Past Newsletters

Disability Arts International sends out a newsletter every 6-8 weeks (sign up here) with exclusive content about disabled artists and inclusive companies making excellent work across the world, innovations in access and links to some of the most interesting, relevant things happening around the web. On this page, you’ll find an archive of our past newsletters with links to view browser-friendly versions of each issue.

Newsletter #6 May 2017: Institutional Change

Newsletter 6 screengrabIn this newsletter we look at different ways in which 'mainstream' organisations are changing their institutional culture to be more inclusive.

Content includes:

  • Film: Ramps on the Moon - this film looks at how a consortium of 6 regional theatres, with the support of disabled-led Graeae are seeking to effect institutional change and make themselves and the industry more inclusive.
  • Bella Todd reports on the IntegrART symposium in Zurich, reflecting on the differences in approach in Switzerland and the UK.
  • Artist Benedict Phillip's delivers an uncoventional view of the DisArt Festival, Michigan in a photostory detailing his experience of attending and presenting there.
  • ShareMusic's Chief Executive and Artistic Director, Sophia Alexandersson shares learning from her organisation's 14 years of work.
  • Film: Tate Modern's Director Frances Morris on the importance of embracing diversity in museums and galleries.
  • Best of the net: Miranda and Caliban - can you Skype a Shakespeare performance? A British Council film about the innovative live-linked performance which reimagines Shakespare's The Tempest.
  • Featured company profile: CiM Dance Company, who this year celebrate their 10th anniversary.

Newsletter #5 March 2017: Disability and Aesthetics

Newsletter #5 ScreengrabIn this newsletter we look at the unique aesthetic of the work of some disabled artists, and how this is influencing wider arts practice.

Content includes:

  • Film: Artists in Conversation: Liz Carr. Liz talks about her glitzy 'TED talk with showtunes' Assisted Suicide the Musical.
  • Arts journalist Bella Todd delivers a trio of articles about Crossing the Line, a collaboration between three of Europe's leading learning disability theatre companies
  • Film: In Conversation with John McGrath. Manchester International Festival's Artistic Director talks about the disabled artists who have influenced both his own ways of working and the wider arts ecology.
  • Oska Bright goes to Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival. The Oska Bright team reflect on their recent trip to one of the most prominent international short film festivals.
  • Best of the net: The House of Bernarda Alba. Links to a package of content around Graeae Theatre Company and Royal Exchange Theatre's co-production of Lorca's classic text.
  • The Aesthetics of Access in disability theatre and performance. Arts and equalities journalist Paul F Cockburn talks to Jenny Sealey of Graeae and Birds of Paradise's Garry Robson about the creative use of access features.
  • Featured profile: Swiss integrated dance company, BewegGrund.

Newsletter #4 January 2017: Embedding disabled artists in mainstream settings

Newsletter 4 screengrabIn this newsletter we look at the ways in which disabled artists are working outside of a disability context, and at some of the different methods for embedding disabled artists in ‘mainstream’ venues, festivals and other cultural institutions.

Content includes:

  • Film: Artists in Conversation - Oliver MacDonald discusses his upcoming residency at Turner Contemporary.
  • Agents for Change: embedding disabled artists in organisations can transform programming and access.
  • Interview with Director of BALTIC, Sarah Munro about how the organisations she has worked at have successfully supported disabled artists.
  • Best of the net: trailer for Stopgap Dance Company's The Enormous Room.
  • Film: Jess Thom aka Touretteshero talks to Niamh Ní Chonchubhair, programmer at axis: Ballymun about ‘Backstage in Biscuit Land’, the importance of presenting high quality arts and disability work on our stages, and improving access to theatre. Commissioned by Arts & Disability Ireland.
  • Best of the net: IETM publishes “Other abilities, evolving aesthetics” report.
  • Featured company profile: Joe Jack et John.
  • Special newsletter item about the final instalment of Candoco Dance Company's 25th anniversary celebrations.

