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Accessible Arts Logo and three golden christmas bells

Welcome to our December 2015 newsletter.

This is our last newsletter for the year, and we are delighted to continue to bring you great news from the arts and disability sector. 

The Catalyst Dance Residency short-film, produced by Accessible Arts, was announced as one of 15 films selected by an in-house Committee at the United Nations, to be screened as part of its annual UN Enable Film Festival in New York. This was wonderful news to receive on International Day of People with Disability, that out of the 100 films submitted worldwide, the UN Enable Film Festival shared our film with the world.

International Day of People with Disability was more disability-led and inclusive than ever. Accessible Arts staff enjoyed activities across Sydney and its greater region. We enjoyed events at The Australia Council for the Arts, Grooveability, All the World is a Stage, No Offence But, Access All Areas Film Festival and Port Macquarie Hasting's Council.

The three live performances and streaming of Messiah performed at Sydney Opera House between 3 - 5 December was a tremendous success to all involved. If you missed it, you can still view it online at Youtube.

Lastly, Accessible Arts is advertising the position of Deaf Arts Officer as a current employment opportunity within the organisation. Please visit our website for full position description. We strongly encourage people with disability to apply.

Seasons greetings to you all, and we will be back in February 2016 with our first monthly newsletter.

arts activated conference Banner

Arts Activated 2016 Conference Dates Announced

We are excited to announce Arts Activated, 2016 will be held from 20 - 21 September at Carriageworks.

The conference provides a unique opportunity for artists and leaders from major cultural institutions, organisations, and arts workers to come together, share ideas and create stronger partnerships whilst being inspired by a diverse range of nationally and internationally recognised experts in the fields.

Arts Activated, 2016 ‘Pathways to Practice’, will explore the varied paths that artists with disability take in developing their practice during their career and how organisations are fostering pathways for artists and audiences with disability.

To keep up to date with conference news, including registration dates and calls for papers, please visit the Arts Activated website.

We look forward to seeing you in 2016.

banner with regional arts logos and faces of julie barratt with three other women

Accessible Arts 2015 Regional Wrap Up!

Over the past four years Regional Arts Development Manager Julie Barratt has established the regional initiatives of Creating Connections, Heading Out and Heading West. As funding for these projects has come to an end we say a very fond farewell to Julie for all the wonderful creative outcomes and connections that have resulted from her leadership and hard work. 

The last year in particular has been a very busy in Regional NSW with Julie implementing two new projects, Heading West and Heading Out.

Heading West was a region-to-region response to arts and disability development in Regional NSW.  The Heading West project has greatly increased arts and disability networks within the region through the organisation of a dedicated steering committee and a greater focus on the arts and disability in the region throughout 2015.

Heading Out was an exciting one-year strategic partnership in regional development between Accessible Arts and the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council on the NSW Mid-North Coast. Heading Out included three components – a public art project, a library literature project and a puppet project. The development and workshops, mentoring and creative components of these three projects culminated in a launch at the Port Macquarie library on IDPWD attended by over 60 people.

Going forward Accessible Arts will continue to engage with regional communities through all our projects and services. Please read the full regional wrap up article at the features section of our website.

Murmuration Dance Theatre logo and image of ensemble dancers

Murmuration 2016 Program Launch

Murmuration’s 2016 program is filled with a range of performing arts activities for both professional artists and the wider community. The year will kick off with the first stage development of their major work ‘Days Like These’, a multi-artform work engaging six performing artists, a digital media artist, sound designer and scenic artist. 

The weekly Murmur Dance and Theatre Workshops invite people with and without disability to participate in creative learning and exchange with professional artists. If you become a Murmur Member you have access to the year’s program at a discounted rate. At the heart of their programming is the desire to build a hub of inclusive creative activity. Their events are facilitated and led by professional arts practitioners with and without disability and provide insight into current arts practice and support exchange and dialogue between the general public and the artists. 

Whether you're a newborn, a parent, a grandparent, a student, a teacher or a professional artist they have something you can get involved in. Visit the Murmuration website for more information.

Donate to Accessible Arts 

Sancha Donald CEO 

Sancha Donald CEO Image

My final column for the year reflects on our productive year – and points a little to 2016.

