Welsh by birth but an internationalist in work and outlook, Jenny was born in Brecon and has degrees from the University of London. During a career with the British Council, she worked promoting British education, science, culture and collaborative links with postings in London, Nigeria (Lagos), Mexico (Mexico City) and Burma (Rangoon). She travelled extensively for work and leisure during that time.
Jenny moved to Atlanta GA with her husband in 1993, a temporary assignment for him which became long standing. She learned Welsh as an adult, taught English as a second language and volunteered with a variety of organisations. These included Northside Community Hospital, the Atlanta Celtic Festival and the Salvation Army and she held board positions with them all.
Her greatest commitment was to a number of organisations active in promoting Welsh language and culture. She worked on their boards, respectively President of the Georgia Welsh Society, President of Cymdeithas Madog (the Welsh Studies Institute in North America), Trustee and then Secretary of the WNGGA, now known as the Welsh North American Association (WNAA). She was a member of the NAWF in North America.
Jenny returned to the UK in 2015 and is an active member of the London Welsh Centre.
Jonathan Morgan has been awarded the Foundation’s Philanthropic Order of True Ivorites award in recognition of his long service supporting our work. A former member of the Foundation’s Wales Board for over twenty years, he was an indefatigable fund raiser and organiser of special events until his retirement last year.
Educated at Christ College, Brecon; the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst; Aberystwyth and Glamorgan Universities, Jonathan is a former lecturer at the now Cardiff Metropolitan University and author of several books including The Welsh Warrior Through the Ages (2016) and The Tragedy Of War, Essays on the Welsh War Poets (2014). His book Rags to Riches: Entrepreneurs of Welsh Origin (2010) reflects his long standing interest in links between Wales and America.
The original Ivorite Order was a friendly beneficial society established in Denbighshire in 1836 by Robert Jones with the motto Cyfeillgarwch, Cariad a Gwirionedd (Friendship, love and truth). It prospered on both sides of the Atlantic and was active in America until the late 1900s. It was revived by the NAWF in 2006 to honour Welsh and Welsh-Americans who epitomise the ideals of the original Ivorites.
We are delighted to welcome Abbie Wightwick to the Foundation's Wales Board of Trustees.
Abbie has travelled extensively as a journalist working in the UK and overseas before becoming the Education Editor of WalesOnline and the Western Mail, a post she has held for more than a decade. A graduate of Queen Mary University, London, Abbie has a wide interest in the arts. She lives in Penarth near Cardiff.
She brings experience and energy to our work and we look forward to her contribution in the coming months and years.
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.
David Melding Joins the NAWF Board
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 for Charitable Giving
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.
North America Wales Foundation
Protect, promote and enhance our history and culture in Wales and North America.