The Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre were delighted to discover last week that they had been nominated for the Arts, Business & Brand Identity Award sponsored by Hern & Crabtree in the 2019 A&B Cymru Awards. The Awards, which have been running for over a quarter of a century, encourage, acknowledge and celebrate exemplary partnerships between the private sector and the arts.
The Riverfront received their nomination for their partnership with Western Power Distribution (WPD) for the Big Splash Festival, Newport’s much loved free outdoor arts and street theatre festival which in 2018 brought around 24,000 people into the city. The partnership created ‘Hoop Troupe,’ an opportunity for older people to come together to socialise, have fun and learn new skills through numerous workshops which took place at the Riverfront leading up to the Big Splash.
The project worked with local women’s community groups including Age Cymru Gwent, Age Alive and Coffee & Laughs, which was led by a local professional hula hoop and circus practitioner. This culminated in a hoop ‘flash mob’ on the morning of Saturday 21st July 2018 where the group showcased their new skills.
Started as a project to promote social inclusion through participation in a fun and inclusive activity, the project was a massive success with the Hoop Troupe seeing over 120 participate throughout the life of the project. Following a successful weekly workshop programme at The Riverfront, over 50 people took part in the Big Splash flash mob, before people of all ages watching in the crowd were invited to join them and join the fun.
After learning of the nomination, Olivia Harris, Creative Producersaid ‘We are delighted that the Hoop Troupe project has been shortlisted for an Arts & Business award, in recognition of our community work with WPD, a long-standing supporter of The Big Splash and friend of Newport Live. The project successfully brought older people together from across the city, taught them a new physical skill in a fun and social way and created an exciting performance opportunity too. Projects like this couldn’t happen without the support of WPD, and we are thrilled that this collaboration has been recognised.’
WPD’s Corporate Communications Officer Karen Welch said ‘We believe it is the responsibility of large organisations like ours to play a full and active role in the communities they serve. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Newport Live. We are committed to supporting a range of projects especially those that relate to education, safety and the environment. We are delighted to be nominated, and it is always good to receive recognition like this.’
The Riverfront will discover if they have won the award at a ceremony at the Wales Millennium Centre on Thursday 11 July.