Community Arts

Community Resources
Criw Celf
arts in health
lost in art
Night Out

We work to promote, support and develop arts activity in the county’s communities ranging from visual arts to music, dance, drama, creative writing and film. Community Arts provides opportunities for everyone to participate in the arts regardless of experience, age or background.

We work with a wide range of partners from third sector organisations to community groups across the fields of health and wellbeing, education and regeneration. Our Community Arts programme is designed to support Welsh Government’s Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and is funded by Denbighshire County Council and the Arts Council of Wales, as well as other grant and partner funding on a project by project basis. 

We are a small team of two – Community Arts Officer, Siân Fitzgerald and Community Arts Project Co-ordinator, Jo McGregor. We also employ a team of creative professionals on a freelance basis to deliver our projects.

For further information you can get in touch via our Contact Us page

You can also follow us on @DLLCelfArts

Art achieves great things in our local communities:

  • It brings people together
  • Creates Jobs
  • Offers opportunities to learn new skills
  • Develops new interests
  • Makes villages, towns and cities great places to live, work and visit

In recent years our work has received recognition and awards including:

  • Arts Together – Marsh Award, Engage 2018 for artist Jude Wood
  • Arts Together – Shortlisted for Arts & Business – Arts, Business and Health Award 2019 in partnership with Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s Creative Well Arts in Health and Wellbeing Programme

Criw Celf

Criw Celf is a pan Wales programme offering specialist training for children and young people who are more able and talented in the visual arts. The project consists of special tailor made art master classes with professional artists and offers its members opportunities to… 

  • Access  high-quality & in-depth additional art education
  • Foster and develop skills and understanding of visual art & craft
  • Learn about careers in the art sector
  • Collaborate with artists to develop their potential & ability
  • Exhibit their work in a professional art gallery

Denbighshire Criw Celf has 3 separate groups, each of whom receive 6 masterclasses a year, all taking place between January and July.  For primary schools, we have a year 5 and 6 group, whilst for secondary schools we have a year 7 and 8 group, plus a separate year 9 group.  Masterclasses take place across the county in a variety of venues including town and village halls, as well as at Ruthin Craft Centre, where the gallery exhibitions are used to inspire the young artists.  In the past we have also held workshops out in the landscape e.g. at Llangollen canal, the gardens at Plas Newydd and even learning how to sketch live animals at the Caerwys County Show.

Membership is obtained through a submission process, with students submitting a piece of artwork, along with a statement about why they would like to be part of Criw Celf.  Places are limited to around 20 per group, and we are unable to accommodate everyone who applies for a place.

The application process is usual held in the autumn. Information and application forms will be shared with all Denbighshire schools and also promoted in the local press.

Criw Celf is funded by the Arts Council of Wales and Denbighshire County Council.

Remote Criw Celf 2020 – Covid-19 response

The 2020 masterclasses had already commenced when we went into lockdown at the end of March, with five workshops having already taken place.  For those workshops that remain, the artists have been commissioned to offer an alternative delivery model that will include masterclasses to be done at home. Members will be sent a variety of innovative workshops via pdf’s, power points, tutorial films and material art packs delivered directly to homes.

Members will be sending us photos of their creations over the coming weeks so that we can add to our Covid-19 Virtual Criw Celf Gallery.

Covid-19 Virtual Criw Celf Gallery

Examples of work created following some of our recent remote workshops are shown in the gallery below.


Night Out

We also support and manage the Night Out Scheme on behalf of Denbighshire County Council. The Arts Council of Wales’ Night Out scheme works in partnership with local authorities to help groups of volunteers across Wales bring the arts to the heart of their communities. 

Community groups (known as Promoters) can choose from a huge range of great professional performers and put them on in community or village halls and other non traditional venues across the country.  If you want information on how the scheme works and promoting events visit twww.nightout.org.uk.

Each year close to 550 shows are booked through the scheme by nearly 350 different community groups. Alongside the main scheme we also run the Noson Allan Fach  scheme which offers small shows for member led organsiations such as WI or Merched y Wawr.

Working in conjunction with the local authorities of Wales, the Night Out team operates a guarantee against loss for events where we pay the performer fee and the community promoter pays back ticket income made at the door. 

We never take more than the performer costs so as a promoter you will never be worse off by using the scheme. The more money promoters make back the more funds we have available to say yes to another request. 

