* Creative Lives Awards 2022 - Wales Runner-up * 

Find out more about this group in this short video, or read about them below:

Based in Pillgwenlly, Newport, Urban Circle first started life 15 years ago as Urban Circle Radio and has grown to become an independent youth arts organisation. They engage, support and empower young people and communities. Through interconnected services and partner organisations, Urban Circle is able to provide targeted and flexible services across a variety of platforms from performing arts to creative media. 

In the past year, Urban Circle organised one of its biggest projects to date: the international festival ‘Reggae and Riddim’. The overall aim of the festival was to forge solid global partnerships that would have a positive impact on everyone involved. Their aim was to break down barriers and prejudice around Jamaican culture and identity to help inform and educate communities - and bring a true representation and exploration of the culture, identity and history. 

A team from Jamaica was joined by Urban Circle’s young creatives within the Youth Management Team, who at the ages of 18-25 became the site team for the event and also had their art (be it painting, media, film, dance, music, spoken word) showcased at the festival, to an audience of 4,000+ attendees over two days. 

Collectively the youth team gained 50+ qualifications equipping them with the tools to manage such a large-scale event, including first aid, health and safety, stewarding and safeguarding. The event was the largest festival Newport has held and over the period of two days, not one incident was reported. 

“To have an event of this nature and size in our hometown and not in the capital was a massive achievement for us,” says Danielle Webb of Urban Circle Newport. “Wales has never had a festival or event dedicated to showcasing the arts and culture of Jamaica and the Windrush community. Interconnecting all of us in the stories and history of the first journey from Jamaica to Wales and how this has affected and empowered generations ever since.” 

[Pictured: Diane Hebb, Arts Council of Wales; Primo Gashagaza, Urban Circle Newport; Ali Boksh, Urban Circle Newport; Helen Keatley, Creative Lives]

Learn more: