Blogs

Explore the experiences of artists and promoters from around the world.

Blogs:

NDACA: the story of one of the world's first disability arts archives

By: Joe Turnbull On:

In June 2018, Shape arts launched the National Disability Arts Collection and Archive (NDACA), one of the first of its kind in the world, which chronicles the heritage story of the UK’s Disability Arts Movement and catalogues key pieces from it for posterity. Joe Turnbull speaks to David Hevey, NDACA Project Director and CEO of Shape Arts about this landmark archive.
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Unlimited Symposium: what does the future hold for disability-led arts

By: Joe Turnbull On:

The Unlimited Symposium was organised by delivery partners Shape Arts and Artsadmin at London’s Unicorn Theatre 3-5 September, preceding Southbank Centre’s Unlimited Festival. The symposium brought together experts, artists, programmers, funders and other delegates from around the world to debate the current state and future of disability-led art. We hear from an organiser, a chair and two panellists from the symposium. 
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Meet Hijinx: the Welsh company exporting their academy model internationally

By: Joe Turnbull On:

Hijinx is a Welsh theatre company who always include learning disabled actors in their productions, run a number of ‘Hijinx Academies’ which develop learning-disabled talent and host the biennial Hijinx Unity Festival. Joe Turnbull speaks to Chief Executive Clare Williams about the company’s international work, including plans to export its academy model overseas.
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Dreaming of resting spaces, and making them happen

By: Trish Wheatley On:

Dreams of Resting Spaces: how one artist is changing the rules of public spaces and inviting cultural institutions to consider making their venues more accessible for people who need to lie down. Trish Wheatley speaks to UK artist, Raquel Meseguer.
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Country Profile: Ireland

By: Pádraig Naughton On:

In the latest of our series of country profiles, Pádraig Naughton, Director of Arts & Disability Ireland explores the history, development and current state of the arts and disability sector in Ireland.
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The vexed question of disability-specific festivals

By: Bella Todd On:

What are the pros and cons of festivals that exclusively feature disabled artists? As we head into festival season, Bella Todd considers the relative merits of disability-specific arts festivals, from the perspective of international artists, programmers and funders.
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A relaxed environment: welcoming autistic audiences to arts events

By: Kate Lovell On:

The etiquette of arts venues, theatres in particular, can present multiple barriers for audiences such as autistic people. Disabled journalist and theatre-maker Kate Lovell explores the growing trend of autism-friendly and relaxed performances, which aim to reduce some of these barriers and make the arts more accessible for everyone.
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My Music Ability: Inclusive Music Teaching

By: Melissa Bremmer On:

My Music Ability is a pilot project for inclusive music education at the music teacher training college of the Conservatory of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. In March 2018, it invited the UK’s Drake Music to be ‘artist-in-residence’ to help facilitate the project. Senior Lecturer of Music at the Conservatory, Melissa Bremmer reflects on the initiative.
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Outsider Art: beyond the label

By: Marc Steene On:

Director of Outside In, Marc Steene explores the term ‘Outsider Art’ in relation to disability in the month that sees the European Outsider Art Conference come to Chichester, UK. Outside In is a charity that provides a platform for artists that face barriers to the art world, whether due to disability, health, social circumstance or isolation. From 4-6 May the organisation hosts the annual European Outsider Art Conference.
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Aruna and the Raging Sun

By: Joe Turnbull On:

Aruna and the Raging Sun was a large scale outdoor performance which took place in Chennai, India in February 2018 to crowds of more than 6000. The project was an international collaboration between the UK’s Graeae Theatre Company, Spain’s La Fura dels Baus, Chennai-based Prakriti Foundation and a host of other local organisations including: Vidya Sagar, Krupa, Devasitham Charitable Foundation, Artspire, Wheelchair Basketball Federation of India and MGR Janaki College. Graeae’s Amit Sharma and representatives of some of the local partners reflect on the project.
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