Our promoters are free to book a wide range of professional artists. Many come to Night Out for advice on appropriate high quality shows suitable for small community venues.

Night Out aims to encourage, enable and support: 
  • High quality professional performances in communities throughout Wales, many of whom have little access to arts events.
  • The arts economy – providing a platform for performers from Wales and further afield to reach local communities.
  • Community development, volunteering and the local economy and contributing to the use of village halls and community venues as viable hubs for local organisations.
  • Promoter groups with advice, ideas and recommendations.

Contact us via our contact us page.

Arts in Heath and Well being

The importance of the arts for the benefit of health and wellbeing is fast becoming widely accepted.

The Arts Council of Wales have been supporting activity in this field for some time and have a Memorandum of Understanding with the Welsh NHS Confederation  and they also work closely with Public Health Wales and with participants in the Cross Party Group on Arts and Health in Welsh Government. In May 2017, the Director of the Baring Foundation said that Wales ‘leads the world’ in arts for older people and we have continued to develop our work in this sector. The report of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Arts, Health and Wellbeing in Westminster also shines a light on the health and wellbeing benefits of arts participation,Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing.

We in Denbighshire Leisure Community Arts run a full programme of Arts in Health activity in partnership with local authority services such as Social Service, Housing and Youth Services, public organisations such as Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, and third sector organisations and charities such as Mind, St.Kentigern’s Hospice, Stroke Association, Capel y Waun and Canolfan Ni in Corwen.

Some of our work was highlighted in the Arts Council of Wales mapping document Arts and Health in Wales: Mapping Study of Current Activity 2018 https://arts.wales/our-impact/how-we-reach-wider-audiences/arts-and-health

Like the Arts Council of Wales, we hold a deep conviction that the Arts have a particularly powerful contribution to make to a healthy, connected and engaged life.

Did you know?

  • Attending an arts event at least once a month during life’s later years reduces the risk of depression by 50%.
  • Visiting a gallery of museum every few months reduces your risk of developing dementia by up to 44% – and the benefit lasts for up to 10 years after you stop.

Awards and Recognition

Denbighshire Leisure Community Arts was the only delivery partner in Wales of the important research project Dementia and Imagination (http://dementiaandimagination.org.uk/). Following on from this research project the team have continued to develop our work with people living with dementia and are leaders in the sector with the award winning project, Lost in Art.

A visual arts project for people living with dementia and their carers, Lost in Art won The Hearts for the Arts Award for the Best Local Authority Arts Project Encouraging Community Cohesion in 2018.

Our Response to Covid-19

Before the lock down restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all our activities were held face to face and took place in community settings. However, we have responded to the pandemic by developing an on line programme and one that brings creativity direct to people’s homes.

Our response was highlighted in the Welsh health and social care response to Covid-19 – The Welsh NHS Confederation report.

Visit our Community Rescources page to see all the rescources we offer online:
Community Resources

Lost in Art

Lost in Art is a project aimed at people living with dementia, along with their family members and carers. The aim of the project is to explore the role of the visual arts in addressing issues which can affect people with dementia, including social isolation, confidence, communication and quality of life and wellbeing. The project was developed with the support of the Dementia Services Development Centre at Bangor University.

Lost in Art takes place weekly at Ruthin Craft Centre and other venues across Denbighshire including monthly sessions at the social services groups in Rhyl and Prestatyn and St.Kentigern’s Hospice in St.Asaph.

In response to the pandemic and its restrictions on face to face contact we are now delivering a remote Lost in Art service. We have developed Art Boxes for home delivery, electronic instruction sheets and short tutorial films for those living with dementia at home and their carers. If you would like more information about these materials please get in touch.

Please see examples of the film tutorials below for an idea of what is included in the packs:

Lost in Art 1 with Sian Hughes: How to use Marbling techniques at home:

Lost in Art 2 with Sian Hughes: Using air dry clay at home:

Lost in Art gallery

These images are photos of work created by our Lost in Art members who receive our Art Boxes at home and follow our film tutorials on a weekly basis.

Every week, members share new photos of their work with us and with each other – creating wonderful opportunities to keep in touch via phone and social media during these challenging times.

We are so incredibly proud of their creativity and are delighted to share this virtual gallery with you – please visit again as the gallery is an ongoing live activity.

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Careers with Denbighshire Leisure Ltd

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