The Women’s Arts Association is a vibrant and responsive organisation committed to addressing isolation and exclusion experienced by women in the arts and the wider community. WAA works in partnership with practitioners, communities and funding bodies to develop accessible, creative opportunities for women, celebrating diversity and equality across all art forms.
The Association began as the Arts Discussion Group within the Women’s Committee of the South Glamorgan County Council, in 1984. The group became the South East Wales Women’s Arts Association and a registered charity in 1997.
The Association organised its first annual International Women’s Day festival in 1986. This involved displays and exhibitions of work by women from a variety of art forms. The celebration of International Women’s Day remains part of WAA’s exhibitions and events programme.
Until 1994 all work for the association was carried out on a voluntary basis. In that year WAA gained its first funding from Cardiff Council, which enabled it to employ its first member of staff. The Co-ordinator worked initially for two days per week from a small base in the Old Library, The Hayes, Cardiff. In 1995 WAA moved to Ely Bridge, West Cardiff, due to the redevelopment of the Old Library building. In 1997 WAA became a registered Charity, number 1060383.
During this time WAA built on its capital and project fundraising to finance additional activity including three-year community arts projects and an expansion into digital arts training. WAA was awarded with its first Arts Council of Wales revenue grant for the year 2000/2001.
In 2011 the Arts Council of Wales removed its revenue funding from Women’s Arts. It said that in the 1980s when the Association began there was a clear need to support such an organisation but today this isn’t the case. The Trustees and members of Women’s Arts disagree and continue to provided support for women in all artistic disciplines.
Women’s Arts is a non-judgemental organisation.
The Association was based in Bute Street, Cardiff Bay from 2004 to 2016, when it moved to Llanover Hall Arts Centre.
Chair Patricia Ziad
Vice Chair Margaret Sian Williams
The above were elected at the AGM 2016
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