Progress Report 2019

isaacblake! Previous Projects 2019 Leave a Comment

The Romani Cultural and Arts Company Ltd 

Aka Romani Arts

Summary of the main achievements of the charity during the year.

On 1st September 2019, RCAC celebrated its 10th Anniversary of operations. Our 10th Anniversary Report explores our many activities and milestones over the first ten years. 

We want to give special appreciation and thank yous to all our partners, funders and our trustees for making RCAC such a continuing success.

Some of the highlights over the first ten years have been:

  • extending activities to include work on strengthening self–identity and Romani and Traveller ‘pride’, through arts and drama workshops with children of all ages, 

– embarking upon a large, community-based early years creative education programme on (caravan) sites, 

– working with Romani and Traveller artists with international reputations, 

– undertaking work in local primary schools across Wales to improve understanding around Gypsy, Roma, Traveller history, language and culture, especially through Gypsy, Roma, Traveller History Month (GRT HM), 

– building stronger social and cultural relationships between Romani and non-Romani communities, 

– carrying out a unique and highly successful health and wellness project (in partnership with the Centre for Equality and Human Rights, Public Health Wales), 

– organising exhibitions about Traveller lives and experiences, and delivered high-level, international symposia on the arts, education, government strategy, policy and Romani rights. 

The RCAC also; through its consultants and experts, provides social justice and anti-bias training for local government officers in housing, planning and community provision services, voluntary-sector and non-governmental (NGO) organisation staff, early years pedagogues, teachers, educators and education managers, health professionals and practitioners, social workers, community-development workers, fire service officers and police officers, as part of its commitment to professionals and practitioners. This training is designed to provide practical, continuing professional development. Tailor-made support and training are also delivered to individual institutions and organisations (such as Public Health Wales). 

We are proud of our track record over the last 10 years and look forward to the next 10 and beyond.

The core activities of the Charity have taken the form of:

– On-Site arts based activities within the GRT Communities

School based workshops to develop awareness of GRT culture and generate a better understanding of GRT lifestyle and experiences

– Public displays and events to promote greater awareness of GRT Communities and Culture

– Joint activity programmes between GRT and Non-GRT children within local Schools to break down barriers of perceived lifestyles and cultures as well as developing integration between communities

  • Summary of the main achievements of the charity during the year 2018-19

The Charity’s 10th year has seen significant development in the integration of communities along with a host of successful achievements that have been instrumental in driving the overall message forward. 

These specific activities are:

Community Champion posts for Gypsy & Traveller sites

End of year one March 2019

The Romani Cultural & Arts Company was pleased to have received a Big Lottery grant of £99,680 for a two-year project to support elderly Gypsies and Travellers across South-East Wales. This funding is being used to target support to the elders of the local Gypsy & Traveller sites by providing Community Champions. These essential posts are organising regular social events and meetings for the elders of the Gypsy & Traveller community and improving community access.    

This is a ground-breaking initiative that enables the elders of this vulnerable, marginalised community to stand up, be heard and to grow in confidence so that they can better engage with agencies and public services.   

We are very proud of the service we provide to the local Gypsy & Traveller community and we know that many people are now benefitting from this additional capacity.  Laurel Price, an elder site resident from Rover Way in Cardiff said: ‘Nothing happens on site. We are abandoned and I think its great to have someone looking out for us.’ 

Rona Aldrich, Wales Committee Member for the Big Lottery Fund, said: “Programmes like People and Places are making a difference to the lives of so many people in communities across Wales. It delivers on our promise to use National Lottery funding to regenerate and revitalise communities, tackle disadvantage head on and leave a lasting legacy.”

We are planning to create a legacy for this and other project by creating permanent digital resources with workshop leaders recording the demonstration part of the workshop which can be referred to time and time again by community members. Community members have asked for this as the next step.

BBC Children In Need fund RCAC Gypsy & Traveller Arts Project for another 3 years

November 2019/September 2022

The Romani Cultural & Arts Company is proud that BBC Children in Need has granted a further £153,343 grant over 3 years to fund the excellent project work that takes arts-based workshops and activities onto the Gypsy & Traveller Caravan Sites of South Wales.

This is a groundbreaking project which is devised, developed and led by Gypsies & Travellers. Relationships with our community are so strong that the Romani Cultural & Arts Company are able to better support and engage and improve the life chances of the children and young people the BBC Children In Need project is designed to support.

