The Artist and Community Bursaries was offered to 5 artists to enable them to work creatively with a specific community – be that a geographical, professional, online or shared identity community – and give people in that community the opportunity to experience the transformative impact of creativity on their lives. 

More information about the artists awarded our Artist and Community Bursaries is available below:

Background is orange and neon purple. There are 5 equally sized squares with a headshot of a different individual in each one and their name underneath. First image is a young woman with name ‘Caitlin Lavagna’ underneath. Second image is a man with name ‘Wyn Mason’ underneath. Third image is a woman with name ‘Rufus Mufasa’ underneath. Fourth image is a young man with name Elis Pari underneath. Fifth image shows a shadow of a person being cast on a rocky beach with name ‘Lis Parsons’ underneath.

Caitlin Lavagna

As part of the bursary, Caitlin worked on a verbatim theatre production based on the Aberfan Disaster, representing the voices of a particular Welsh community and using music to attempt to heal a working-class community that has experienced trauma.

Caitlin is an exciting actor-musician graduate from Rose Bruford College. She is from Porth in the Rhondda Valley. Her training allowed her to develop her craft not only as an actor-musician but also as a well-rounded theatre maker and collaborative artist. Caitlin is a talented vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, and composing and creating music is at the heart of her work.

With the bursary, Caitlin was most excited to delve into writing her first actor-muso post-grad production, with the support of Theatr Gen furthering her passion for creating theatrical work rooted in community.

Wyn Mason

As part of this bursary, Wyn worked on developing a play around the experience of stammering, written specifically for performers who have a stammer.

Wyn is from a film and TV background. In 2012/13 he undertook a year-long theatre director training course, which was run by Sherman TheatreLiving Pictures and Theatr Gen. The course inspired him to write his first stage play, Rhith Gân, which won the Drama Medal at the 2015 National Eisteddfod. Since then he has completed a Creative Writing PhD, was selected to be a Writer-in-Residence at Theatr Clwyd, and has established a new writing theatre company (Os Nad Nawr) with Branwen Davies. His play, Gwlad yr Asyn, toured Wales during summer 2021 as a co-production with Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru.

Rufus Mufasa

Ancient women’s stories were hijacked, theatrical frameworks made masculine, and as part of the bursary, Rufus explored reconstructing this by honouring matriarchal frameworks that worked frontline during the pandemic and the faith and friendships that were discovered.

Rufus Mufasa is a pioneering participatory artist, literary activist, poet, rapper, singer-songwriter, theatre maker, and last but not least, a mother. From Barbican Fellow to the first Future Generations Act Poet in Residence, Rufus also works internationally, securing literary residencies ranging from the Hay Literature Festival to Sweden, Finland, Indonesia, and most recently Zimbabwe, but always returns to People Speak Up in Llanelli, promoting hip hop education, performance poetry and intergenerational development and has recently been appointed their Poet on Prescription. Rufus was a Hull ’19 artist in conjunction with BBC Contains Strong Language. She has Flashbacks and Flowers is due to drop, with her second album also on the way.  Rufus’s work explores motherhood, the spirituality of ancestry, class, climate chaos, feminism and faith, and transgenerational or trapped trauma.

Elis Pari

As part of this bursary, Elis will be developing a journey around Bodnithoedd, his grandparents’ farm,  recounting their tales, their way of life and their commitment to the neighbourhood.

Elis was brought up on a farm in north-west Wales. He spent three years in Cardiff studying Theatre and Drama at the University of South Wales, and the studied for a Masters degree in Research (Drama). As part of his studies, Elis explored the possibilities of using the arts to get to grips with the decline in mental wellbeing amongst the farming communities in rural Wales.

Lis Parsons

The basis for Lis’s project was thinking of the similarity between the “Welsh Not” and behavioural methods that are used today to force autistic children to act as if they are ‘normal’. As part of this bursary, Lis worked with autistic adults to create stories about their identity from their own perspective, in ways and means that are suitable for all.

Lis Parsons is an autistic and non-binary storyteller. They graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from Swansea University. They are a teacher, following in the footsteps of their mother and grandmother: two strong, intelligent and stubborn women. Their father and two grandfathers were mild-mannered keen gardeners, the father being an engineer and the grandfathers being coalminers. They were brought up on ancient tales from the four corners of the world, and have created their own tales throughout their life. Having lived in cities in south Wales and the midlands, Lis moved to rural Gwynedd in 2019.