Creu Cymru 2021 Annual Conference

Creu Cymru 2021 Annual Conference sponsored by Ticketsolve

24th March 10am-1pm

‘Are we really waiting for a return to normal or are we ready to build something different?’

The past year has been challenging for the whole nation and one of the most challenging the arts have ever been through.  This year’s conference will be about renewal and healing.  We would like the conference to be a positive event and focus on recovery and reinvention moving on from this crisis.  How can the arts play a part in the national recovery?  How do we rebuilt a sector to be more inclusive?  What does the future look like?

The conference will take place on Wednesday 24th March between 10am-1pm and in recognition of the extraordinary year we have all been through, we won’t be charging for attendance.

The whole event will be recorded and available after the event*, along with on-demand sessions, ready to watch in your own time.

As the conference is online, we are able to open booking to both Creu Cymru members and non-members.  We would encourage attendance by all levels of staff and roles.

Confirmed speakers – Alan Lane (Slung Low), Bryan Joseph Lee (Public Theater NYC), Daniel Evans (Chichester Festival Theatre), Kate Fox (MIF), Lianne Weaver (Beam Training), Lisbeth McLean (Menter Iaith Merthyr Tudful), Sita Thomas (Common Wealth Theatre) and Steffan Donnelly (Actor / Writer / Wales Freelancers Taskforce).


10am Intros and Creu Cymru Update
10.30am Keynote Speaker with Q&A - Daniel Evans, Artistic Director, Chichester Festival Theatre
11.15am Networking Break. This is time to grab a coffee and meet us in one of the themed Zoom rooms for a catch up
11.45am Panel Session with Q&A  - The Comeback – how do we come back stronger for our audiences, communities, artists, building and staff’. Panel will include Alan Lane (Slung Low), Kate Fox (MIF), Lisbeth McLean (Menter Iaith Merthyr Tudful), Sita Thomas (Common Wealth Theatre) and Steffan Donnelly (Actor / Writer / Wales Freelancers Taskforce).  Chaired by Alun Saunders (Playwright, Actor and Drag Performer)
12.45pm Wrap up
1pm End

On Demand Sessions
Back 2 Culture:  Building Relevance & Resilience in the Arts
By Bryan Joseph Lee – Founder, Back 2 Culture
The year 2020 was a threshold for change around the world.  In the wake of disruption, how can we rebuild and reimagine an arts sector that is more equitable, more just, and more responsive to the needs of our communities?  Join creative producer and arts marketer Bryan Joseph Lee (Founder, Back 2 Culture) as he shares what it takes to build arts organizations that are relevant, resilient, and ready for change.  This keynote will offer practical frameworks you can use to ask big questions, connect the dots, and center the voices of your community.

5 Tips to Boost Your Resilience (Lianne Weaver, Beam Training) (On-demand session)
A short workshop introducing learners to what resilience is, how to build up resources and how their resilience may have been impact by the pandemic.
The workshop then looks at 5 practical ways in which resilience can be improved.

The session will cover:
1. What is Resilience
2. Resilience and Covid-19
3. The Impact of lockdown
4. 5 Tips to boost your resilience
Beam Development & Training was set up with one main intention – to help people to feel happier and healthier in their work and personal lives.
Beam was established by Lianne Weaver who has quite a varied background. Having completed an honours degree in Educational Psychology, Lianne went on to work in Human Resources and completed a Post Grad in Human Resource Management. Psychology always fascinated her and she loved learning about how the brain worked and more importantly, how negative patterns could be changed. After having her daughter, Lianne decided to study bookkeeping and then accountancy and established an accountancy practice for several years until several life changes made her completely re-evaluate her life and once again return to studying the mind.
Since 2010, Lianne has completed many courses such as Reiki Master / Teacher, Meditation Teacher, Life Coach, Meridian Psychotherapy, NLP Practitioner, Hypnotherapy and more.
Since incorporating Beam in 2017, Beam has grown to a small team who are all as passionate as Lianne is for self development and for helping others. We focus upon bringing wellbeing, resilience and positive change to the workplace with our unique courses, webinars, e-Learning and talks.
We work with employers from corporate to small businesses, as well as entrepreneurs and freelancers, empowering everyone to become happier and healthier in their work.

