Who we have funded

We have given £295,323 to 35 organisations so far through the Atsain Fund.

Here are brief summaries of the projects funded by Atsain:

Round 1 – April 2022

Art & Soul Tribe https://www.artandsoultribe.co.uk/

Art And Soul Tribe is committed to providing a platform and a voice for marginalised, excluded, and exploited groups, and individuals who have faced inequality and discrimination. The Bridging the Gap project allows local Young People in North East Wales aged 13-18 who may not normally have access to music tuition the chance to explore, learn and story-tell through the medium of music and sound. With particular focus on neurodiversity, depression & anxiety, economic deprivation and asylum seekers it works with a cohort of young people to create and develop safe spaces and sessions to learn new skills, engage with and learn from professional musicians, and collaborate to co-produce a final performance event at a local music venue.

Beacons https://www.beacons.cymru/

Beacons is a pan-Wales organisation aiming to empower the next generation of young people aspiring to work in the music industry. This project aims to break down the barriers for young people identifying as marginalised genders, –  women, non-binary, and trans men –  seeking to pursue a career in the music industry. It upskills a new workforce and helps to tackle gender imbalance within the live music sector in Wales.

Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias https://cgwm.org.uk/en/

Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias provides music training and performance experiences of the highest quality in North Wales fostering both the enjoyment of and participation in music-making. This year-long project develops and expands musical provision for disabled children and young people in Gwynedd and Denbighshire by running after-school music clubs and showcases in partnership with families and agencies, and music sessions in a new pre-school for disabled children.

Deaf Hub Wales https://www.deafhub.wales/

Deaf Hub (Wales) provides support and activities that enrich D/deaf people’s lives & overall wellbeing. The project offers music sessions exploring activities, deaf arts, equipment and genres to D/deaf children and young people, culminating in a showcase at the Deaf Arts Festival planned for 2023.

Disability Arts Cymru https://disabilityarts.cymru/

Disability Arts Cymru is the lead organisation For Disability Arts In Wales. The Pathways to Music project brings together young disabled and Deaf people across Wales to guide and develop six workshops for young people aged 16-30, giving them bespoke and accessible tools to start writing, playing and performing music. It is the first disabled-led Wales-wide music scheme for young people wanting to make contemporary music.

Gwallgofiaid http://cellb.org/gwallgofiaid/

Gwallgofiaid provides  workshops and opportunities in the arts for the young people of Bro Ffestiniog and Gwynedd. The project engages professional musicians and producers to run music and recording sessions for young people in a new studio in Bro Ffestiniog.

Media Academy Cymru https://mediaacademycymru.wales/

Media Academy Cymru is at the forefront in Wales of supporting children and young people when they have needed support or somewhere safe to turn. This project runs monthly music masterclasses across less well-off communities in South Wales. Working with two industry practitioners and a network of partners the project engages those with significant barriers into music including young people in the criminal justice system, diverse ethnic communities, neuro-diverse and those young people who currently are Not Engaged in Education and Employment. The masterclasses help young people develop their skills and their brands, and offer support into music programmes in wider education or employment.

National Youth Arts Wales https://www.nyaw.org.uk/

National Youth Arts Wales works to develop Wales’ most talented young performers and those with potential through exceptional training and performance opportunities. Music Futures is a contemporary music project that identifies and nurtures promising young Welsh music makers of the future. It focuses on a wide range of contemporary genres, from Grime to Indie, and Electronica to RnB. Creating access for young people from under-represented backgrounds in Wales, it offers an intensive experience of skill development to equip them for a viable career in the music industry. Atsain funding supports a Music Futures Gig tour to some of Wales’ top arts venues in August 2022.

Operasonic http://www.operasonic.co.uk/

Operasonic makes opportunities for people to use their creative power to tell stories, celebrate their communities and open up music for self-expression. This project, part of our Carnegie Lullaby partnership, uses lullabies to explore how music can be made accessible and enticing for very young Deaf children. It brings together a Deaf creative team alongside families to develop new practice.

Sound Progression https://soundprogression.co.uk/

Sound Progression is a Cardiff based organisation dedicated to improving the lives of children and young people, particularly those aged 10-25 years and from diverse and/or socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Next Level is designed to elevate young Urban music talents and facilitate their transition into the music industry. Through a series of workshops developing skills, knowledge and collaborative practice, and bespoke participant-led projects building portfolios, profiles and partnerships, it aims to cultivate relationships, platforming opportunities and establish new progression routes.

South Riverside Community Development Centre https://www.srcdc.org.uk/

Atsain funding supports and develops The River Music Project – a multi-cultural, multi-generational project involving drumming, singing and instrumental workshops. The project seeks to represent and be representative of all the communities in the Riverside area of Cardiff, and create a sense of entitlement to opportunities within Arts and Culture where until now, they haven’t been offered.

