New film highlights importance of arts to communities
A powerful new film demonstrating how the people of Cardiff are using arts, education and culture to improve diversity and encourage inclusivity in the city has been launched on the internet today.

Stories for Cohesion, available to watch at, is a 12-minute short produced by the Co-operative Councils Innovation Network (CCIN), a group of UK local authorities.

It features leading figures from Cardiff’s arts, theatre and music scenes along with teachers, councillors and community cohesion workers all explaining how their work helps to generate harmony in the city’s multi-ethnic communities.

Among those taking part is Father Dean Atkins, of the South Cardiff Ministry Area, who introduces the film. “It’s the stories that people bring with them, the humanity that exists... it’s important for people to own their stories,” he said. “We are more powerful when we work together and celebrate the resources that people bring with them.”

Among events and people highlighted in the film are:

  • Cardiff Refugee Week (which focuses on work done by staff and children at St Mary the Virgin Primary – a designated ‘School of Sanctuary’ based in Butetown)
  • Radio Platfform, a radio station run by young people and based at the Wales Millennium Centre (WMC)
  • A WMC production of The Boy With Two Hearts, an adaptation of the book by Hamed and Hassem Amiri, two refugees from Afghanistan who settled in South Wales after a traumatic journey fleeing the Taliban
  • The work of Betty Campbell from Butetown. Wales’ first black head teacher, she is now honoured with a statue in Wood Street, Cardiff

Stories for Cohesion was launched today at the AGM of the CCIN in Sunderland. Ahead of the launch, Cllr Peter Bradbury, vice-chair of CCIN and the Cabinet Member for Tackling Poverty, Equality and Public Health, said: “By highlighting the work of Betty Campbell, who was so influential in getting young people involved in arts and crafts during her lifetime – and is still inspiring people today through her wonderful statue in the city centre – we can show the very essence of what Cardiff is.”

His colleague, Cllr Julie Sangani, who shares his Cabinet portfolio, added: “People from all over the world have been coming to Cardiff and making it their home for hundreds of years and I think that has helped make the people of the city so warm and welcoming.

“The art and culture that have resulted from that are so important in ensuring cohesion in our communities and I think this film really helps to demonstrate how vibrant they are today. I hope everyone in the city gets a chance to see it.”