Archive for June 20, 2014

NCCPE Engage Award prize-winning project! CAER Heritage Project

Last night at the Natural History Museum a Connected Communities project was the overall prizewinner of an NCCPE Engage Award, from 230 entries. 

‘The National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement have announced eight Engage Awards for 2014. These award winning projects remind us that far from being disengaged from society, researchers are engaging with the public in a host of innovative and effective ways. From inspiring young people with new advances in knowledge, to encouraging members of the public to contribute to research, university public engagement is thriving. Two of these projects are funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The CAER Heritage Project has been award with the History and Heritage Award and The Prison Reading Groups has won the Art, Design and Culture award.

The CAER Heritage Project was also selected as the overall winner; this is collaborative research project between Cardiff University, Ely and Caerau Communities First, local schools and local residents. The project centres on one of Cardiff’s most important, but little-known, archaeological sites, Caerau Iron Age hillfort. Caerau hillfort is one of the largest and best preserved in South Wales. Recent excavations by the CAER Heritage Project team including more than 120 local volunteers showed that occupation started around 500BC and continued until at least the third century AD, well into the Roman period.

The suburbs of Caerau and Ely are two of Cardiff’s most deprived areas, facing significant social and economic problems. The CAER Heritage Project’s objective is to help the people of Caerau and Ely to connect with this site’s fascinating the past and make it relevant to the present. From the outset the project’s key objectives have been to put local people at the heart of cutting-edge archaeological research, to develop educational opportunities and to challenge stigmas and unfounded stereotypes ascribed to this part of Cardiff.

To find out more about the project see the AHRC film; One fine day in Cardiff: the CAER Heritage Project.’

Further information is available from the AHRC’s website news page, from which this announcement is adapted:

CC Festival: Invitation to participate in events exploring the creative power of people to improve health and well-being

As part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s forthcoming Connected Communities Festival in Cardiff, we would like to invite you to participate in a series of events  exploring the creative power of people to improve health and well-being.

Banner Bright: Blood, Bread and the Butes

Tuesday 1st July, 11am (starting at Bute Park)

Banners have held an important place in Welsh history and, particularly in industrial areas, were seen as the embodiment of the spirit of community. Our project explores how communities can use the arts and humanities to represent themselves to those in power. Joining the communities of Ely and Caerau in Cardiff (who are involved in the CAER Heritage Project) we will showcase the work taking place in North Merthyr through a banner march on 1st July, starting at 11am at Bute Park.

Join us on an explosion of song, dance, history and banners as we march down the Taff Trail to Cardiff Bay with our mobile exhibition of banners, old and new. Hear community-created songs, composed by groups we are working with, and learn about the history of dissent in South Wales communities. Watch or march with us as we fly our newly created community banners alongside those flown in the past during times of unrest.


11am – We begin at Bute Park, near the entrance to Cardiff Castle (you won’t miss us!). We will march down the Taff Trail to Cardiff Bay, circling the St David’s Hotel if we have time, before arriving at the Senedd, the home of the National Assembly for Wales.

1pm – After a warm-up and lunch in the Bay, some of our community groups will be performing at the Wales Millennium Centre on the Glanfa stage. This is a public space and the event will be free and unticketed.

1.45pm – We will mark the end of the performance by linking to our work in the very community in which the conference takes place: Butetown. Hear about the activities we have planned for the evening of 1st July.


2nd July one-day exhibition: Solidarity in Community
Venue: Pierhead, Cardiff Bay
11am – 4pm


This exhibition will bring together replica banners used by communities in South Wales through history, with those made by communities we have been working with in Representing Communities. We will also be exhibiting Straeon, a storytelling project with a primary school in North Merthyr which showcases the talents and creative potential of young people living in the area. Join us to learn about banners in the history of South Wales’ industrial past, and celebrate contemporary representations of community.

A Journey So Far … Remembering the Caribbean in Butetown, Past and Present
Tuesday 1st July, 7pm – 10:30

Portland House, 113 – 116 Bute Street, Cardiff Bay

One thing that marks Wales as different from other parts of the UK is the very visible and long-established presence of people of colour in what is now its capital city, Cardiff. Of particular importance is the area of Butetown. The Representing ‘Butetown’ case study is allowing us to explore representations of Butetown held by those with emotional ties to the area, with a particular focus on the views, experiences and lives of Caribbean elders.

In partnership with the National Theatre Wales (NTW), we are inviting those attending the Connected Communities Festival to participate in the first of several events taking place in Cardiff that will use the arts (performance, visual art and story-telling) to focus on:

•              The lives of Caribbean elders in Cardiff

•              Community representations

•              Capturing experiences, memories and stories

•              Shaping how members of these communities want to be remembered and represented.

This evening of performance, reminiscing and sharing will be based on the NTW Assembly model, rooted in a performance debate that responds to a local issue in a creative setting. The Assembly will allow for critical reflection on the challenges and opportunities for using creative art forms as modes of communication, evidence and knowledge exchange, and the dynamics of academics, artists and communities working together to explore existing and hidden representations.

A light buffet will be served. Spaces are limited for this highly participative event. You will be expected to take part! You can register here:


** tickets for local community groups and individuals are being sold separately.


Representing Communities: Developing the creative power of people to improve health and well-being is a three-year project looking at how the arts and humanities can be used as forms of expression and representation in communities across the UK. How can we enable communities to speak about their lives, histories, experiences, health and well-being through the arts? There are five case studies: two in Scotland (Glasgow and Cromarty), one in Birmingham and two in Wales (North Merthyr and Butetown).

CC Showcase: Productive Margins

The Productive Margins programme (, @ProductiveMgns) will shortly circulate the full schedule of events that it is coordinating at the upcoming CC Showcase in Cardiff. However, list members may wish to sign up to this free, ticketed event:



Wednesday, 2 July, Cardiff Connected Communities Showcase

Dream→walk is a forty-minute performance walk through the central retail district of Cardiff, made by Bodies in Flight – a UK-based performance company. The walk explores the festival’s themes of engagement with place and space, specifically how layers of history are sedimented into a specific location by not only its built environment, but also its inhabitants’ everyday use of buildings and streets. Originally commissioned by Singapore Arts Festival, Cardiff will be Dream→walk’s sixth iteration, made anew for every location. The project also explores how artistic collaboration can contribute to local inhabitants’ understanding of those histories and senses of place, in Bodies in Flight’s case, by opening up spaces within the public for personal reflection and engagement.

STARTING TIMES: 9.00am, 9.50am, 12.15pm

STARTING POINT: Motorpoint Arena – Main Entrance Lobby

WALK CAPACITY: 15 per performance


To book your free tickets, visit

ADVISORY: this is an outdoor ambulant performance, so you should wear weather-appropriate clothing and footwear.  You will wear earphones throughout the walk.  If you wish to use your own, you can.

If you use a wheelchair, please advise us in advance.