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Artists from in and around Monmouthshire took part in the first ever council-led Celebration of the Arts in the county last week (Friday, 19 April).

Inspired by the council leader, Cllr Mary Ann Brocklesby, the event will become an annual fixture, showcasing how artists, performers, musicians and others contribute to Monmouthshire’s vibrant culture and economy.

MCC Leader, Cllr Mary Ann Brocklesby welcomes guests

Cllr Brocklesby opened the event by saying, “This is a stepping stone in our commitment to creating a new cultural strategy that will belong to everyone and provide a focal point for networking, support, and inclusion across all our communities.”

The day served as a starting shot for the council co-ordinated project, which underlines that the area is an inspirational place for creative artists of all types to live and work. Local landscapes, scenery, flora and fauna inspire artists of all kinds, which in turn reinforces the culture of the county.

Monmouthshire County Council works with artists from across the county, providing access to funding and locations to showcase their work. Over the past months, the council has been working with local artists as part of a ‘Creative Cluster’ programme.

It acknowledges that the area is already rich in creative and visual artists, including woodcraft, jewellery making, photographers, painters, sculptors, ceramicists, musicians, dance and theatre, writers and poets, textile artists and more. The list is almost endless.

Whether people have lived in an area for a lifetime or are visitors, encounters with the arts and with artists provide new perspectives on communities, place, and their history.

The creative industry contributes £84.1 billion to the UK economy and Monmouthshire’s creative artists play a vital role locally and nationally.

At the event, Director of Creative Economy Professor Sara Pepper underlined that almost ten per cent of the nation’s jobs are in the creative economy.

Work by local artists Patricia Statham Maginness, Gemma Williams, Mike Erskine and Tiffany Murray was on display for the first time, and others set up stalls to showcase their work.

The council is further enhancing its cultural strategy as part of the Community and Corporate Plan commitments.

To find out more about the council’s work, please visit:

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