The enhanced project was re-launched in January 2019 and even more young people than before are benefitting and are getting improved opportunities to engage and mix socially whilst learning new skills.

Jemma Wray, National Head of Wales for BBC Children in Need said: “Gypsy and Traveller children and young people are some of the most excluded and disadvantaged in our communities. Children and young people need access to activities, opportunities and new experiences and people, in order to help equip them for life with a range of personal and tangible skills.   RCAC is again working across south Wales, supporting Gypsy and Traveller Children to fulfil their potential and BBC Children in Need is pleased to be supporting this work”  

Julie James, Leader of the House and Chief Whip, said: “It’s excellent to hear The Romani Cultural & Arts Company has been awarded funding from BBC Children in Need. With the workshops taking place at the heart of the community, the funding will help to enrich the lives of these young people.”

Dr Daniel Baker, Romani artist, curator and academic says: “The Romani Cultural and Arts Company continues to deliver its ground breaking project which remain unique in commissioning new work and developing new knowledge from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community members. Their work not only inspires community members but also influences wider policy making. The RCAC’s work is of great value to the individual and to society at large”.

Dr. Adrian Marsh, Researcher in Romani Studies, Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul, Turkey, said: “The Romani Cultural and Arts Company has been implementing projects and programmes for Romani and Traveller communities across Wales for a decade and deserves the support it regularly receives from major donors (such as the BBC children In Need, the Open Society Foundations, the Allen Lane Trust, the Welsh Heritage Lottery fund, the Arts Council in Wales and the Big Lottery People and Places programme, amongst others). Maintaining the highest standards and quality for each and every aspect of the organisation’s work, the Romani Cultural & Arts Company consistently delivers exceptional results and inestimably improves the day-to-day experiences of Romani and Traveller families. Their associated work with the wider communities in Wales is also an essential aspect of the operation, with the promotion of social cohesion and understanding about Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, to the wider society and political institutions of government and local authorities in the country. Romani and Traveller children are amongst the most excluded in Wales and for them, Wales isn’t fairer in health outcomes, educational attainment and access to quality care. Romani Cultural & Arts Company addresses these inequalities through its valuable work in the arts and culture, giving meaning to the much used (perhaps over-used) aspirations in policy and strategy for children and young people regarding ‘participation’, ’empowerment’ and engagement.”

We are planning to create a legacy for this and other project by creating permanent digital resources with workshop leaders recording the demonstration part of the workshop which can be referred to time and time again by community members. Community members have asked for this as the next step.

Shiftwork ‘GYPSY MAKER 3’ Project – funded through Arts Council of Wales

The project finished in July 2019.

This project was funded by the Arts Council of Wales and saw the following artists come together to exhibit old and new works:

Daniel Baker   

Shamus McPhee   

Artur Conka  

Billy Kerry  

Shiftwork brought together four artists who through their work tease out a number of aesthetic and political issues concerning Gypsy, Roma and Traveller lives through cultural representation. Some of the works that were on display were shown as solo presentations as part of the Gypsy Maker project; an initiative launched in 2014 by the Romani Cultural & Arts Company to profile the work of GRT artists in venues across Wales. The aim was to once again commission established and emerging Gypsy, Roma and Traveller artists to develop innovative works while engaging GRT communities and the wider public in dialogue about contemporary art and cultural perspectives.

Each of the artists took a different approach – from the documentary style of Artur Conka, one of the few Roma to have recorded their own community on film, to the sculptural installations of Daniel Baker which examine the aesthetic mechanisms of migration and free movement. The idiosyncratic paintings of Shamus McPhee have a distinct ‘outsider art’ feel while complex issues of identity and gender are explored in the eclectic work of Billy Kerry. These unique approaches to contemporary Romani culture draw people together by highlighting the links between communities whilst at the same time recognising and celebrating difference. This exhibition presented newly commissioned works developed in dialogue with g39 alongside a number of existing works produced over the lifetime of Gypsy Maker project.

