Beyond the Border which celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2018, is the only international storytelling festival in Wales, and one of the leading festivals of its kind in the UK and internationally. With support from Arts Council of Wales, Beyond the Border will continue to develop and harness the power of storytelling through a new education and outreach and performance programme laying foundations for the next major festival in 2020.

Artistic Director, Naomi Wilds, said, “We know how accessible and powerful storytelling can be. The next 12 months will see us roll out new ways of developing partnerships, audiences and the sector across Wales which connects with our biennial festival in exciting new ways. Storytelling has the power to connect people and communities and working with new partners helps develop wider understanding and appreciation of what storytelling can do.”

Over the next 12 months Beyond the Border will be rolling out projects and performances across Wales. Beyond the Border will be offering a feast of international storytelling at National Trust’s Gwledd Food Festival at Dinefwr (22-23 June 2019) bringing quality English and Welsh speaking storytellers plus international guests to perform at this family-friendly event.

The following week Beyond the Border will be presenting a free evening event at the Storytelling in Health Conference in Swansea (27 June 2019). Beyond the Border will bring a high-profile hour of storytelling featuring Daniel Morden, Oli Wilson-Dickson, Sarah Moody and international guest Mimesis Heidi Dahlsveen to an engaged audience of storytellers, academics, health practitioners, students including international delegates which will continue BtB’s profile among the arts, health and local community in South West Wales.

This summer Beyond the Border will host storytellers from Italy and Sweden as part of Roots & Roads, a collaborative project funded by Creative Europe. In June this crew of European storytellers will set sail for Swansea to share their sea stories with school pupils over two days at National Waterfront Museum, before returning to Cardiff Bay for a final performance for adults at The Norwegian Church on Midsummer’s Eve.

In August, Roots and Roads will be at Felin Uchaf, St Hywyn’s Church, Aberdaron and Plas Glyn-Y-Weddw on the magnificent Llyn Pennisula. Full performance details to follow in the next few weeks.

As well as hosting performances in North and South Wales, Beyond the Border will be en-hancing its online presence, creating new digital content online that reaches audiences across Wales and the world throughout the year with a refreshed website and social media channels.

As part of the Beyond the Border’s ongoing commitment to developing and enhancing story-telling in communities, the Company will be recruiting a bi-lingual role, Engagement Co-ordinator / Cydlynydd Ymgysylltu who will be to develop local relationships and participation activ-ity throughout the year targeting schools and groups, both in English and Welsh. Some of these activities will lead towards the next Beyond Border International Storytelling Festival planned for July 2020.

In addition to the Arts Council of Wales funding, Beyond the Border has been awarded nearly £10,000 to run an exciting and innovative pilot project, Slow Motion Selfies, in both Swansea and Cardiff which supports those with neurodegenerative conditions like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Ataxia to develop their own stories that will inspire others.

Naomi Wilds said, “Storytelling is a really versatile and flexible artform and we’re really looking forward to heading out and about this summer, meeting audiences and sharing stories by fantastic artists across South, West and North Wales. Working with new partners in different ways and sharing stories with more and different audiences helps us discover new ways the festival contributes to a vibrant cultural offer across Wales as we look forward to the return of our major three day festival next year.”

Naomi continued, “These new projects are building on the festival’s strong reputation for excellence, international collaboration and inclusivity, providing a platform for Wales and Welsh culture at the centre of the international storytelling stage.”