Working at Wales Millennium Centre – My proudest moment

Working at the Wales Millennium Centre is so rewarding, rife with creativity and opportunity. Sarah Roberts from the Creative Learning team shares her most memorable moment at the Centre.

Working in a team that is constantly striving to make a difference to people’s lives, I feel privileged to have experienced my fair share of magical moments over the years. I’m proud of what passionate people around me can achieve for and with others, proud of the ambition and possibilities a national arts centre can provide, and proud of being a small cog in such a collaborative and thriving arts sector in Wales.

But with a 10-year history of working at Wales Millennium Centre – what’s my proudest moment?

I could talk about a little boy who amazed his teachers by taking on a starring role and smashing it, despite preconceptions that he wouldn’t be able to learn lines or be confident enough to perform in front of teachers, peers and parents.

I could talk about a young man who overcame anxiety issues to come with us on a theatre trip to London, and the confidence boost that journey gave him.

I could talk about the euphoria that oozes from young people who’ve taken part in our Curtain Raiser projects, and how that experience has inspired them to achieve more.

I could talk about so many of these moments, but I think 2016 will always stick in the memory. It was busy, really busy and we really celebrated Dahl. The Roald Dahl Centenary was a gift of a theme to invite families, schools, young people and communities to leap into the wonderful world of Dahl with us and have some fun.

City of the Unexpected in September 2016 saw over 150,000 getting involved. It was an epic and massive team effort across many partners to transform the streets of Cardiff. On the Saturday, I was “working”, if you call looking after some hula dancers working! I call it joyous work. However, on the Sunday I grabbed my PJs, pillow and picnic and had the pleasure of joining in the biggest pyjama party in Bute Park in beautiful sunny weather with family and friends. After chasing my 2-year-old in and out of the crowds, and apologising as he helped himself to everyone else’s Revolting Recipe inspired picnics, the day culminated in a moment that will really stick with me…

It was a mass twmpath led by Fantastic Mr Fox where people young and old danced together. Looking around the field at crowds of strangers in PJs, as they were jigging about and followed instructions by foxes with fiddles, and accompanied by the beautiful voices of children in Only Kids Aloud, it was just magical. Generations played together. The joy on the faces of my 4 and 2 year olds as they leapt with their cousin, little friends, grandparents, parents and complete strangers will stick with us all.

The Great Pyjama picnic.jpg

Sometimes when you’re in the thick of it, it’s easy to move onto the next thing without taking a moment to reflect on being part of creating something special that may never happen again. Writing this has encouraged me to just stop and think, “Yep, that’s pretty cool isn’t it?”

If you were there and want to relive some memories of COTU, check this out – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T50nB2oozeA