Welsh to English translation will be available on the day.

To register click on this link

*Viewing after the conference is available for Creu Cymru members only.

Speaker Biogs

Alan Lane (Panel Speaker)
Alan is Artistic Director of Slung Low directing most of their work over the last decade including projects with the Barbican, the RSC, The Almeida, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Liverpool Everyman, Sheffield Theatres, Singapore Arts Festival and the Lowry.  Slung Low make large scale people’s theatre work on stages, trains, castles, swimming pools, fishing boats and town centres.
In 2017 Slung Low headlined Hull UK City of Culture 2017 with Flood by James Phillips: a 4 Part epic performed online, live and on the BBC. Over half a million people saw a part of Flood. It won a Royal Televisual Award Yorkshire for innovation in drama.
Alan has directed in places as wide ranging as the National Theatre of Croatia, a sari shop in Manchester, Buckingham Palace and in a village in Purulia, Southern India.
He was the Artistic Director for the National Commemoration of the Centenary of the Battle of the Somme on 1st July 2016: a ceremony with a people’s theatre company of 450.
In 2018 Slung Low, with support from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, will open a new Cultural Community College in Leeds offering a full range of cultural lessons in activities from South Indian Cooking to Blacksmything, star gazing to documentary film making and much in between.
In 2019 Slung Low took over management of the oldest working men’s club in Britain, The Holbeck in South Leeds: they run this venue as a Pay What You Decide creative and community space.
During the Covid crisis of 2020 the company was the ward lead for Holbeck and Beeston for social care referrals with responsibility for 7500 homes. They run a non-means tested self referral foodbank: delivering over 250 parcels of food a week.

Bryan Joseph Lee (Keynote Speaker – On demand Session)
Bryan Joseph Lee (he/him) is a creative producer and arts marketer with over a decade of experience building creative communities at a local, national and international level.  He works to amplify the stories of Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (QTBIPOC), and those at the intersections of multiple identities.  Most recently, Bryan has investigated civic advocacy and cultural changemaking as Director of Public Forum at The Public Theater in New York City.
In 2021, Bryan launched Back 2 Culture, an agency that helps artists and organizations build relevance and personal, interpersonal, and communal resilience through conversation, creation, and civic changemaking. He is a 2018 Fellow of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at The University of Maryland, and was named a 2016 Rising Leader of Color by Theater Communications Group (TCG).  Bryan holds a degree in International Relations and Theater from Dartmouth College.

Daniel Evans (Keynote Speaker live with Q&A)
Artistic Director, Chichester Festival Theatre
Raised in the Rhondda Valley, Daniel Evans started acting as a child.  He has performed at the RSC, National Theatre and on Broadway, and won Olivier awards in 2001 for Merrily We Roll Along, and in 2007 for Sunday in the Park with George.  In 2009, he became artistic director of Sheffield Theatres, and in 2016, artistic director of Chichester Festival Theatre.

Kate Fox (Panel Speaker)
Since 2018, Kate has led on accessibility for Manchester International Festival (MIF) – a biennial, artist-led festival presenting original new works from across the spectrum of performing arts, visual arts and popular culture.  MIF works with emerging and world-renowned artists from different artforms create dynamic new work, staged in established venues and found spaces across Greater Manchester.  MIF will also run The Factory, the new world-class cultural space currently being built in the heart of Manchester.
Kate is currently working on MIF21 which will take place in July, as well as considering how learning from a global pandemic can inform our plans for accessibility and inclusivity in The Factory.  Kate has a background in third and public sector organisations including BBC CBeebies, Sonder Radio and Blackburne House as a producer, trainer and board member.