Theatr Brycheiniog https://www.brycheiniog.co.uk/en

Theatr Brycheiniog provides a varied programme of theatre, dance, music and entertainment in the heart of Brecon, serving the town and surrounding areas of Powys, Monmouthshire and beyond. This project is setting up a young peoples producing group, to create a musical programme for the Theatr, developing a series of events and activities designed, curated and led by young people for young people.

Trac Cymru https://trac.cymru/en/

Trac Cymru is the national development organisation for traditional music, supporting communities to engage with vibrant Welsh cultural heritage across generations.

The project supports marginalised young people to articulate their own personal experiences using the folk traditions of expressive storytelling and collective knowledge.

Wilderness Trust http://thewildernesstrust.org/

Based in two eco-hub converted chapels in Llanidloes, the Wilderness Trust uses environment, art, social inclusion, and education to help communities to learn, experiment, connect, enjoy nature and grow. This project provides music workshops and concerts for babies, toddlers, and children with learning disabilities.

Round 2 – November 2023

Arts Active Trust https://artsactive.org.uk/language/en/

The Arts Active Trust supports all people to enjoy the arts through education, community and audience engagement projects in Cardiff and the neighbouring regions. We aim to stimulate the imagination, support learning, emotional development, and wellbeing. We take inspiration from the diverse programme of St David’s Hall, where we are based, using it as a catalyst for our creative activity. The Soundworks Youth project offers a weekly music session for young people with additional learning disabilities aged 11 – 16 yrs. These interactive fun music sessions will be beneficial to the group whose access to participate in music is usually limited.

Grand Ambition https://www.swanseagrand.co.uk/article/13701/Grand-Ambition

Grand Ambition is the resident producing & community engagement company at Swansea Grand Theatre and the Brangwyn Hall. Our Atsain-funded project offers free term-time weekly sessions for young people across Swansea targeted at those experiencing poverty, exclusion or at risk of experiencing prejudice or racism. It brings the successful model from Pontardawe, Future Blood, to Swansea, offering opportunities for young people to develop musical skills/talent whilst nurturing wellbeing and positive peer relationships.

Little Live Projects https://www.cardiffchildrenschoir.com/

Little Live Projects inspire young people to flourish through sharing excellent musical experiences with professional musicians. Our children’s community choir warmly welcomes children and families, especially those facing barriers of any kind. Singing and playing together promotes confidence, self-esteem and musicianship whilst celebrating our diverse cultural richness through songs from around the world.The Cardiff Children’s Choir is an exciting after-school community choir for children aged 5-11. Participants love the high enjoyment, high challenge, high support nature of their weekly session and performing for their families and friends. Atsain funding supports our Free and Subsidised Places programme to engage children of families facing barriers of any kind, providing opportunity and building community cohesion.

Music Theatre Wales https://musictheatre.wales/

Ever since our formation in 1988, Music Theatre Wales has been a force for change and development in opera in the UK. MTW are driven by a passionate belief that newly created opera can provide some of the most exciting and powerful experiences, and have always wanted to share this as widely as possible. Future Directions invites young people to create their own opera, supported by professional artists to develop their creative and collaborative skills.

Oasis One World Choir https://oneworldchoir.co.uk/

Hear our Voice/ One World Beats – weekly after school singing/songwriting and movement workshops for young people seeking sanctuary. Oasis One World Choir welcomes people seeking sanctuary in Cardiff and the wider community. We aim to learn from those who connect with us; sharing, growing and forming together. Our choir is a lifeline for many people who are faced with restarting their lives in a new country; often in a language that is completely new to them.The language of music transcends these barriers, and our choir allows people to make new friends and build community together.

The Rock Works https://therockworks.org/

The Rock Works brings fun, therapeutic and expressive music activities to vulnerable, hard-to-reach and disengaged individuals with an emphasis on children, young people and groups with additional needs. Breaking Barriers delivers contemporary activities to disadvantaged Young People in Wrexham and the surrounding areas. By running sessions at our studio in Wrexham Town Centre and at specialist Drop-Ins, Youth Clubs and Community Centres we deliver music activities that are fun, rewarding and accessible to all.

Sistema Cymru – Codi’r To http://www.codirto.com/

Sistema Cymru – Codi’r To’s mission is to address disadvantage and educational under-achievement that is associated with child poverty, using music to improve the lives of young people and communities. Our Atsain-funded project increases youth participation opportunities across the breadth of our organisation through a series of participative Youth Voice sessions, combining expressive music making with communication and leadership skills development. Young people co-produce activities using music, movement, compositions and collective performances to communicate their experiences, needs and wishes.

Swansea Music Art Digital https://www.swanseamad.com/

Swansea MAD works for a fair world, in which people can be themselves and thrive!

