The Bread & Roses Award 2021 launched in January of this year and ran until 31st March. It was sponsored by the Communication Workers' Union and supported by the Musicians' Union. We titled the 2021 Award ‘Voices from a Pandemic’ as we at Culture Matters, CWU and MU felt that we wanted to be able to link the importance of culture with health, economic and personal crisis. And culture offers so many of us sanctuary in times of worry and the ability to express ourselves.
We received a staggering 150 entries, and the award and the quality of the submissions was astounding. A combination of spoken word and song, young and old, solo and bands and even choir collaborations that had been recorded over zoom during lockdown. If you ask any musician this is not an easy task.
The judges had an extremely difficult time selecting the winners – however, we eventually came to a unanimous decision on the five winners of the Award out of 40 that we shortlisted. The shortlisted entrants have been asked to feature alongside the winners on a ‘Voices from the pandemic’ CD which will be available to purchase later in the summer.
'We Won't Forget': Ify Iwobi (ft Black History Wales Artists) Official NHS Tribute VHS
I Am Not Viable by Karl Bevis March 2021
Lockdown Jokes and Stories – Robb Johnson
Always Connecting – Sarah Atter
Thanks very much to everyone for their contributions. We hope you enjoyed writing and making music as much as we enjoyed listening to your songs and spoken word pieces.
Mollie Brown is an activist, student and mother, and an Associate Editor of Culture Matters.