Blog from Ceriann Williams on the Llaw/Hand Project

It was back last summer, when pretty much bound to my garden, that I recieved an email from Louise at Creu Cymru asking if I would like manage a project distributing money to venues and freelancers across Wales – Urm? Yes please!

The focus of the engagement was, of course, Covid-19 recovery related and the early idea was a sort of ‘buddying project’ which eventually evolved into the Llaw/ Hand fund. In detail, we knew we could support up to 10 venues across Wales to help them during this difficult time and in turn, create roles for freelancers, likely also to have been hit exponentially by the pandemic.

I guess as funders, our main question was: How could the venues work in collaboration with freelancers to engage audiences during their closure and address a potentially compromised futures once they re-open under strict guidance from the Welsh government (BREATH!). We did not expect venues to explain their suffering to us – that we understood –  this was more about hearing compelling cases to increase capacity or to pivot into new ways of connecting with audiences and communities.

The project has taken a little longer than expected to complete, a testament to the challenges we are facing and the state of flux Creu Cymru members find themselves in. However, I am DELIGHTED to say that each venue has now been matched with a freelance professional and all the brilliant projects are underway. We have funded all sorts of ideas, from web coding to cabaret consultancy; from audio experts to audience experts.

From a personal point of view, it has been brilliant to play a small part in this project and build my understanding of the similar and more unique challenges our Welsh venues are facing. I wish all the organisations and freelancers a great time with their respective partnerships and I hope they lead to more long lasting relationships.


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