts are for everyone, and this is why it’s essential that arts organisations open their doors to everyone to have an opportunity, be it an opportunity to act, dance or create works of art.
The opportunity to create, be happy, be confident.
The opportunity to learn.
The opportunity to cry and smile,
and the opportunity to talk in a safe space using the arts as a tool.
And that’s exactly what the women on the My Year project have done over the past few weeks.
During a series of creative workshops giving a safe space to discuss mental health, the women grabbed the opportunity to create, to have the time to be creative in a safe environment. Over the past few weeks I have seen their confidence grow, their self-worth develop and their appearance change.
This has all happened through engaging with the arts over the past few months. They enjoyed acting, creative writing, creating art and sewing in the bar of the Lyric Theatre in Carmarthen.
I’d like to thank the women for being so open, for putting their faith in my work as a creative practitioner, and for being so open to trying out new experiences. It has been a truly special experience.
This proves, once again, that the arts are so beneficial to the body and mind, and that everyone should have the chance to experiment, discuss and create.
An exhibition of all the work will be at the Lyric Theatre in Carmarthen on Tuesday 10 December 2019 where there will be a chance to see the creative work in its entirety.
The exhibition will celebrate the value of the arts for mental health and will show the women’s journeys over the past few months and the last year. It portrays the seasons as a theme through the exhibition.
As Christmas approaches, how about sitting down and having a creative afternoon? An afternoon of acting with the whole family, writing poems or painting a picture?
Llinos Jones, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru’s Participation Officer
10 December 2019