‘GYPSY MAKER 4’ Project – funded through Arts Council of Wales

The project ‘Gypsy Maker 4’ is a development of the highly successful ‘Gypsy Maker’ projects. As with the previous Gypsy Maker projects, Gypsy Maker 4 is commission ing GRT (Gypsy, Roma, Traveller) artists, in this case two, to produce new work to add to the bank of knowledge about Gypsy, Roma & Traveller art and culture in Wales and beyond. 

Gypsy Maker 4 is further creating a platform for GRT artists to develop their artistic practice over a defined period of time, resulting in the production of new works in an appropriate art form (exhibition, performance, publication etc.). The two artists are being commissioned to produce exhibitions of new works thereby showcasing the professional and artistic development facilitated by the Gypsy Maker project. These artists and their artworks offer unique and exciting proposals within the contemporary visual arts field. The resulting presentations and tours (of exhibitions / artworks) will be available to the wider public during 2019/20 accompanied by open-access workshops and forums to allow the public to gain deeper understanding of the processes and themes within the works and the GM4 initiative.

Gypsy Maker 1,2 and 3 saw the creation of thought-provoking works that challenged perceptions and pre-conceptions regarding Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people, their present and their past. Gypsy Maker 4 will continue this exciting and important work. 

The two commissioned artists for GM3 are Cas Holmes and Daniel Turner. Each of the two artists are being commissioned to produce new works to further the development of their professional artistic practice. Daniel Baker is the Artist Mentor and Audience Development Officer.

Dr DANIEL BAKER is a Romani Gypsy. An artist, curator and theorist, he holds a PhD on the subject of Gypsy aesthetics from the Royal College of Art, London. Baker is curator of FUTUROMA at the upcoming 58th International Art Exhibition at the Venice Biennale in 2019. He acted as exhibitor and advisor to the first and second Roma Pavilions; “Paradise Lost” and “Call the Witness” at the 52nd and 54th Venice Biennales respectively. Publications include “We Roma: A Critical Reader in Contemporary art” 2013 and “Ex Libris” 2009. Baker has exhibited internationally and is widely recognised as a significant practitioner, thinker and expert in the field of GRT arts, culture, heritage and politics.

CAS HOLMES trained in fine art and currently works in textiles and mixed media using the same approaches as a means to interpret ideas. Her work is held in collections including the Museum of Art and Design New York, the Embroiderer’s Guild UK and the Garden Museum, London. Holmes is author of three books for Batsford, including the ‘The Found Object in Textile Art’ which is used a primary reference source in education. Her fourth book for Batsford ‘Textile Landscape: Painting with Cloth in Mixed Media’ focuses on the interrelationship between, textiles, painting and landscape Holmes travels, teaches and exhibits internationally and has received a ‘Pride of Britain Award’ by the NRI Institute (India/UK 2010) for excellence in her field. Holmes is a visiting tutor at West Dean College where she was also a resident artist.

DANIEL TURNER is a Romani Gypsy, born in Dartford, Kent into a traditional Travelling family. His practice looks at how Gypsy, Roma and Traveller culture meet and interact both historically and currently within the dominant culture. Turner uses Transactional Objects which have significance to both cultures. These include caravans and traditional craft objects, together with social interactions such as fortune-telling, which involve buying/selling or deal making. In re-evaluating these objects and actions Turner aims to present a balanced dialogue theregy fostering greater understanding between the two cultures. Turner has exhibitied widely in the UK and will appear at the Roma exhition, FUTUROMA at the Venice Biennale in 2019.

GYPSY, ROMA AND TRAVELLER HISTORY MONTH IN WALES 2019

Date: Monday 8th July 2019 – 10.30am – 3pm

Venue: St David’s Hall, The Hayes, Cardiff CF10 1AH

SOME INFORMATION ABOUT THE EVENT:

Jane Hutt, Deputy Minister and Chief Whip opened the event

It was free to adults and children alike from all backgrounds and communities.  

There were films, live performances, art, and exhibitions that showcased the cultural diversity of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community in Wales, highlighting the amazing skills, heritage, stories, history, art, theatre and dance of the community.