Lisbeth McLean (Panel Speaker)
Lisbeth is the Chief Officer of Menter Iaith Merthyr Tudful, a third sector organisation that works to increase the use of Welsh in the community.  She led a town centre regeneration project in Merthyr Tydfil to develop Canolfan a Theatr Soar a Welsh langauge hub at the heart of its community.  Lis is a community leader who has grasped the opportunity during the Covid pandemic to make sure the voice of her community is heard. She is a member of the Welsh Culture Alliance and was recently part of a What Next? Cymru working group that wrote ‘a Cultural Manifesto for Recovery’. Lis has recently become a member of the Board of Trustees of No Fit State Circus.
Lis believes that collaboration and communication are key to covid and sector recovery.
Current collaborative projects include the establishment of; Academi Leeway, a Welsh language Musical Theatre youth project in partnership with Leeway Productions and Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru; and Consortiwm Cymraeg, a collaboration with Theatr na nÓg, The Welfare Hall Ystradgynlais and Maesteg Town Hall (Awen Trust).

Sita Thomas (Panel Speaker)
Sita is Co-Artistic Director (maternity cover) for Common Wealth Theatre. She is a multi-disciplinary artist working across television, film and theatre, and has a keen interest in increasing representation of marginalised communities.
Directing credits include Go Tell The Bees, a site-specific production for National Theatre Wales, Press Play Here, short films for Theatre Royal Stratford East, Under The Mask, a binaural audio drama about the NHS for Tamasha and Oxford Playhouse, We Are Shadows: Brick Lane, a site-specific audio adventure for Tamasha, and The Rose and the Bulbul by Kamal Kaan, an outdoor site-specific promenade production produced by Kadam. Sita leads Tamasha’s Directors Programme.
Sita holds a PhD from the University of Warwick and a Masters in Movement Direction from Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. She is an Ambassador Trustee of Young Vic and Trustee of Emergency Exit Arts. She is part of the advisory group for Refugee Week. Sita is also a presenter of Channel 5’s milkshake!

Steffan Donnelly (Panel Speaker)
Steffan is a theatre-maker, writer, and actor from north Wales. He is Artistic Director of Invertigo Theatre Company (, producing new writing and reimagined classics in English, Welsh, and bilingually, across the UK and internationally (India and Japan). As an actor, he has worked on screen and in theatres including Shakespeare’s Globe, Theatr Clwyd, and Barbican Centre. Steffan’s plays, My Body Welsh and My People are published by Bloomsbury Methuen Drama. Current projects include a community project on Pen Llŷn, a new play for Cwmni Frân Wen, and acting in an upcoming film. Steffan is a member of the Wales Freelance Taskforce and the Creative Council of Shakespeare’s Globe. He is also a trustee of Cyswllt Celf / Arts Connection and an Arts Associate of Arts Council Wales.

Alun Saunders (Panel Chair)
Alun is Resident Writer and co-founder of Neontopia, alongside Artistic Director, Mared Swain. Having won the Best Playwright award at the Wales Theatre Awards 2016 for his bilingual play, A Good Clean Heart, Alun has developed and produced work with Theatr Clwyd, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, The Other Room, Sherman Theatre and Theatr na n’Og. Alun’s short play 6:37 was produced by Dirty Protest at the Royal Court, Latitude Festival and at National Theatre Wales’ Dirty, Gifted & Welsh festival. He was a member of the writing team on Fiction Factory’s long-running series Gwaith/Cartref for S4C, and is currently a Writer on BBC Wales’ long-running Drama Pobol y Cwm, also for S4C. Alun’s play, Tuck, was produced by Neontopia at the Wales Millennium Centre in 2018, and he is currently writing a trilingual play called Fow for Deaf & Fabulous Theatre.


*Viewing after the conference is available for Creu Cymru members only

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