One of Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama’s Civic Mission projects engages with communities who have historically experienced poverty of access to cultural provision. The College supports access to cultural activity, while tackling poverty, through the Tempo Time Credit network, which exchanges volunteering time for Time Credits to spend on tickets for shows.

Windrush Elders Cymru, come from multiple areas across south Wales and was established by Mrs Roma Taylor in 2017 as part of Race Council Cymru. They are a proactive group of 50+ elders who promote understanding of ethnic minority elders’ concerns, and needs while celebrating key milestones and marking the contributions of people of African descent. 

The group meets weekly in Cardiff to enjoy each other’s company and take part in creative activities in and around Wales. Race Council Cymru colleagues and the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama provide support and meeting facilities for the group. The group uses RWCMD as a community hub and they work with the College on feedback and input to the What’s On performance programme. 

A range of colleagues and students from the College have presented to the group to foster an understanding of the College’s work and develop links with The Windrush Community. Public performance is central to student learning, as is understanding a diverse range of audiences and their needs with RWCMD planning to involve the Windrush Elders in a production in the future.

The Communities Engagement Partner at RWCMD, Guy O’Donnell has been working with the RCC, Windrush Cymru Elders, for mutual benefit. The group earns two Tempo Time Credits for volunteering their time as part of their weekly meetings which go towards supporting their community. The majority of the group have used their credits earned while volunteering at College to see a performance.

Many of the Elders would find the physical cost of tickets a barrier, so this civic collaboration benefits everyone involved, as well as tackling poverty of access. 

Through Time Credits, the Elders have seen opera, drama and classical music and have brought their grandchildren to see Wearable Art. This has introduced tomorrow’s talent from their underrepresented communities to the College and inspired them for future career possibilities in the creative industries. 

Proud to be part of the Tempo Network

Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama is proud to be part of the Tempo Time Credit network. Members of the Network can spend their Time Credits on many of the performances taking place at College, subject to availability. All we need is users to provide 2 Time Credits for each seat they book. 

In November 2023 RWCMD also hosted the Windrush Cymru – Our Voices, Our Stories, Our History exhibition at the College, as part of its tour which also included the Senedd and National Museum. 

The project and resulting exhibition directly responded to a call from Elders of the Windrush Generation who wanted to ensure that the legacy of their generation is captured and retained for posterity. It was part of the dream of so many Elders such as Mrs Betty Campbell MBE, to share these stories to ensure that ‘our legacies are not forgotten.’

Pictured above are Linda and Karen who used their Time Credits to see a performance by South African musician Abel Selaocoe performing with Sinfonia Cymru during the tour called Hiraeth, Love & Longing

 They said of their Tempo Time Credit membership, 

Since coming to RWCMD we have had the wonderful ability to earn Tempo Time Credits through volunteering our time to support our group, The RCC Windrush Cymru Elders. This has opened up the possibility to use credits as reward payments for different things such as theatre shows or going to leisure centres. 

At RWCMD we have seen Abel Selaocoe the jazz cello player twice, last December as part of a quartet and then again in February 23 as part of an orchestra of violinists & cello players. We thought both performances were astounding and loved every minute – being able to attend these performances and be included in Abel’s audience participation was so lovely. We actually felt we were transported to his home country of South Africa! We are looking forward to future performances at RWCMD

For more information about how Tempo can support your community engagement initiatives, get in touch with our team.