Dr Adrian Marsh, “Gypsy, Roma, Traveller History Month is the opportunity to acknowledge the extraordinary genius of the Romani and Traveller communities in all their rich diversity and their contribution to Welsh and more broadly, British society, in the face of almost overwhelming prejudice and intolerance. The Romani language has influenced popular English, with words such as “dad”, “pal”, “kushti” and others that even appear in Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’ (dukka me, or ‘I fortell’); Romani culture has brought the fairy-tale from its Indian origins to Britain, herbal lore and medicines, puppets, plays and mummery; all these owe their origins or were profoundly influenced by Romani culture from the east. Metal-working and complex smithying were trades that were carried by Travellers and Romani communities through the British Isles, along with horses and trading in dogs, birds and rabbits. Fortune-telling and entertainment of all kinds were widely considered to be the prerogative of Romani people from the mediaeval period to the early twentieth century, especially in rural Britain. Much of what is considered English, Scottish or Welsh ‘folk’ music and dance owes its existence to Romani traditions and Irish ‘traditional’ music is almost entirely based in the heritage of the Travelling people. The History Month is a chance to rediscover the contribution to the past and the present that Romani and Traveller people have made and to recognise that our history has been hidden.”

Jane Hutt, Deputy Minister and Chief Whip said: “During Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History month, there will be many great opportunities to engage in the heritage and culture of Gypsy, Roma and Travellers. “As a society, we need to ensure we’re open and tolerant of all communities, and events such as these help to build relationships and have a better understanding of the cultural significance of marginalised groups.“The Welsh Government are committed to improving equality, providing opportunities and narrowing the gaps experienced by Gypsies, Roma and Travellers throughout Wales.”

For the first time in history of the celebrations and since 2009, the Welsh Government provided funding to RCAC. The Welsh Government funding enabled  monthly planning meetings to take place in order to effectively and efficiently organise funded events. RCAC supported schools and the voluntary sector at these planning meetings by providing access to free support and resources which would support their celebration of and individual contributions to the GRT events.

Resources that were provided:

  • History timeline

The Welsh Government funding paid for:

– Promotional Materials: £226.80 (A4 8pp Booklet Printing) and £114.25 (Postcards) Total: £341.05

– Documentary Photography £150.00

– Speakers: covered 7 speaker’s travel and accommodation, report writing £3006.76

  • School Workshops:

The schools who participated really valued having Gypsies, Roma and Travellers delivering the workshops to their pupils at their schools. Their feedback was 100% positive.

1. Artur Conka, Photographer & Film Director http://www.romaniarts.co.uk/artur-conka-roma-photographer-filmmaker/

Woodlands Special school

Cathays High school

Fitzalan High school

Willows High school

2 days Cost £800.00

2. Dr Daniel Baker PhD RCA http://www.romaniarts.co.uk/dr-daniel-baker-phd-rca/

St Alban’s Catholic Primary School

Moorland Primary School

2 days cost £822.20

3. Toby Gorniak, Artist http://www.romaniarts.co.uk/14235-2/

5 days Cost £1750.00 

4. Richard O’Neill, Storyteller, Author & Playwright http://www.romaniarts.co.uk/richard-oneill-storyteller-author-playwright/

George Street Primary School

2 days Cost £800.00

Total: £ 7670.01  (1170.01)

LGBTQI Gypsy, Roma & Traveller Conference

Date: Thursday 4th of July 2019(6:00 PM – 8:00 PM)

Venue: Senedd – The National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, CF99 1NA

SOME INFORMATION ABOUT THE EVENT:

Sponsored by Jane Hutt, Deputy Minister and Chief Whip

The Romani Cultural & Arts Company was very proud to hold the first Gypsy, Roma & Traveller LGBTQI International Conference in the UK on July 4th 2019 at the Senedd – National Assembly of Wales. The event featured an international selection of speakers including activists, academics, artists and community champions to focus on the current and historic experience of GRT LGBTQI people and the future possibilities for improving equality and opportunity across our communities. The Romani Cultural and Arts Company gratefully acknowledge the support of Welsh Government in carrying out this important event.

Dr Daniel Baker, Romani artist, curator and academic said: “Discussions regarding the significance of intersecting identities are more important than ever. By recognising commonalities across difference through shared experience and knowledge we move closer toward a more caring society.”

Isaac Blake; Director of the Romani Cultural & Arts Company said: “An open, tolerant society cannot pick and choose which groups should merit tolerance and understanding. Every individual living on our beautiful planet deserves to be judged on their own words and actions; not on their race, nationality, religion, sexuality or family background. Let’s stand together and be proud of the amazing diversity that humanity encompasses.”

