July 2016 marked the beginning of a new piece of work for Wales Arts International, looking at and bringing together organisations and individuals from the cultural sphere that has an interest or relationship connecting Wales and China.
Wales Arts International is co-ordinating the Stakeholder group and activity on behalf of Welsh Government. The Stakeholder Group is open to all. To join the group, please contact Rhian: Rhian.firstname.lastname@example.org
Following a stakeholder meeting on 11th July 2016, a Wales-China cultural engagement steering group was recruited. The stakeholder day included panel discussions and workshops exploring how Welsh and Chinese artists, arts companies and businesses can grow new collaborations and generate new commercial opportunities between the two countries. This also marked the beginning of a research partnership with Bangor University looking into recent, current and future strategic initiatives between Wales and China. This partnership has generated a recent piece of research by Dr Keith Beasley regarding current and previous cultural engagement between Wales and China, which will help the Steering Group form a cohesive strategy for the promotion of future engagements.
Read initial findings here: http://www.wai.org.uk/7203?diablo.lang=eng
The Wales-China Engagement Steering Group, chaired by Eluned Haf (Head of Wales Arts International), will meet quarterly and is made up of around twenty individuals, including officials from the Welsh Government, the Confucius Institute and nominated representatives from the further education, sports and creative industries in Wales who are, or have an interest in, operating in China. Its primary aim is to share information and to promote collaborative opportunities in the creative, cultural, heritage, education and sport sectors.
In December 2016 Eluned Haf travelled to Shanghai to participate in the UK-China People to People forum, which constituted the largest ever cultural delegation from the UK to China, where she witnessed amongst a host of other events the signing of an agreement between Welsh company Cloth Cat Animation and their new Chinese partner, Magic Mall. Eluned wrote a blog about her visit, which is available to read here: Eluned's blog.
There was another visit to China, organised by Welsh Government, as a trade mission going to Shanghai and Hong Kong. This included 20 organisations from across the sector with an interest in exporting to this market. The visit, taking place 18-25 February 2017, also had a cultural element organised by Wales Arts International, including participation by Hijinx Theatre and Open Books, as well as supporting the creative companies involved in the trade mission which included BBC NOW, National Theatre Wales and Ensemble Cymru.
As we turn our attention to the events 2017 will bring, we look forward to a year of diverse and vibrant collaboration and to deepening our ties with China.
Follow the links on the right hand side of this page to find out more about individual projects supported by Wales Arts International. We will update these as more projects unfold.