A young woman is looking off-camera to the left. She has a face-painting of a smiling sun streaming its rays of light in orange and yellow.

Who’s who: Sarah – Unlimited Trainee 2018

Ahead of her traineeship, the newest member of the Unlimited team introduces herself and tells us about the journey that brought her here.

Hi, I’m Sarah and I’ll be taking over from the wonderful Sonny as Artsadmin’s new Unlimited Trainee. I’m overjoyed at getting to join this organisation that has serious real-world impact on disability rights whilst also having its own quirky character and charm; one of the surreal highlights of my first week was the office ‘apple party’ in which apples were consumed in every possible recipe and permutation due to a huge surplus left over from a fruit-based live-art piece at Toynbee Studios. Wasn’t in the job description, but I’m not complaining!

My journey here has been a little strange; a longterm fan and participant of the arts, specifically coming from a literature and songwriting background, I graduated with an English Literature degree and was all poised to start my dream-career in the sector!… before, that is, I succumbed to a chronic illness for years. It was a stumbling block to say the least. Things are getting better now, but if there’s anything I’ve learned from this experience, it’s how totally essential the arts are for combatting the isolation and/or invisibility that can come with being disabled. Following the inspirational careers of disabled artists, sharing my songs and poems with friends/collaborators, this was invaluable in maintaining my sense of being a participant in the world even if I was stuck in my bedroom. With this in mind, I am intent now on elevating the work of ambitious and innovative disabled creators, who definitively prove that art is for us too; that disabled talent should be nurtured, fulfilled, and most importantly, seen, felt, heard.

It’s early days yet, but working at Unlimited is incredibly exciting for me because of the opportunity it presents to live up to my mission-statement. I’m most looking forward to becoming a Key Contact for artists once the Unlimited shortlist is announced, but also for potentially discovering skills that I hadn’t previously known were up my street. I have unexpectedly been enjoying the social media aspect of the role and having a think about things like brand identity and the nuances of audiodescription. So here’s to a year of supporting disabled artists, hopefully with plenty more random fruit-based interludes to come!