— Ceri and Chris
My professional practice began when I set up my own ceramic business, a practice that led me overseas and home again and that imbued a profound respect for independent creative practitioners. Study and interests in a breadth of artform practices and their overlapping and fusion in our cultural lives have influenced my work in arts development in Wales and cultural exchange internationally.
I have approached the evolution and management of projects with a keen sense of mutuality and recognition of the multitude of motivations that bring people together. From running ceramic workshops in Japan to producing large-scale exhibitions at national galleries in Zimbabwe, to ferrying a band of provocative Croatian writers around Wales, to managing a major cultural and strategic initiative for Wales in the US, I have always been personally engaged. Identifying shared aspirations and working to find means perpetuates my work.
Since graduating from the Welsh College of Music and Drama my energies have been focussed on enabling the exploration and creation of contemporary theatre and dance. From developing and realising international projects such as Dance Encounters, to producing award winning new writing, to touring ground-breaking Welsh language theatre overseas, to leading and realising major capital redevelopments, to presenting a big top production outdoors in Brecon, I have secured professional support and grown public engagement.
A commitment to creative vitality and public sector working has embedded a profound responsibility to the individuals and organisations involved in creative practice and to the audiences they seek. Meeting expectations and overcoming limitations have been integral to my professional journey. Creating opportunities to realise exceptional work continues to be my impetus.
A little more detail...
Ceri ran a ceramic business for seven years, taking on design commissions and public arts projects in Wales and overseas. This experience was key to her subsequent roles at the Arts Council of Wales and Wales Arts International, through which Ceri worked closely with individual arts practitioners, public and membership organisations to support professional practice and to develop visual and applied arts infrastructure and provision throughout Wales. Working with specialist advisory groups Ceri oversaw grant award schemes and developed policy. With Wales based, UK and international public, private and government partners Ceri established new initiatives that enhanced opportunities and ambitions for individuals and arts organisations.
Multi-artform projects with north America, Québec, EU accession countries and southern Africa were among Ceri's portfolio at Wales Arts International when she was seconded to work with International Relations at the Welsh Government on a major project with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. Ceri was Project Manager for the cross-sector initiative Wales Smithsonian Cymru that was steered by the former First Minister. The project comprised developing and presenting a major cultural event on the National Mall in Washington DC and stimulating and co-ordinating activities between Wales and Washington DC across political, business and cultural sectors.
Ceri has undertaken recent freelance work alongside nurturing twin toddlers. Freelance contracts have included writing, editing and producing two publications for Wales Arts International; one focusing on the visual arts of Wales, the other on the applied arts.
Chris has extensive senior management and leadership experience in the arts in Wales.
Chris led the successful merger of two companies, Sgript Cymru and the Sherman Theatre, to establish Sherman Cymru, for which he was Director for six years. During this tenure he managed the successful redevelopment of the Sherman Theatre venue whilst building the national and international profile of the producing company, drawing together award winning creative team and initiating professional development programmes. Under Chris' direction Sherman Cymru programmed leading UK theatre companies, established partnerships with leading UK producers, strengthened support for new writing in Wales, toured work overseas, won sector awards, gained support from trusts and foundations and established Sherman Cymru as a stage for leading UK contemporary dance.
Prior to this role Chris was Director of Wales Arts International, leading on strategic partnership building with overseas peers and working closely with public and political sector colleagues in the UK and internationally.
Earlier posts in his career included General Manager for Clwyd Theatr Cymru; General Manager for the Everyman Theatre, Liverpool; Director of Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon; Drama Officer for the Arts Council of Wales; Administrator for Theatr Powys; and, Administrator for Powys Dance Project.
Chris continues to be proactive in several national, UK wide and international professional networks. He has a commitment to nurturing professional development and enabling creative and collaborative opportunities for others.
Chris originally trained at the Welsh College of Music and Drama.