Newsletter #3 November 2016: Unlimited and international collaborations 

In this newsletter, we look back at the Unlimited festivals and explore a number of other exciting international collaborations.

Newsletter #3 screengrabContent includes:

  • Disability Arts Online’s highlights from the Unlimited festivals in September 2016.
  • Head of Public Programmes at Tate Modern, Marcus Dickey Horley explores the access features at the revamped Tate Modern.
  • Best of the net: An interview with internationally acclaimed Malian musical duo Amadou and Mariam in Bido Lito magazine.
  • Royal Ontario Museum’s Cheryl Blackman gives an international delegate’s perspective on the Unlimited festivals.
  • Birds of Paradise’s co-Artistic Director Robert Softley Gale talks about the company’s reimagining of the character of Caliban from Shakespeare’s the Tempest through a disability lens, in their new live-linked performance taking place simultaneously in Scotland and Hong Kong.
  • Melanie Sharpe, the CEO of captioning specialists Stagetext explains some of the innovations in live captioning and subtitles which have happened in recent years.
  • Colin Hambrook, Editor of Disability Arts Online curates a list of artists featured on Disability Arts International who have consistently pushed the boundaries of their respective artforms.
  • Best of the net: a short film explaining what relaxed performances can do for audiences through a training project involving British Council’s Canada office, the Harbourfront and the UK’s Include Arts.
  • Best of the net: Musing on Culture’s Maria Vlachou questions whether we need disability-specific festivals in response to Unlimited at Southbank Centre and Tramway.

Issue #2 September 2016: Adventures in Accessible Technology

In this second newsletter, we look at the innovative use of technology to create accessible routes to artistic creation and audience experiences.

Newsletter #2 screengrabContent includes:

  • A specially commissioned film following three disabled artists who are working at the bleeding edge of new accessible music technology (AMT).
  • Ian Ritchie reflects on The Inclusive Creativity symposium in Gothenberg and developments in accessible instruments and inclusive ensembles.
  • CEO of Drake Music, Carien Meijer gives an insight into how they are helping disabled musicians to lead developments in Accessible Music Technology, creating new artistic possibilities for all.
  • Pádraig Naughton, Director, Arts & Disability Ireland tells the story of Ignite an ambitious commissioning programme.
  • DaDaFest’s Artistic Director Ruth Gould reflects on some of the artists the festival has collaborated with an looks forward to the festival in November.
  • Best of the net: Sheila Hill’s arresting R&D Unlimited commissioned film, Him explores ageing with renowned Deaf actor, Tim Barlow.
  • Trish Wheatley blogs about the upcoming disability arts festival season.
  • Access to the Arts: A film exploring some of the projects from the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts that researched how technology can break down barriers to accessing the arts.
  • Access to arts: A link to sign up and purchase captioned versions of theatre performances produced by Stagetext.

Newsletter #1 July 2016: Disabled Leadership in the Arts

In this first newsletter, we look at disabled leadership in the arts, and how the arts are being transformed by disabled artists pushing the boundaries of content and form.

Newsletter #1Content includes:

  • A newly commissioned film exploring how disabled choreographers and dancers are pushing the form and aesthetic of the contemporary dance.
  • Chris Pavia explains how with the help of Stopgap Dance Company he has fulfilled his lifelong ambition to be a choreographer.
  • Lisette Router reflects on the Europe-wide Un-Label project which is offering training to performing artists.
  • Janice Parker writes about her recent workshopping in Barcelona, commenting on how disabled choreographers can break convention and invent new modes of expression.
  • Ben Evans explains the purpose of the new newsletter and the revamped Disability Arts International website.
  • Access to the Arts: A link to the The Outdoor Arts Toolkit, an online publication about how to improve accessibility developed by ISAN (Independent Street Arts Network) and Attitude is Everything.
  • Senior Unlimited (administered by Shape and Artsadmin) producer Jo Verrent shares details of upcoming opportunities for disabled artists across the globe and curates a list of artist profiles.