How did you organise Celtic Womenfest in Ireland?
Before the festival this Summer I had a meeting with Dominic Williams at Coracle and after the festival we booked to meet again.
My intention had been that our festival was inter-celtic but there was no funding available to make this so at the time, but Dom kindly offered in October funding for us to go on a professional development trip in December as long as I was able to apply for the funding and make contact with the all the people he thought would be able to help us.
I wrote a Business Plan, got it approved by David Hardy at The National Botanic Garden of Wales who kindly host and fund the infra structure of the festival ... and then sent this in with the application.
Dom gave me a few pointers to tighten it up, which I did... and we were game on!
He emailed all his contacts in Ireland via Coracle and then I started ringing people and emailing to make the trip meet the aims and objectives of Coracle, the European Development Fund Ireland Wales interreg 4a Program and our Business Plan.
Remember that I do all of this in my own time.
Although the Garden kindly fund my expenses to organise the festival and provide the whole infra structure for us including my expenses, I'm not able to charge for my time as there is no external funding to cover this. Since the funding stopped for the Community Project Celtic Women, I have not been able to secure funding to organise and direct the project but I feel so passionately about creating a platform in such an amazing setting for women singer songwriters, musicians and poets, that it feels right to give my time. Besides which, how amazing for me to have this adventure and be making a pathway for others to experience it too!
You might ask how I chose who to take with me to Ireland from the 58 performers who gave thier time to perfrom at CW12 but that was easy because of those who kindly gave their time to take part, there are very few who also offer to help me out in the organisation. 2 key volunteers were Sarah and Dawn Passmore and so I invited them but last minute they weren't able to make it and so I invited Suzanne Hughes Owen who has supported Celtic Women since I ran the first funded Community Project in partnership with Community Music Wales 2 years ago... and Danielle Lewis who performed at the festival and has stayed in touch with me.
Having been and had such an amazing time in Ireland and making incredible connections, the 3 of us were definitely meant to make the journey together ...
Suzanne has very kinldy offered to give accommodation to Irish performers who will be visiting us as a result of the trip to take part in our Celtic Women Concert Series and CW13 in the Summer. She is also putting on a home gig for Danielle on January 6th in Llandysul where the funds rasied from the evening will go towards a Wales:Kenya Project that is being led by Heather Summers funded by The Arts Council of Wales. Suzanne is a lead member of the management committee at The Powerhouse Pwerdi in Llandysul and is helping to raise match funding for the Wales Kenya project.
Celtic Women is not just about great music and poetry in a fabulous venue ... it's equally about fostering the idea that we can work together, help each other and create amazing experiences by sharing our creativity, skills and resources.
If you would like to know more feel free to drop me a line firstname.lastname@example.org