A new space is being made for neurodivergent creatives in South Wales

A local producer is hosting a space for neurodivergent creatives to build solidarity and support those within the industry.

Neurodivergent creatives in Cardiff are being given a space to perform their talents thanks to an innovative new project. 

A local collaborative space called Creative Cardiff is teaming up with producer Tom Bevan to host a monthly workshop, DIVERGE, that is designed for neurodivergent creatives.

The DIVERGE workshops will offer networking opportunities and mentoring programs, which the organizer, Tom Bevan, hopes will help foster a supportive creative community.  

“I want the space to support neurodivergent creatives, from different creative backgrounds, to feel part of a community and to equip us all with a space to work, and a space to make new contacts and hear new ideas,” said Bevan.

A headshot of Cardiff producer Tom Bevan, (Provided by tombevancreative.com)

Bevan is a freelance theater and live events producer that’s based in Cardiff. As someone who was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia during undergrad, he sought to create a regular space for neurodivergent creatives to come together in a neurotypical world.

Working in the industry pushed Bevan to develop a lot of strategies to help himself at work, especially when working remotely.

“It can be very lonely being a ‘neuro-spicy’ in a neurotypical world while working! Because of this, I wanted to create a regular space for neurodivergent creatives to come together, and build solidarity,” said Bevan

People can come to the workshop knowing they are joining a non-judgemental, friendly environment with fellow ‘neuro-spicy’ people.  Bevan usually suggests timetables during the sessions that include a mix of networking and co-working time.

“I am also completely open to new ideas for the days and ask for feedback after each session,” said Bevan.

‘DIVERGE’ workshop participants are able to collaborate with each other for the session and share ideas that relate to the creative industry

The workshop was hosted on November 28th and will repeat each month until summer 2024. Sessions offer cake, tea, coffee, and a separate breakout space that is available for creatives to network.

Neurodivergent creatives from different creative backgrounds are welcome to feel part of the workshop. Bevan envisions the space as a tool that will help equip those who wish to make new contacts and hear new ideas

Besides DIVERGE, Creative Cardiff the center also hosts other bi-annual festive socials and networking events for local creatives. Their free-to-attend ‘Creative Cuppa’ networking events – feature a 20-minute ‘Ted’-style talk on a theme, followed by informal networking with a hot drink and cake.  

Creative Cardiff’s ‘Creative Cuppa’ event happen every month during the summer for local creatives and are free of charge

Creative Cardiff is part of Cardiff University’s Centre for the Creative Economy. The Centre was founded in 2014 by Justin Lewis and Ian Hargreaves to address the lack of joined-up activity and connection in the creative industries across the city.

Hosting initiatives like the DIVERGE workshops bring on a new future for neurodivergent creatives. Bevan and Creative Cardiff both aim to deliver a vision of a collaborative and inclusive environment.

Bevan will host the days for the workshop at Tramshed Tech in Grangetown, and they are structured to include some networking, a lunch break that includes a micro-talk and Q+A from a fellow neurodivergent creative, and time for peer mentoring and ideas development.

“DIVERGE provides a space for neurodivergent creatives to get together, share their experiences, and build solidarity, support, and collaborations,” said Carys Bradley-Roberts, who is the communications manager for Creative Cardiff. “We aim to deliver a vision of Cardiff as a connected, collaborative, and inclusive capital of creativity.”