On a sunny day in West Wales. Student Amelia Williams received her bursary cheque from NAWF Vice President Prof Jon Roper and said it would help her chase her dreams. Amelia is studying BA Acting at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s and has been accepted by California State Fullerton for a study abroad module.
“I am so excited at the prospect of living and studying in California. It will be an amazing experience and I will have the opportunity to study modules that aren’t available here. I am particularly interested in scriptwriting for example, and hope in the future to write and produce Welsh dramas.”
Amelia, who hails from Llanelli, is the first member of her family to study at University and admits that she was nervous about the financial commitment of studying so far away from home.
“It’s certainly a long way away and the trip is expensive to fund so I was delighted to be awarded a NAWF bursary. It will cover the costs of my flights and help with other things so it is amazing. I am so grateful”.
The NAWF Wales board was unanimous in selecting her application, and particularly impressed at Amelia’s ambition to teach a “Welsh word of the Day” to her fellow students.
“I am proud of being Welsh and Welsh speaking. I know the American students we have had here have been amazed to find out there is a Welsh language that is spoken day to day and fascinated by our ancient history. I’m hoping to take a bit of that out with me to show others and I;m already thinking about a Welsh night."
Jon Roper, who made the presentation, said he was delighted the NAWF had been able to help Amelia. “She is exactly the sort of student we wish to support. Amelia's bright and ambitious and enormously proud of her Welsh heritage. I am sure she has a bright future ahead of her and I am delighted we can play a small part in helping her realise that.”
The North America Wales Foundation is supporting a new staging of the musical Amazing Grace to mark Swansea’s Golden Jubilee later this year.
Renamed Calon Lan, it is an updated telling of the story of Evan Roberts of Loughor who led a worldwide religious revival in the early years of the twentieth century.
Renowned for his ‘backing group’, teenagers called The Singers of Dawn, Evan Roberts travelled the length and breadth of Wales and the word of his ministry travelled worldwide particularly to America. Roberts was renowned for challenging the power and wealth of the colliery owners of South Wales but also the radical socialists who were organising in the coalfields.
Mal Pope, the writer of the award winning musical Amazing Grace, has combined original music with the hymns he had grown up with. Now Chair of the Swansea International Festival which will celebrate Swansea’s 50 years as a city in July, Mal is staging this ambitious multimedia theatrical production at the city's Grand Theatre between Friday 28 June and Saturday 6 July.
He has appealed to the Welsh community in North America to support the venture and invited those interested to travel to Swansea to join the celebrations. “We are working with Visit Wales and hope to announce special packages in the coming weeks,” he said.
With our deep roots in the Welsh community in North America, the Foundation is acting as focal point for private fundraising and has established a Calon Lan Fund. Contributions can be sent to the Foundation at 24 Essex Road, Scotch Plains, NJ 07076.
“We are delighted to help such a worthwhile cause” said NAWF President Philip Davies. “And I would remind potential contributors that as we are a registered not-for-profit organisation, US donations to our Calon Lan fund are tax deductible.”
UK supporters of the NAWF who are interested in making a contribution should, in the first instance, contact the NAWF Secretary for BACS details.
We are delighted that David Melding has joined the Wales Board of the Foundation.
Born in Neath, David has degrees in politics from Cardiff University and in government from the College of William and Mary, Virginia USA (where he has returned frequently as a visiting lecturer).
Between 1989 and 1996 he was Deputy Director at the Welsh Centre for International Affairs.
Since 1999 he has been a member of the National Assembly for Wales where he has served as Deputy Presiding Officer. He is currently on the Board of Gorwel, an independent non-party Welsh think tank. This reflects his long-standing interests in governance and policy issues.
In 2018 David was awarded a CBE in the New Year Honours list for his services to political and public life.
David brings a wealth of experience to our Board and we look forward to his contribution to our work.
Supported by the NAWF, Welsh sculptor Ashleigh Harrold is performing at this year’s International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art in Scranton, PA.
Her performance, entitled 53,768,celebrates the number of Welsh miners that emigrated to Scranton in the early 1800s and will use the two symbols of Scranton’s Welsh history - the Red Dragon and the Electric City Light Bulb.
Ashleigh will pour iron through the head of a Welsh red dragon to cascade out of the mouth and eyes into a mould of the Scranton light bulb, illustrating how the Welsh helped form the industry of iron and steel in Scranton. The mould will then be cracked open revealing a glowing bulb, much like the one seen on the Scranton Electric Building.
Ashleigh is a sculptor and hot metal artist, specializing in cast iron. A native of Tredegar in the heart of the iron-making South Wales Valleys, she attended Carmarthen School of Art from 2014-2017.
The performance takes place at the Historic Furnaces, Scranton PA. on Friday 1 June 2018 between 8-10pm
STUDENT CELEBRATES SCRANTON'S WELSH HERITAGE
A young artist from Tredegar, heart of iron smelting area of South Wales, is being helped by the NAWF to exhibit at the Conference of Contemporary Cast Iron Art in Scranton Pennsylvania this summer.
Ashleigh Harrold is a graduate of the Carmarthen School of Art, the only university in the UK teaching students to cast iron. The conference organisers invited her to present her performance sculpture consisting of a wooden and iron dragon that will emit flames through its mouth before consuming itself. The performance is named 53,678, signifying the number of people who migrated from Wales to the Scranton area in the nineteenth century.
Prof Jon Roper Vice President NAWF (Wales), described Ashleigh as a highly motivated and talented artist who was a deserved recipient of the award. Ashleigh described her work as a celebration of the Welsh-American heritage of the Scranton area. She was delighted to receive the bursary as it allowed her to book her airfare to Pennsylvania.
The future of charitable giving is likely to see greater involvement between donor and recipient in how the money is spent.
This was the conclusion of Nicholas R. Morgan, a legacy & trust specialist, who gave a presentation to small charities and people interested in bequeathing money to charity.
Sponsored by the NAWF, it was held at the beautiful Penpont House, Brecon, on Thursday 17 May and attended by over fifty people who also enjoyed a drinks reception accompanied by a harpist Anna Phillips.
In Nicholas Morgan’s experience, people are increasingly concerned about charitable giving when they do not know how the money will be spent. They are much happier when able to develop a relationship with the charity, understanding its goals and choosing specific projects to fund. And he said that, in his experience, when this happened the amount donated usually increased.
The evening was introduced by event organiser Jonathan Morgan, brother of Nicholas Morgan who welcomed Brecon’s new mayor, Manny Trailor, on his first official engagement. NAWF Vice President, Jon Roper, spoke about the work of the NAWF and thanked Nicholas Morgan for his informative talk.
Pictured: Catrin Brace, Anna Phillips, Joanna Masters, Jonathan Morgan, Manny Trailor
and Jon Roper.
t is a great pleasure the NAWF has honoured Catrin Brace with the 2017 Heritage Medallion which was presented by NAWF President, Stacy Evans, at the North American Festival of Wales in Rochester, New York on September 1st.
The Foundation chose Catrin as this year’s recipient because of her dedication in promoting business, trade and the arts for Wales and the Welsh.
She was appointed project manager for the Welsh Development Agency’s office in New York in 2002, later transferring to the Welsh Government to represent the Office of the First Minister in North America.
Based on her vision and leadership she established partnerships with hundreds of organizations in Wales and North America. This resulted in a transformative elevation of the recognition of Wales as a nation in North America.
After fifteen years she recently left the post to return to Wales leaving behind her many friends and a significantly heightened profile for all things Welsh in North America.
The NAWF proudly announces three new grant awards .
Arvonia Historical Sociecty in Kansas is supported to restore its town hall, a vital part of its Welsh heritage.
Welsh actor, Tom Chandler, has been selected to join the American Academy of American Arts' 2017-2018 acting company and has been awarded a grant.
It has also been decided to help fund James Sevitt, an educator at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, who plans a visit to Cardiff and Merthyr Tydfil in Wales to research the divisions and resentments between metropolitan centres and neglected peripheries following the financial crisis of 2008 and the Brexit vote.
The picture shows Paula Evans (center) of the Arvonia (Kansas) Historical Society, accepting a check from Hefina Phillips, NAWF Scholarship Chair and Stacey Evans, NAWF President.
In celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary this year, the North American Wales Foundation is hosting a Canadian event at the Castle Hotel Brecon on Tuesday 19th September 2017.
There will be a drinks reception, sponsored by Coors, the Canadian drinks company, followed by a talk on the Welsh in Canada given by Dan Clayton Jones, the Honorary Canadian Consul for Wales for sixteen years.
The event starts at 6.30pm and tickets are available from email@example.com. A minimum donation of £10 per person is suggested.
Every year the NAWF awards scholarships to North American students wishing to study in Wales. There is an Exchange Scholarship of $5,000 and, thanks to the Lloyd family, a travel scholarship of $1,000. Grants of up to $1,000 are also awarded to individuals or organizations, all, of course, with Welsh connections, be they cultural, educational or their heritage. In the past scholarships have been awarded to musicians, historians, linguists, and entrepreneurs. We have been extremely proud of these young people and they, in turn, are grateful for the support received from the Foundation.
This year the applications for scholarships was overwhelming and the standard of the applicants quite outstanding. How does one choose a "winner” from such an elite group? Fortunately this year the Foundation received two unexpected windfalls - via a donation from the Welsh Women's Club of America and from the estate of the late Marjorie Owen. This enabled us to give not one but three Exchange Scholarships to three outstanding young women.
