Monmouthshire County Council led its inaugural Celebration of the Arts event, marking the beginnings of an annual tradition.

Initially suggested by council leader, Cllr Mary Ann Brocklesby, the event exhibits the significant contributions of local artists, performers, and musicians to Monmouthshire's buzzing culture and economy.

Cllr Brocklesby said: "This is a stepping stone in our commitment to creating a new cultural strategy that will belong to everyone and provide a focal point for networking, support, and inclusion across all our communities."

With its breathtaking landscapes serving as artistic inspiration, this council-coordinated project aims to demonstrate the county's appeal to all kinds of creative minds.

The council has been working with artists to provide access to funding and avenues for showcasing their talents, as part of the recent 'Creative Cluster' programme.

Free Press Series: Cllr Mary Ann Brocklesby welcomed guests

It is undeniable that the area is rich in varied art genres, ranging from woodcraft, jewellery making, painting, sculpture, to ceramics, dance, theatre, poetry, textile arts and more.

Encounters with such diverse arts provide both residents and visitors a fresh perspective on their communities, history, and place.

A crucial part of UK's economy, the creative industry remarkably contributes £84.1 billion annually.

Within this, Monmouthshire's creative artists play a substantial local and national role.

At the event, director of creative economy, Professor Sara Pepper, stressed that nearly 10 per cent of the nation's jobs were embedded in the creative economy.

The event also served as a platform for local artists to showcase their work for the first time.

Works by Patricia Statham Maginness, Gemma Williams, Mike Erskine, and Tiffany Murray were among those on display, with some artists setting up stalls presenting their creativity.

Going forward, the council aims to enhance its cultural strategy as part of the community and corporate plan commitments.

More details about the council's initiatives are available at: