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History

UCAN Productions History

2003 Bernie and Jane Latham travel to Sierra Leone to volunteer with a Children’s Choir at a blind school

2004 In partnership with RNIB Cymru Bernie runs a series of pilot drama workshops at the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff

2005 Bernie comes up with the name UCAN, which stands for Unique Creative Arts Network

2005 UCAN is established as a co-operative company

2005 UCAN enters into a formal partnership agreement with RNIB Cymru

2006 UCAN and RNIB Cymru begin a three year Big Lottery funded project called DEW (Developing Emotional Wellbeing through the arts) and UCAN sets up 13 groups across Wales

2006 Lloyd Coleman, Chair of UCAN Productions Young People’s Steering Committee, wins ITV1 Wales Young Musician of the Year

2006 UCAN Productions beat 460 other projects throughout the UK to win the publicly voted UK National Lottery ‘Children’s Champions Award 2006’

2007 The Sierra Leone Children’s Choir visits Cardiff

2007 UCAN works in 9 areas throughout Wales

2008 Care Council of Wales commissions UCAN to perform at the National Eisteddfod

2008 UCAN perform at the Torch Theatre’s brand new Studio Theatre in Milford Haven

2008 UCAN perform at the Hilton Foundation Ball

2008 UCAN perform at The Riverside Theatre Newport and The Swansea Grand Theatre

2009 UCAN perform at the Royal College of Ophthalmologists Congress in Birmingham

2009 Junior Chairman Lloyd Coleman is commissioned by Disability Arts Cymru to compose a piece of music for the Cultural Olympiad

2009 The first UCAN Perform Festival is held at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay. Visually impaired children and young people from all over Wales attend the Festival

2010 UCAN receives funding from the Big Lottery to run a three- year project called Radio UCAN

2010 UCAN finds a new home to run drama workshops at Cardiff University School of Optometry and Vision Sciences

2010 UCAN is awarded funding from Arts Council of Wales and the European Social fund to run Reach the Heights Projects throughout Wales

2011 UCAN launches i2i a volunteering scheme for students of the School of Optometry 2011 As part of a National Lottery Promotions campaign, UCAN wins a visit from Radio 1 DJ Sarah Cox and comedian Rufus Hound

2012 UCAN runs first workshops in Carmarthen

2012 Lloyd Coleman’s composition for the Cultural Olympiad ‘Breaking The Wall’ is recorded by the BBC National orchestra of Wales. The recording is subsequently used to accompany live performances at the Wales Millennium Centre and The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama

2012 In honour of Dr Maggie Woodhouse, UCAN launches Maggie’s Club at the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences

2012 Jane Latham receives a Winston Churchill Fellowship, travel bursary to expand links with UCAN in America. UCAN is now working in partnership with a number of American organisations

2012 Jane Latham becomes an Honorary Associate of Cardiff University School of Optometry and Vision Sciences

2013 UCAN secures 5 years funding through partners RNIB Cymru for the Future Insight Project, enabling UCAN to deliver confidence building workshops throughout Wales

2013 UCAN runs first workshops in Conwy North Wales

2013 UCAN receives funding from Arts Council Wales to deliver UCAN Focus, our first Photography Course for young people with low vision

2013 UCAN members Mared Jarman and Megan John design and deliver lectures to the Foundation Students at Cardiff University, School of Optometry and Vision Sciences

2013 UCAN celebrates the 2014 centenary of Dylan Thomas’ birth with a production of A Child’s Christmas in Wales

2014 UCAN secures funding through the Digital Research and Development Fund for the Arts in Wales to work in collaboration with technology partner Calvium and co-create an accessible indoor navigation app called UCAN Go. The Digital Research and Development Fund for the Arts in Wales is a partnership between the Arts Council of Wales, Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Nesta

2014 UCAN is awarded funding through the BBC Performing Arts Fund community theatre scheme to develop a classic script led performance of The Mechanicals and The Fairies; an accessible part adaptation of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