Elizabeth Green of Pennsylvania, is a superb musician and already enrolled in the Composition programme in Bangor University. Her goal is to compose for films and art installations and also for ensembles. She has already composed for a local television company and is currently working on an orchestral work to be performed at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod, bringing together Welsh, American and Taiwanese performers in an expression of peace and goodwill.
Brooke Martin of Georgia, is also a musicologist doing her postgraduate degree at Bangor University, with a focus on Welsh music. Her passions are reed organs and brass bands. Her research will focus on the impact of brass bands on the mining town of Wales. She also hopes to nurture the growth of brass bands in the U.S.
Claire Oldfather of Alabama, already a student at Aberystwyth University, is an Archivist focusing on Classics and Folklore and Mythology. Her major interests are the Arthurian romances, comparing those in Wales, England and France. Her aim is to read for a Doctorate in Celtic and Mediaeval Studies. All three of the above are learning Welsh.
The Lloyd family Travel Scholarship is awarded to Keri Lawrence of Ohio. Keri will study for a term at the University of Wales, Trinity St David's. Her aim is to connect cultures by developing a website, blog and sketch album in order to guide other students wishing to study abroad in Wales.
This year $2,500 was available for Grants. These monies were divided between Arvonia Historical Society, Kansas, Tom Chandler, a Welsh actor based in NY City and James Sevitt, an educator researching social injustice and focusing on the post global financial crisis of 2008 and Brexit . According to James, these events have exacerbated the deep divisions and resentments between metropolitan centres and the neglected peripheries, i.e. the "haves" and the "have-nots". His research focuses on Cardiff and Merthyr Tydfil.
The Lloyd Jones Award winners are Danielle Williams of Penygroes and Daniel Avis of Llanidloes. Both are outstanding designers, with Daniel focusing on jewellery and Danielle hoping to design an alternative Oxygen Mask and Nasal cannula.
We congratulate all of our successful applicants and wish them well. I am certain that you have all been impressed by these winners. However, our on-going support for worthy North American Welsh students depends totally on our having the necessary finances. Please consider helping us by donating to our Scholarship Fund. Please contact Dr. Philip Davies at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hefina Phillips-NAWF Scholarship Committee
by Hefina Phillips (on behalf of the NAWF Scholarship Committee)
One of the greatest joys in life is to share ones passions with others. Chairing the Scholarship committee of the NAAF has certainly brought me a huge amount of pleasure.
Annually two scholarships are offered to North Americans who wish to study in Wales. There is an Exchange Scholarship of $5,000 and the Lloyd Travel Scholarship of $1,000. Of course, deciding to whom these scholarships are to be awarded can be quite a headache. Not so this year. Although there were several applications, two were outstanding and it was not difficult therefore for the Scholarship committee to come to a decision.
The two successful applicants were Mari Morgan and Marah Hager.
Mari Morgan is well known to many of us in North America. She was the director of Côr Gogledd America and is a prominent and popular conductor of cymanfaoedd canu. She emigrated to the United States in the 1990s.
Currently Mari is reading for her PhD in Trinity/St David's University College, Carmarthen. The subject of her Dissertation is the work and history of the Welsh American musicians Daniel Prothero and Joseph Parry. This is proving to be extremely exciting and Mari has discovered manuscripts and information that were until very recently unknown.
There is a close connection between Trinity/St David's and the Madog Centre of Welsh Studies at Rio Grande University, OH. It is from this Institution that our second winner comes. Marah Hager's CV is spectacular! She has been extremely involved with Welsh activities in the college, promoting awareness of Welsh culture in the community. During her stay at Trinity/St David's she will work on a publication documenting her personal experience in the Welsh Exchange programme. She also aims to improve her Welsh and become fluently bi-lingual as she explores her heritage.
The Scholarship committee were so impressed with these two stellar applicants that the decision was made to divide the scholarship moneys equally between them.
We are extremely proud of them both and wish them "Pob lwc" as they continue with their studies.
A third scholarship is the Lloyd Jones Scholarship at Bangor University. A major endowment has been provided by Lloyd Jones of Allentown, PA to recognize the accomplishments of individuals graduating from Bangor University, North Wales. Awards are given to promising young entrepreneurs based on projects completed in their undergraduate studies. This year's recipients are Rhiannon Haf Quirk who designed and manufactures soft toys and decorative furnishings for her proposed on-line business, and Richard Gabriel Noakes, who designed and manufactured a prototype camera system to increase visibility for tractor drivers reversing attached trailers on farms in mid-Wales.
Rhiannon and Richard graduated from Bangor this year with a B.Sc. in product design. We congratulate them and wish them well as they begin their careers in Wales.
North America Wales Foundation
Protect, promote and enhance our history and culture in Wales and North America.