Over the last year or so, Artis Community Cymuned, who will manage the running of the building, have been hosting ‘Community Conversations’ events online to give the local community an opportunity to share their ideas on how the building should be used. During these conversations, ideas were formed around a new name to fully represent the new nature of the building in the heart of Pontypridd.
YMa, which means ‘here’ in Welsh, proved to be the overwhelming favourite. Jen Angharad, Chief Executive of Artis Community Cymuned explains: “When considering a name for the centre, we invited the local community and other key stakeholders to consider potential names for the redeveloped building. The most popular choice was YMa: Man Creu Meithrin Celf | Place for Creativity Culture Arts’, as it acknowledges the term ‘YM’ often used by local people in reference to the Pontypridd YMCA before it closed. With the addition of a smaller ‘a’ it becomes YMa (or ‘here’ in Welsh), giving the building a bilingual identity and establishing its place ‘here’ in the community. The branding for the new identity has been produced by Kutchibok Design and we’re delighted to be unveiling it today.”
Artis Community Cymuned plan to move into their new home before the end of the year, with their first full season starting in January. There are also opportunities for people to get involved now with 2 new volunteering programmes and an opportunity for young people to take over the building for a whole weekend when it opens.
“As the new name suggests, this building is here for everyone and we want as many people to get involved as we can. So, we’ve created a new ambassadors scheme for anyone who wants to come and take part and learn new skills at the same time. We launched Creative Ambassadors earlier this year and it has been wonderful to see so many people sign up, learning key skills in things like producing, marketing and arts management. We’ve been particularly excited about our Young People’s Creative Ambassadors, run in partnership with YEPS, who we’ve asked to do a Take Over of the building for a day in our first full season next spring. They have so many ideas around how young people can engage with the building, and we can’t wait to share that Take Over day with the rest of the community”.
Artis Community Cymuned is also looking for volunteers to help out once the building opens, with benefits including special offers on events and classes in the building. The organisation is also calling on local businesses to get in touch about a number of partnership and sponsorship opportunities, for more info on partnership please visit www.ymaonline.wales/sponsorship.
Artis Community Cymuned is continuing to offer a reduced programme of activity this autumn. Classes ware taking place online, outdoors as part of the Artis Outdoors programme and in other locations across Rhondda Cynon Taff, with the first full season expected to start in January 2021. To keep up to date with Artis Community Cymuned’s programme of work please visit www.artiscommunity.org.uk/projects
You can also follow the development of the building, as the countdown to opening begins in earnest, on the new website– www.ymaonline.wales and www.ymaarlein.cymru for the Welsh language site. New social media pages are also available in English and Welsh on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @ymaonline and @ymaarlein respectively.
Anyone wanting to find out more about the Creative Ambassadors scheme should visit www.artiscommunity.co.uk/projects/creativeambassadors. For more information on Artis Community’s work in the community please visit www.artiscommunity.org.uk