The inaugural Dinefwr Literature Festival later this week boasts a stellar line-up including former Teardrop Explodes frontman Julian Cope and Super Furry Animals lead singer Gruff Rhys.
However, alongside the likes of former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion and Wales National Poet Gillian Clarke will be an array of budding talent which is being supported and developed by a European-funded project as part of the Ireland Wales Cross Border Programme.
Coracle is a partnership aimed at developing higher-level skills and improving the employability and competiveness of creative practitioners in South West Wales and South East Ireland. It is led by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David alongside Carmarthenshire County Council as well as Wexford campus IT Carlow, Wexford Arts Centre and Wexford Council.
The project is working in partnership with Literature Wales and the National Trust to stage the festival in Llandeilo from June 29 to July 1.
Dominic Williams, Coracle development officer, says:
"There are many different strands to the project such as disability art, youth theatre and visual arts exchange, but the overarching theme is festivals.
"We want to try and tie all these strands together at the festival. We are working hard with our partners to make sure they feature highly.
"As a marketing tool it is great to have the big names taking part, but for us it’s really about developing creative practitioners in Wales and Ireland and putting them on the same stage as these people."
Appearing at the festival, hosted by the National Trust’s historic Dinefwr Park property, will be the Coracle Theatre Project, an exciting and innovative youth company which is exploring physical theatre.
Around 50 youngsters from as far afield as Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Swansea and South East Ireland, will be performing a piece specially devised to trace the history of the ravens featured in the coat of arms of the Rhys family, lords of Dinefwr.
Coracle Theatre Project member Holly Freeman said:
"I feel that theatre project provides a safe space for us to really flex our performance muscles and test ourselves as artists. The Coracle Theatre Project pushes us to be risk takers and creative thinkers."
As part of the Coracle project the two higher education institutions involved deliver an MBA degree in professional arts management. The qualification is supplemented by various business and vocationally focussed short courses, hands on workshops, exchange projects, internships and mentoring.
Central to the project is a social-media driven website that provides the unique opportunity of a multi-media portfolio space for creative practitioners.
Deputy Minister for European Programmes, Alun Davies, said:
"I am delighted to hear that young people in Wales and Ireland are benefiting from this EU-funded scheme which will help them develop their talents and skills to ensure future success."
The Ireland Wales Cross Border programme is led by the Southern and Eastern Regional Assembly (SERA) in Ireland in partnership with the Welsh Government. It is aimed at supporting collaborative projects to boost skills and economic growth.