Christine Lee, Romani Cultural and Arts Company Community Champion said: “Meaningful change for the LGBTQI Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community is not going to come from just knowing more information, but from doing something with it.”

Jane Hutt, Deputy Minister and Chief Whip said: “I’m proud to support Romani Arts during Gypsy Roma and Traveller History month with their conference on LGBTQI within the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community. Welsh Government’s next Strategic Equality Plan will take an approach that recognises the importance of understanding intersectionality between different protected characteristics. Events such as this lecture will help to provide a platform for conversations to take place and influence policy on a national level, providing reassurance to all communities that Welsh Government strives to ensure that equality is at the core of our business, diversity is celebrated and where discrimination has no place.”

Isaac Blake represented RCAC at ILGA-Europe’s Annual Conference in  Brussels, Belgium , October 2018

Isaac Blake received a scholarship to attend the ILGA-Europe Annual Conference in Brussels in October 2018; representing the Gypsy, Roma & Traveller LGBTI European Community and the Romani Cultural & Arts Company. He delivered a workshop alongside Laszlo Farkas and Dezső Máté.

ILGA-Europe’s largest Annual Conference was dedicated to the rights of LGBTI people. The 2018 conference brought together close to 600 activists from ILGA-Europe’s membership across 54 European and Central Asian countries.

The theme Politics for Change – From Words into Action was explored through cutting edge conversations in plenary sessions, panels and over 40 workshops. There was also space for informal networking and an exciting social programme to discover the local culture and vibrant LGBTI community.

Organised in partnership with Rainbow House Brussels, Cavaria and Arc-en-ciel Wallonie, it was the first time the Annual Conference took place in Brussels, the capital of Europe and the home of ILGA-europe and European institutions.

ILGA-Europe provided a platform for activists and supporters of the movement to meet and discuss their ideas.

Isaac Blake; Director of The Romani Cultural & Arts Company said: ‘Romani Arts is committed to fighting to promoting tolerance and is proud to represent a minority within a minority; GRT from the LGBTI community.

The networking benefits to RCAC were unmeasurable

Additional Information Relating to the charity’s activities.

Over 2018-19, the charity has supported other organisations and projects, for example, 

Isaac Blake represented UK at the European Youth Centre in Strasbourg, November 2018

Through the Council of Europe (CoE), Isaac Blake represented the Romani Cultural and Arts Company and the UK at the ‘Seminar on the Role of Roma youth in policy and decision-making bodies and structures’, which took place at the European Youth Centre in Strasbourg, from 18-20 November 2018.

The seminar explored the role of mainstream youth and Roma integration policies in supporting Roma young peoples’ development and their participation in social and political life, and created a dialogue among policy makers and young people about the possibilities of integration of Roma youth issues in relevant policies and programmes at European, national and local levels. Among its objectives, the seminar attempted to generate ideas for further support of the role of around 4 million Roma youth in decision making bodies and structure at all levels. The events was open to all interested to learn and promote Roma youth participation and policy-making such as Roma young people, activists, youth leaders, representatives from civil society organisations, relevant public authorities, European networks and organisations, national youth councils, etc.

Isaac Blake; Director of the Romani Cultural & Arts Company, was proud to attend this event and represent Wales/UK and the charity. Isaac said “It is so important to hear the voice of the young when developing policy and making significant decision that affects them; for minorities, hearing the voice is even more important.”

Isaac Blake represented UK at the European Youth Centre in Budapest, December 2018

Through the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe (CoE), Isaac represented the Romani Cultural and Arts Company and the UK at the ‘Putren Le Jakha! – Open Your Eyes! – International Youth Conference, Budapest’ Hungary, which took place at the European Youth Centre in Budapest, from 9-14 December 2018.

The path of the Roma, a history of diversity / El camí del Poble Gitano, una història de diversitat

FAGiC launched the project “El camí del Poble Gitano, una història de diversitat” (The path of the Roma, a history of diversity) during 2018. The project had two parts: one, scientific, carried out by the University of Pompeu Fabra of Barcelona; and the other, historical-cultural, carried out directly by FAGiC.

The FAGiC team; made up of Aaron Giménez and Annabel Carballo, travelled around Catalonia, Spain and other European countries to visit Roma communities and to interview Roma people to create a documentary about the identity and the culture of the Roma. 

