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Accessible Arts thirty years anniversary logo

Welcome to our February 2017 Newsletter

Welcome to the February 2017 Accessible Arts newsletter.

Accessible Arts is pleased to present the latest in arts and disability news, with a state, national and international focus.

Keep up to date with international arts and disability news by signing up to the Disability Arts International digital newsletter. A complimentary website has also been developed and coordinated by the British Council, to promote increased access to the arts for artists with disability, and audiences around the globe.

In 2015, Sydney based Alison Richardson, received a Churchill Fellowship to travel abroad to explore disability led practices in theatre, and to investigate inclusive training and mentoring models in the UK. Alison recently published her report, which can be read online at Churchill Trust website. A big part of the Fellowship is to ensure that upon returning to Australia, the findings are disseminated widely. 

For readers interested in web technology, Google Chrome has taken a striking lead in popularity, but is this how people with disability view the browser? Media Access Australia’s Matthew Putland investigates, and you can read his findings in a recently published online article at the Access IQ website

Auslan Welcome

View Sofya Gollan's, Deaf Arts Officer, Auslan welcome to the newsletter. Click the image for the link or access it here.

Stay up-to-date with our Deaf Arts News by joining the Deaf Arts Facebook Group.

Meeting Place

Meeting Place is Arts Access Australia’s (AAA’s) flag ship event. It provides a national platform for learning, discussion and debate on issues impacting artists, arts workers and leaders with disability and those with an interest in the sector. In 2017, Meeting Place will be hosted in Perth, in partnership with DADAA and the Perth International Arts Festival on 2 March. Book online here.

Arts Activated 2016 Conference Video Highlights

screenshot of speakers on stage at Arts Activated conference

New Leadership for Accessible Arts

Many readers will already know that Sancha Donald, our long-standing CEO, will step down at the end of this month.

Sancha has provided distinguished service to Accessible Arts as CEO for the past for 12 years also has made a major contribution to the arts and disability sector. She has been a tireless advocate for artists with disability, particularly in relation to supporting such artists to achieve excellence in their practice, and for their work to reach the widest possible audience. We thank Sancha for her commitment, dedication and effectiveness, and for developing Accessible Arts into the organisation it is today.

We are currently looking carefully at the future direction of the organisation in response to major changes to funding models and have therefore decided to defer the appointment of a permanent CEO until later in the year.

In the interim, I am pleased to advise that Morwenna Collett will take the role of Interim CEO through this period of strategic development and change, on secondment from her position as the Manager, Project Controls and Risk, and Disability Champion, at the Australia Council. She is well known nationally in the arts and disability sector as a strategist, advocate and innovator.

We extend a warm welcome to Morwenna.

Sharman Pretty


Click here for the full message which can be read online at the Accessible Arts website.

From the CEO

headshot of sancha donald

As this is my last newsletter as CEO of Accessible Arts, I wish to acknowledge the artists and audience members with disability whose quality of work and aspirations to live a creative and cultural life, drives what is now the thriving arts and disability sector in NSW. 

Over the years there have been many memorable people, programs and projects that have advanced due to changes to policy, access and funding opportunities. 

I wish to thank the many people who have created change within their respective organisations, enabling the creative impact and contribution of people with disability to be a part of the rich arts tapestry of this state. 

And finally, I would like to acknowledge and thank all the Directors and staff, with whom I have had the pleasure to work. 

Exhibition Opening

image of text work from the late John Demos

Let's Talk About Text

Curated by Daniel Mudie Cunningham & Miriam Kelly ‘Let's Talk About Text’ presents works from the Artbank collection that harness text based communication as a pictorial device.

From sloganeering statements to vernacular fragments and found fonts, the exhibition includes work by 12+ artists including John Demos (above) and Eugenia Raskopoulos.

Join us to celebrate the opening!

Date: 16 March

Time: 6pm

Cost: Free

Where: Artbank, Unit 1, 198-222 Young Street, Waterloo, NSW 2017

More information can be found online at Art Month 2017 Sydney.

Donate to Accessible Arts 

Back to Back Theatre, Auslan interpreted

two men are in the centre of a black inflatable dome, one is standing the other is lying on the floor

Set inside a vast, awe-inspiring inflatable, LADY EATS APPLE is Back to Back Theatre’s new major work. Lady Eats Apple is a story about the inevitability of death, our fragility and the myths and illusions we create to fortify ourselves. Inarguably one of the world’s most important contemporary theatre companies working today, Back to Back Theatre charts new trails deeper into the landscape of the unconscious with their most epic work to date.

When: 16 - 18 March, 2017

Where: Carriageworks

Duration: 75mins no interval

Access: The performance of Lady Eats Apple on 17 March 8pm, along with The Q&A session will both be Auslan interpreted.

Please note: this performance contains adult themes. Headphones are supplied and will need to be worn throughout the performance.

Events and Opportunities | Submit to Accessible Arts What's On

Accessible Arts Small Grant Recipient

Image of the woman from the workshop at the Moree Plains Gallery painting at a table.

Arts NorthWest - Putting The Pieces Together was a 2016 Small Grant recipient in the New England North West. The grant delivered a hands-on community art project that fostered a strong and inclusive arts and cultural practice in the region.

Through a series of workshops and activities, participants used large blank puzzle pieces as a canvas to express their own artistic experience. This artistic collaboration has become a touring art installation of 20 cubes made from 80 individual puzzle pieces, representative of building blocks for an inclusive arts sector. 

The exhibition is touring to Tamworth at Ray Walsh House, open now until the first week of March; Armidale at Hannas Arcade, opening 18 March until the 28 March; and Moree at Moree Plains Gallery, opening 7 April until the 17 April.

More information on this project can be found online at the Arts Northwest website.

Featured arts + disability video

screenshot of a young man in a red shirt wearing headphones playing a grand piano

Club Weld and The Riff Society Project

Club Weld offers a variety of music programs for people on the autism spectrum to participate in Western Sydney.

A melting pot of sounds, beats, music and people, Club Weld is a place where diversity is embraced and emerging talents shine through.  In this video we hear about the The Riff Society Project, a 2016 Small Grant initiative.

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