Unlimited Impact are creating partnerships with venues and festivals of all shapes and sizes across the UK; forging ‘allies’ from Brighton to the Isle of Skye.
Through a combination of enterprise and sheer necessity the producers and programmers at these festivals are utilising unexpected and often unusual locations to showcase work; transforming a primary school, day care centre, mechanic’s garage or former metal factory into arts venues and workshop spaces. They are inviting audiences into areas often closed off to the ‘general public’, with huge imagination but often limited resources and budgets.
So what are the implications, for disabled artists and audiences at these site specific and temporary performances and installations? How should a festival, of any size, approach access?
We have been thinking a lot on this recently. Our partnership with Luminate, Scotland’s festival of creative ageing, begun back in 2014, when we supported Vital Exposure to tour Let Me Stay across the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. You can read more about this tour here.
Luminate and their partners at the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival (SMHAFF) work across a variety of venues during their annual festival(s) with run across the month of October. They wanted to create a guide, to share with their partners, which would help dispel the myth that access is an expensive add-on for mainstream arts venues with big budgets and large audiences.
Together we have created this Access Guide: Ensuring your venues and events are open to all – A Brief Access Guide
This is not an instruction manual and it will not give you all ‘the answers’. Instead we want to encourage and empower individuals to take access into their own hands within their organisations and communities and think more creativity around physical, intellectual and attitudinal barriers.
If you have any thoughts or comment we would love to hear from you, contact Fiona Slater via Fiona@Shapearts.org.uk