The final activity of the first phase of the project was a conference that was held in Barcelona on February 1st 2019. There, different Roma from different countries came together to speak about our identity and our culture.

Later in 2019 the project will start its second phase and it will include Roma from South America in order to build the diversity of our culture and our migratory tree.

Isaac Blake says “I am proud that the Romani Cultural & Arts Company is able to support this very important project.”

EU Roma Week in Brussels, March 2019

Isaac Blake represented the Romani Cultural & Arts Company as part of the EU Roma Week 2019. This year’s EU Roma Week, hosted by the European Parliament in co-operation with the European Commission and European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), was held from the 18th to the 21st of March 2019. There were a series of events around the issue of Roma inclusion, many of them open to the general public.

Among other events, the European Commission Directorate-General Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations presented the third EU Award for Roma Integration for the Western Balkans and Turkey, which was granted in recognition of “Roma women grassroots activists, the unknown heroes”. In addition, MEP Bodil Valero presented the results and recommendations of a study that covered the migration process from a Member State to the Western Balkans at the event “Supporting the effective reintegration of Roma returnees in the Western Balkans”.

Eurodiaconia and its members were strongly involved in supporting the inclusion of Roma across the EU, including through advocacy for their access to social rights and equal opportunities. The EU Roma Week is a key moment of the year and a unique opportunity to have the issue high on the European Agenda.

Isaac Blake said: “We can never rest until mainstream society moves on from the current acceptable anti-Gypsy narrative. This is an event of great significance.”

BING ANEE Inter-Cultural Arts Festival

Date: 17 – 18 August 2019 (10:00 — 17:00)

Venue: Pitlochry Festival Theatre Port-Na-Craig Rd Pitlochry PH16 5DR

SOME INFORMATION ABOUT THE EVENT:

Bing Anee Festival – promoting peace between cultures A vibrant Inter-cultural Arts Festival in celebration of diversity

Mid-August was full of festival spirit with over 50 events taking place: two days, in three Yurts and a Romany Wagon, as well as in and around the theatre.

Quotation from delegates attending RCAC’s workshop:

“It was inspiring hearing about co-production in Wales. It was great to hear positive examples and high achieving GRT, this group is often ignored.”

Using our charity website as a mouthpiece and general support for community members, we have also enabled people to ‘tell their story’.

Community Profiles 

We have developed the RCAC website to include regular ‘community profiles’ so that we are continuously drawing positive attention to some of the dynamic and colourful characters and personalities from across the Gypsy, Roma & Traveller spheres. There is a wealth of talent and experience across Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities. We are very proud of our community and the hard work that many community members carry out as advocates and champions for the colourful and vibrant heritage and culture of Gypsies, Roma and Travellers. 

Book of the Week

We are currently promoting a ‘book of the week’ on our website. We are doing this in order to encourage the wider public to learn about the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community. This venture is to encourage the GRT community and wider public to learn about the history of Gypsies, Roma & Travellers and also something about the language and how this has adapted over the centuries.

Training

In order to build up the charity’s unrestricted funds, we provide training and consultancy.

Over 2018-19, two training events have been organised by the charity to further enhance its reach and influence and also to generate unreserved funds. Below are details of the experienced trainers and speakers who have been involved. All of them are from the Gypsy, Roma & Traveller community – unique:

Dr Adrian Marsh – Researcher in Romani Studies & Romani Early Years

Dr Adrian Marsh – Researcher in Romani Studies & Romani Early Years, is of Romany-Traveller origins and has been working with Roma, Gypsy and Traveller communities in the UK, Sweden, Turkey, Egypt and central, eastern and south eastern Europe. Dr Marsh has taught Romani Studies at universities in London, Malmö, Stockholm, Cairo, Istanbul and Diyarbakir and has held an ERSC fellowship, as Researcher in Romani Studies at Greenwich University, London. He recently managed Early Childhood Development projects for Roma, Gypsies and Travellers for the Open Society Foundations, London. He is currently living and working in Istanbul, as a consultant expert fort OSF, the Council of Europe, Save the Children and ISSA’s Romani Early Years Network.

General

In addition to the above activities of The Romani Cultural & Arts Company, we have been significantly involved in numerous activities and policies to support the development of work that has already generated vast interest and inspiration throughout all communities in the ultimate aim of reaching integrated harmony between the variant cultural differences.

