“… get it right, and we’ll see work which empowers and connects, work which is unique, authentic and life-affirming, work which at its best is genuinely transformational…” (Nick Capaldi, Chief Exec, Arts Council of Wales, March 2015, Introduction to ‘Person-Centred Creativity’ publication, Valley and Vale Community Arts)
One of the key aims and proven achievements of our work is in the intentionality behind our creative workshops to inspire and motivate our participants. This is of high importance, because many of the people we work with come to our projects or training sessions with low self-esteem, low confidence levels, and so being motivated through the creative process can be extremely inspiring and life-changing.
This new feeling of a possible and positive self image and identity can help participants move towards more pro-active life choices and an improved quality of life that might include reduced anxiety, re-connecting with education, further education, employment, developing increased social networks, taking on new challenges, continuing with creativity, developing more creative and less inhibited thinking.
“Valley and Vale continues to be a leader in the delivery and development of Community Arts practice. The organisation offers a range and variety of creative arts projects and programmes, often working with the most challenged and challenging individuals and groups within society.” (Arts Council of Wales, 2014)
The people we work with continue to overwhelm, humble, motivate, move and inspire me every year. The work is magic because we get to creatively share the lives and stories, dreams, challenges, hopes and fears, of so many amazing people; people overcoming personal barriers, people struggling with health issues, people battling against low self-esteem, feeling vulnerable, at risk, with depression, loneliness, trauma, anxiety. We are so lucky that we get to share in a life-changing, creative, fun, and creative experience that has proven to have profoundly transformational effects.
So thank you to all the people we have been lucky to share this creative journey with over the past year. Thank you also to all our funders, friends and partners that believe in our work and support us, enable us, work with us, challenge us further; and of course thank you to my most amazing and dedicated staff team and Board, volunteers and trainees, that facilitate the work and keep pushing the possibilities, and the quality of the process and products, higher and higher.
Alex Bowen, Director, Valley and Vale Community Arts 2015