Talking Shop™ to be piloted in Newport in April 2022
Omidaze, in collaboration with Youth Cymru and the Riverfront are going to open a second Talking Shop in Newport in April 2022 funded by the Welsh Government third sector support grant scheme to explore new and innovative ways to increase voter registration and participation.
The Talking Shop is a cultural and democratic information centre and signposting/navigational democracy hub. The Talking Shop is a public space which explores the intersection between cultural and democratic participation one conversation at a time. We need A Talking Shop in every town and city in Wales creating face to face democratic/cultural engagement & a shop window for our creativity and democracy combined.
Inside The Talking Shop© you will find The Democracy Box©.
The Democracy Box© is about young people finding new creative ways to share The Story of our UK Democracy That Every Citizen Should Know In Seven Short Chapters© so that all young people, old people and everyone in between can understand our UK democracy and can take part in it.
The Democracy Box© works with young people aged 16-26, born or based in Wales, as paid co-creators and seeks to increase democratic participation and provide information about the UK’s democratic system and structures.
Yvonne Murphy from Omidaze (OhMyDays) Productions said
“Omidaze is delighted to be able to announce that Omidaze are now the Electoral Commission’s Youth Voice partner in Wales. This together with our partnership with the Future Generations Commissioner means that The Democracy Box© and The Talking Shop© combined can go from strength to strength.
These are incredibly exciting times as we work with lots of collaborators and partners across Wales to develop The Democracy Box (TDB) Creative Cascade© model for schools, install TDB in Cardiff Council’s Child Friendly City pop up in February and re-open The Talking Shop© in Cardiff in March.
We are very excited that the first trial secondary Talking Shop will be in Newport which will also open its doors in March ahead of the local elections and would like to say our deep felt thanks to the Riverfront, Youth Cymru and Welsh Government for supporting and partnering on this work.
Our priority now is to secure enough funding to keep the Cardiff Talking Shop© open for twelve months and additional trial secondary Talking Shops in different areas including North Wales, West Wales and the Valleys in order to blueprint a ‘Conversation with the Nation’ using The Talking Shop/Democracy Box© models and simultaneously increase democratic understanding and participation across Wales.”
Emily Mae Jones (18) Democracy Box young co-creator said:
“I wanted to learn more about Democracy and Politics but I could never find a clear explanation in a way I could understand until I joined this project.
As well as developing my own knowledge I have the amazing pleasure of educating other people about UK Democracy and highlighting that there is absolutely no shame in not knowing – because I didn’t either.
My outlook has completely changed on UK Democracy. I finally feel confident instigating conversations about democracy and also just being involved in discussions.”
Talking Shop pilot (2019) visitors said:
“Inspiring space and a wonderful reminder that Wales remains a place of culture and diversity…An encouraging affirmation that open mindedness and imagination still prevail”
“What a great place for artists and non-artists to share the space for ideas and discussion. Love the vibe of just dropping in and having a chat over a cuppa. Hope you grow further. Every town needs such a space”
Talking Shop/Democracy Box Collaborators & Partners are listed below.
Democracy Box /Talking Shop collaborators & partners
- Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales
- The Electoral Commission
- The Democratic Society
- The Senedd Cymru/ Welsh Parliament Engagement Team
- Electoral Reform Society Cymru
- Nesta’s YLab
- The Politics Project
- The Urdd
- I Have A Voice
- Laura McAllister Professor of Public Policy and the Governance of Wales at the Wales Governance Centre
- Swansea Music Art Digital
- Youth Cymru
- Hub Cymru Africa
- Sub-Sahara Advisory Panel SSAP
- Newport Rising
- Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council
- National Theatre of Wales
- The Abbey Theatre, Dublin
- Cardiff Council
- Senedd Cymru
- Menter Caerdydd
- Menter Iaith Merthyr Tudful Theatr Soar
- Riverfront Newport
- Taking Flight Theatre Company
- NoFitState Circus
- Leonora Thomson
- The Constitutional Futures Project
- Dr Anwen Elias Aberystwyth University
- Dr Matthew Wall Swansea University.