About Disability Arts International
Disability Arts International is a website and regular digital newsletter developed and coordinated by the British Council, the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. See our Editorial Policy here.
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DisabilityArtsInternational.org aims to promote the work of the unique generation of excellent disabled artists, disabled-led companies and inclusive arts organisations. The website aims to share the ways arts organisations are increasing access to the arts for disabled people as audiences and visitors. DisabilityArtsInternational.org also seeks to explore and contrast different cultural policy and funding environments.
We know that many artists do not wish for their work only to be seen in one narrow context, but we also know there is a generation of artists exploring their relationship with disability, and using this exploration to challenge and transform the artistic mainstream.
Diversity is one of the creative opportunities of our time.
DisabilityArtsInternational.org was created in 2013 by the British Council as part of a European Union Culture Programme-supported project, Unlimited Access.
In 2018, the website became part of Europe Beyond Access, a 7-partner European collaboration supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. DisabilityArtsInternational.org is coordinated and commissioned by the British Council. It is delivered in partnership with our digital partner organisation, Disability Arts Online, a UK-based charity which supports disabled artists and the sector through critique, talent development, consultancy, partnerships, plus a news and listings service.
Disability Arts International aims to be a resource for cultural professionals, cultural organisations and cultural policymakers. We aim to explore and share best practice around accessibility to the arts and to showcase the work of disabled artists and inclusive companies working at an international level. We share this content in our digital newsletter, which goes out every two months to around 2,000 professionals from around the world.
We don’t accept advertisers, and we remain a free resource for the global community of arts professionals pushing for change.
When it comes to projects and artistic work by disabled artists we are only interested in professional work, not ‘outreach,’ ‘community’ or ‘participatory’ work. We know this work is hugely valuable, but we have chosen to focus on professional quality, finished works of art, ready for an international audience. On rare occasions, we will explore participatory work which is led by a disabled artist as part of that artist’s practice, and even in that case, only if the approach is new, innovative or unusual in some way. We do not review work. We generally cannot attend events, unless they are multi-country partnerships or internationally significant.
We are actively looking for examples of projects, artists, and practices outside of Europe, the US and Australia.
Our regular features include:
Best practice case studies: an in-depth look at a particular organisation or project that is doing innovative work on access or with disabled artists. We regularly commission journalists to carry these out, but they can also be written from the perspective of someone in the organisation. If you would like to suggest an organisation or put yourself forward, please get in touch.
Country profiles: broad overviews of a country’s disability arts sector and its provision for disabled audiences, including key organisations, artists and funding bodies. We commission journalists or local experts to write these. If you would like to suggest a country with key contacts, or put yourself forward as a local expert for your country, please get in touch.
Collaborations: these are features on some of the major international collaboration projects, which involve multiple partner organisations, such as Europe Beyond Access, iDance, Moving Beyond Inclusion, Crossing the Line etc. They will often include multiple pieces of content, including films and resources created by the projects, along with basic information on the aims and partners and often interviews with project leads. If you are involved in a large international collaboration project, please get in touch.
Toolkits: practical information or guidance which is useful for improving access for disabled artists or audiences. We have limited capacity to produce these, but do share existing toolkits, so please get in touch if you would like us to host your resource.
Opinion: we regularly commission articles from industry experts, artists and thought leaders on topics around accessibility and disabled artists with international importance or scope. This could include reflections on major international events, festivals and conferences, new initiatives or innovative new approaches. The focus of these articles is always on sharing the learning, rather than promoting a specific event or artist. We are happy to receive suggestions.
Films: occasionally we commission films which explore innovation in the sector, including conversations with artists, investigations into new initiatives and best practice. These are normally co-commissioned with an organisation or major international project. We are open to co-commission opportunities.
Best of the net: a regular item in our newsletter sharing an interesting existing piece of content relating to accessibility or disabled artists.
We will consider unsolicited content, ideas and pitches which fits with our editorial policy and aligns with our regular content. We need at least 8 weeks’ notice to consider content for our newsletter. We have a small commissioning budget, out of which, we will consider paying journalists, freelancers or individual practitioners to produce material for us, but we are unlikely to pay professionals employed by organisations where the content relates directly to their organisation.
If you would like us to consider your existing content/resource, or have an idea for an original piece of content, please send a 100-200-word summary to email@example.com