Not long ago a friend from London told me that she has never traveled to Angel – one of my favorite little parts of the world famous capital. There’s a canal there and a small bar that plays jazz. There is a tree that hangs so far over a wrought iron fence that when I walk underneath it brushes the top of my head. There is a burrito takeaway and a man who sings love songs on the corner by the tube station. It is wonderful and yet, even though she only lives a few stops away, she has never visited.
This made me think: do we ever truly know a city? It is in their nature to grow and change, to have public areas and secret places. Although I have developed a deep and understanding relationship with Cardiff, I look forward to meeting new people and discovering new places everyday. This has never been more exciting than in the few months I spent coordinating the Poetry and Literature events for Made in Roath.
This free, artist-led festival aims to bring art and the community closer together by showcasing the work of emerging and established musicians, artists, writers, and performers. Each year, these creatives volunteer their time to share their work with the community through various events. Residents get involved too by opening up their homes to exhibit art, host performances, and deliver workshops. The support, kindness, and generosity of everyone involved is humbling.
This year was no exception. I was lucky enough to meet so many people while manning the bookmobile, hosting literary events, judging a cake competition, admiring exhibitions and enjoying the many pop-up cafes. During the festival, more than any other time of year, the community hums with an inspiring kind of activity and excitement. I know Roath well but still I discovered things and have been left feeling like there is so much more for me to see and be a part of.
Made in Roath truly reflects the enthusiasm and collective spirit of this very special neighbourhood. Even weeks after the festival I still feel so lucky to have been involved. I cannot wait to see what next year will bring.