2014 UCAN Productions joins forces with partner organisations from Bulgaria, Italy, Luxembourg and Belgium and becomes part of a two year European project. The VISION Erasmus Plus project aims to share best practice around helping visually impaired young people build confidence, self esteem and lead independent lives. The project will culminate in a joint production in Sicily in 2016

2015 UCAN Productions launches their indoor navigation app UCAN Go. Free to download on https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ucan-go/id923938591?ls=1&mt=8

2015 UCAN Team perform at the VISION UK 2015 Conference at Westminster Central Hall

2015 UCAN win the best Citizen Led project in Wales at the Care Council of Wales Accolade Awards

2015 15 August 2015 marked UCAN Productions’ 10th Birthday. We celebrated with a fantastic production of Palais De Dance, a cross-generational show that celebrated the end of World War 11. Our friends from Theatre by the Blind and Cre Outreach from Los Angeles joined us

2015 The UCAN Team join forces with the Royal National College for the Blind in Hereford and become part of the delivery team in the performances arts department

2015 Delighted to announce a new collaborative project: UCAN Create with Yellobrick http://yellobrick.co.uk/#stage-section

2015 In October UCAN Productions formed a new partnership and teamed up with Moorvision http://www.moorvision.org/ to deliver a weekend of drama activities. A fantastic time was had by all

2015 In November UCAN Productions delivered their very first workshop at the Istituto Dei Ciechi, Via Angio in Palermo, Sicily as part of the Vision Erasmus Plus project. http://www.vision-erasmusplus.eu/

March 2016 A group of 15 young people, 15 professionals and volunteers travelled to Palermo to take part in a week long series of workshops as part of the VISION Erasmus Plus Project. UCAN worked with organisations from Bulgaria, Italy, Luxembourg and Belgium

May 2016 The 4 th UCAN Perform Festival was held at the Torch Theatre on 18 May for young people from Pembrokeshire with sensory loss

June 2016 The team exhibited at the DIGITAL 2016 Exhibition at The Celtic Manor Resort in Newport to promote the UCAN Go App

June 2016 Founder members of UCAN, Megan John and Mared Jarman flew to Luxembourg to deliver drama workshops as part of the VISION Erasmus Plus Project

July 2016 UCAN Productions held it’s annual performance festival at the Wales Millennium Centre

August 2016 The UCAN Team travel to Bulgaria for the Vision Erasmus Plus Conference

August 2016 UCAN members create their first immersive arts installation, with the support of the marketing company Yellobrick and it is exhibited at the G39 Gallery in Cardiff and the Rawffest Youth Festival at the Riverfront in Newport

September 2016 UCAN Production launches their creative visual awareness training initiative i2i and delivers training for 4 th year Junior Doctors of the University of Wales Hospital

September 2016 The UCAN team perform at the Annual Wales Eye Care Conference

September 2016 Long time member Rachel Starritt performs at the City of the Unexpected Roald Dahl event

September 2016 UCAN Team travel to Hamburg to meet the social enterprise organisation Dialog in the Dark

October 2016 The UCAN i2i Training team delivers Equality Training for the Community Trade Union in Earls Barton

November 2016 Founder members Megan John and Mared Jarman launch partnership project, Wales Council for the Blind Ein Llais Ein Storm, Young Adults Project

November 2016 UCAN Productions signs a Memorandum of Understanding with the Community Trade Union

December 2016 Students of Cardiff University School of Optometry and Vision Sciences raise funding for the annual Maggie’s Club Christmas party

December 2016 UCAN Production receives first Certificate for Medical student teaching from Cardiff University School of Optometry and Vision Sciences

December 2016 UCAN Productions secures funding from the Arts Council of Wales for The Art Of Kindness a participatory project

December 2016 An early Christmas Present, Hackney Empire’s UCAN Go app goes live https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/ucan-go/id923938591?mt=8