We opened the year with ‘Heading Out’, a partnership with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, and ‘Heading West’ in partnership with Arts North West. Both projects produced outcomes beyond expectations. As these projects wind-up in December we say good-bye to Julie Barratt who has been with Accessible Arts for four years.

With funding from Lifetime Care we provided $198,000 in Small and Quick Response grants to not-for-profit arts and disability services/organisations and/or for groups or individual artists with disability living in NSW.

Please read Sancha's full CEO message by visiting the Accessible Arts website.

Grants Opening 2016

Grants Accessible Arts Logo

Accessible Arts is pleased to offer a second year of funding through its 2016 Small Grants Program.

Supported by Lifetime Care, the program consists of two opportunities for not-for-profit arts and disability services/organisations and/or for groups or individual artists with disability living in NSW. 

The Small Grant offers funds for projects at any stage of their creative development and/or public presentation, of amounts between $5,000 – $20,000 

The Quick Response Grant offers funding up to $5,000 for artist projects that demonstrate evidence of urgency, unforeseen or sudden opportunity.

More information and grant guidelines can be found on our website.    

Featured Artist

Artist Daniel Monks

Filmmaker Daniel Monks has really put himself out there to challenge society’s perception of people with disabilities.

With friend Stevie Cruz-Martin behind the camera, the 3-minute short film Marrow premiered online this week to mark the International Day of People with Disability.

Living with a disability himself, Daniel hopes his video can confront notions of desirability that dominate the mainstream.

“Disabled bodies are so often either deemed unattractive or asexual in our media culture, which idolises physical perfection and encourages us as individuals to pursue those ideals, especially within the gay community,” he points out.

“We felt showing a disabled body in this hyper-sexualised manner, with all its perceived imperfections on full display, was an almost revolutionary act, and one that we hope challenges audience’s preconceptions.”

sydney festival logo

Sydney Festival Access Program 2016 Book Now!

"We welcome all visitors to Sydney Festival events and make every effort to ensure the program is accessible to our whole audience." The 2016 Sydney Festival program again delivers concerts, opera, installations, theatre and dance to audiences with disability in multiple alternative formats. 

Visit the Festival Access and Inclusion webpage for full information about what's on this season.

image of the storm project logo

THE STORM: Creative Exchange

Octapod and Open Cage Ensemble present “The Storm”: a creative community arts residency at Nobbys Beach and surrounds on Wednesday's and Thursday's during the upcoming 2016 Summer School Holidays. Expect to find FREE interactive art installations, workshops and pop-up performances people of all ages, with and without disability, can enjoy. 

Proudly supported by Surf Life Saving NSW Community Inclusion Project, funded by the Department of Family and Community Services.

For more info please visit The Storm web page

arts development logo

Save the Date!

Accessible Arts will be hosting Caroline Bowditch as guest presenter and facilitator of a Creative Causeway gathering at Critical Path. Caroline is touring her show 'Falling in Love with Frida' to Australia in early 2016 in partnership with Outlandish Arts.

When: 9 March 2016 from 10am to 12:30pm

This is a free event to register your interest in attending email ktito@aarts.net.au

Featured | Arts + Disability Videos

Screenshot of Deaf Arts Officer Joanna Agius

As you know Jo Agius has been the inaugural Deaf Arts Officer for NSW over the past two years. Sadly Jo is leaving us to relocate to Melbourne. 

In the time that Jo has been in the role she has initiated and fostered a wonderful program of skills development, local cultural centre visits and partnerships that have provided increased opportunities for members of the Deaf and Hard of hearing community to be more involved in the arts. 

We thank her for her work and look forward to her continued contribution in the arts as a member of the Deaf community. For interest in the position of Deaf Arts Officer please see our employment section

Screenshot of Daniel Monks video Marrow

For this year’s IDPWD, emerging filmmaker hub Metro Screen teamed with Screen NSW and the Department of Family and Community Services to create #ScreenAbility, a commission of short video works for the web that challenge attitudes and common misconceptions around Disability.

Filmmaking teams were selected to develop and produce four very different shorts exploring the contemporary experience of living with disabilities in Australia that will challenge you and open your eyes. [click the image or this link to view the video]

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