A grassroots, anti-poverty, anti-racist, pro-equality youth and community charity located in an area of high deprivation, Swansea MAD provides young people and local musicians with the space, resources and equipment to be creative and which they could not otherwise afford or access. UpBeat widens access to music for young people (aged 11-25, who are marginalised by systemic oppression, poverty and discrimination) in Swansea, providing music workshops, networking and opportunities to influence change. Training supports young people to develop creative, digital, and entrepreneurial skills and to pursue careers in the music industries.

Tanio http://www.tanio.cymru/

For almost 40 years Tanio has been successfully running projects that use participatory arts as a tool to inspire and engage, making connections between people and communities. We use person centered approaches to deliver expressive arts activities and prioritise working with individuals and communities who are marginalised, vulnerable or at risk. Tune Up gives young people access to creative music activities and songwriting alongside support for wellbeing and mental health. Weekly music clubs across the valleys of Bridgend build musical skills and confidence for the Young People.

Inspire to Achieve https://www.torfaen.gov.uk/lgsl/en/YoungPeople/NEETs/NEETs.aspx

The Inspire to Achieve Project is part of Torfaen Council and is specifically set up to support young people in secondary school and who have left school, who are most vulnerable and at risk, in particular of not progressing successfully from school into employment education or training, and not engaging positively in their communities. The Inspire Music Project gets those targeted young people engaged positively using music as the ‘inspirational tool’ in their engagement. They take part in music production and DJ skills and in creating their own radio shows.

UCAN Productions https://www.ucanproductions.org/

UCAN Productions is an award-winning creative arts cooperative. Our mission is to support children and young people with vision impairment by offering access to opportunities which increase confidence, develop skills and abilities, and help them fulfil their potential. This project renews and develops UCAN’s music participation work with blind and vision impaired young people. It develops new best practice guidelines and techniques to share with partners and networks, explores new ground in music technology accessibility, and provides accredited Arts Awards to participants.

Wrexham Sounds https://www.wrexhamsounds.org/

Wrexham Sounds’ mission is to transform disadvantaged young lives through music, helping children and young people build confidence, skills, and prospects, providing music sessions, tuition, courses, activities, and studio facilities for young people who cannot access them at school. This project provides music sessions to Young Carers giving them confidence and skills by helping them plan and organise a concert to showcase their development.

Round 3

Beacons https://www.beacons.cymru/

Amlen aims to break down barriers for young Welsh-Language speakers pursuing careers in the music industry. The project is collecting empirical data evidencing the needs of these young people. The findings will not only inform Beacons Cymru’s Welsh Language strategy, policy and future provision, it will be available as a foothold for any organisation that wishes to use and implement it.

Be Extra https://be-extra.co.uk/

The project is creating digital wellbeing resources through the medium of songwriting. Young people are writing songs working with a professional composer, gaining resources to support wellbeing in the process. The resulting materials will be taken into workshops with community groups and schools across Wales. A final showcase is taking place in the Elysium Gallery Swansea.

Cathays & Central Community Youth Project https://cathays.org.uk/

The project is providing small group and 1-1 music sessions, with a focus on engaging young people with additional learning needs (ALN), autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) and disabilities. 

Maes B https://maesb.com/en/

The project builds on the success of Women Making Music workshops, offering residential workshops for girls, boys and non-binary people in the medium of Welsh, to learn new skills from some of Wales’ leading artists.

New Era Talent https://www.facebook.com/NewEraTalent/

This project offers mentored workshops to young people to develop skills in lyric writing, DJing, production , performance, marketing, fundraising and event management, culminating in a live performance.

Pyka https://www.pyka.wales/

Pyka believes everyone should have access to impactful music making opportunities. Through  collaborative design approach it is creating accessibility-first digital musical instruments that provide musical power to young people with disabilities.

RecRock https://recrock.co.uk/

RecRock is running regular school holiday music clubs in Caerphilly with workshops and open mics, to improve wellbeing and confidence, and overcome barriers to music such as social isolation, digital exclusion and economic deprivation. It is partnering with Blackwood Miner’s Institute and working closely with its network of youth clubs, youth offending teams and mental health teams.

Sound Progression https://soundprogression.co.uk/

Live Level is designed to increase skills, contacts and knowledge of the live music industry and elevate Urban music artists through the development of live shows. Working with specialists to develop bands, we create new pathways for rappers and vocalists to broaden their audience base and release quality recordings.

The Successors of the Mandingue https://successors.co.uk/

This project is delivering a series of free to attend Dathliad Cymru-Affrica workshops for young people across Wales ranging from African djembe drumming to songwriting and offering free places at the Dathliad Cymru-Affrica festival workshops to children/young people, by engaging  with youth projects and organisations.