The charity continues to naturally enable positive change to occur for the GRT communities of Cardiff (and beyond) by encouraging developments to begin ‘inside the community’ not ‘external’ to the community. The community members are offering their services to the charity and they are leading the development of projects. This year has seen several community members supporting research and volunteering on mini-projects. The charity is leading the way in raising the profile and confidence of women from GRT communities by creating opportunities for them to work in professional contexts.

This truly ensures that the service the charity provides 100% meets the needs of the community members, their families and their children. The charity is not seeking ‘quick-wins’. The charity is not seeking to grow for the sake of growing – the charity will grow because the community wishes it to become the principal organisation working with them and for them.

Financial Review

  • Policies on reserves;

The Trustees wish to establish a reserve equivalent to approximately 3 months of the charity’s running costs by the end of the third year of the charity’s operation.

  • Principal funding sources and how expenditure in the year under review has supported the key objectives of the charity;
  • Any funds in deficit at the start or the year, steps taken to eliminate
  • The investment policy and objectives, including any extent (if any) to which social, environmental or ethical considerations are taken into account;
  • Availability and adequacy of assets of each of the funds;
  • Transactions and financial position;
  • Specific changes in fixed assets;
  • Financial performance of the charities subsidiary undertakings;
  • Funds held as custodian trustee on behalf of others – including description of assets, name and objects of charity on behalf of who held, arrangements for safe custody;

Plans for Future Periods

  • Charity’s plans for the future to include aims and key objectives that have been set and activities planned to achieve.

We are now planning ahead to 2019 when the charity will seek new funds to grow and enhance the excellent work that it does.

  • We are seeking core funding support from some key funders
  • We are seeking new funding for our children’s art project
  • Further training and consultancy needs to take place to increase available unrestricted funds.

Measurable impact of some of the recent work of RCAC

(GRT – Gypsy, Roma and Traveller / RCAC – Romani Cultural & Arts Company)

Over 2018-19, RCAC has had impact and has continually:

  • Improved the community’s self-worth and confidence
  • Improved the ability of children and young people to sustain positive activity
  • Improved the ability of children and young people to socialise and mix with other groups
  • Improved the confidence of children and young people in accessing supporting services and agencies
  • Improved the confidence of community elders in seeking support from the local authority and other agencies
  • Improved the confidence of the community in seeking employment and in volunteering to make their local area and services better
  • Improved access for the local authority and supporting agencies to the GRT community
  • Improved cultural pride of the GRT community
  • Enabled ‘silenced’ community voices to be heard for the first time
  • Enabled the GRT community to stand up, be noticed and share their stories and personal journey
  • Enabled experienced, professionals from the GRT community a platform to become Community Champions, advocates for their community and their right to be heard and to tolerance
  • Enabled children and young people to regularly celebrate their community’s history, culture and heritage without fear of reprisal or hatred
  • Enabled key public services to conduct essential research into the concerns of the GRT community with an aim to improving access to vital support for health, educated and housing
  • Enabled community elders to gain essential skills through volunteering, sessional work and full time employment with the charity; thus impacting on their whole families and wider GRT community’s confidence, status and wellbeing
  • Enabled politicians, third sector and public sector leaders to debate key equality issues with the GRT community so that the community’s voice is always put first and always heard
  • Enabled the best of GRT heritage, culture and art to be showcased throughout Wales, the UK and internationally through ground-breaking exhibitions and innovative online platforms
  • Challenged politicians and public sector leaders to reflect on policy and practice to make improvements to provision for the GRT community

As further examples of impact from specific projects:

Gypsy maker:

  • GRT artists are providing effective role models to children and young people. Feedback from schools workshops is very positive.We have made a difference.
  • Raise awareness of vulnerability of GRT community and long-standing discrimination.
  • Rich heritage, culture and artistry of GRT community is presented in its full glory to wider society, improving understanding and promoting tolerance.We have changed lives.

Older person’s project funded by Big Lottery:

  • These posts are already having an impact with elders coming together to have their say on key issues and generate ideas for how to bring the community together for social events.
  • Elders will be: Better informed; Better connected; Less isolated have made the world a more tolerant place for Gypsies, Roma and Travellers to exist in.