The NSW Arts and Disability Partnership
Achievements from June 2012
In 2012 the NSW Government announced funding of $1.5 million over two years for a NSW Arts and Disability Partnership.
Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC) in the NSW Department of Family and Community Services and Arts NSW in the NSW Department of Trade and Investment formed the partnership to deliver programs that increase the inclusion of people with disability in arts and cultural activities and support the creative practice of NSW artists with disability.
The partnership is funded under ADHC’s Stronger Together Two disability service plan and is part of the NSW Government’s commitment to the National Disability Strategy (NDS). In particular, it delivers results in Outcome Area One of the NDS:
Providing inclusive and accessible communities
The partnership has provided funding for 55 projects and programs that:
- Increase opportunities for people with a disability to participate in arts and cultural activities.
- Support creative practice for people with a disability.
- Strengthen professional networks in the arts and disability sectors and collaborative partnerships.
- Support the development of excellence in arts and disability projects and programs.
- Identify employment opportunities for people with a disability in the arts and cultural sector.
This site showcases the results of the partnership.
As you navigate through this site you will find:
- Examples of professional arts projects in all art forms.
- Information on project partners.
- Case studies.
- Links to websites and videos about some of the projects.
Information on more of the projects and programs funded under the partnership will be added to this site in the second half of 2015.
Increase participation in arts and cultural activities
The NSW Arts and Disability Partnership has funded 27 professional arts projects involving people with disability, including 10 in regional NSW: Bega, Eurobodalla, Wollongong (3), Wagga Wagga, Central West (Bathurst/Lithgow/Orange), Lismore, Newcastle, Richmond/Tweed.
Support creative practice for people with disability within the arts and cultural sector
The NSW Arts and Disability Partnership funded Amplify your art, a program of professional development grants for NSW artists with disability. 12 NSW artists with disability undertook professional development and mentoring in 2013 and 13 are undertaking professional development and mentoring in 2014.
Strengthening professional networks within the sector
The NSW Arts and Disability Partnership is working to strengthen the professional networks in the arts and disability sectors and collaborative partnerships.
Regional Arts NSW and Regional Arts Development Officers delivered 11 regional Access All Areas workshops in November and December 2012. The workshops encouraged networks in the arts and disability sectors and partnerships between the sectors.
Many of the professional arts projects involve collaborations and partnerships between the professional arts and disability sectors in NSW. Examples include:
Sweet Dreams – Arts OutWest, Orange Regional Conservatorium, Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre, Wangarang Disability Services, LINC
My Radio Heart – NORPA, Wilson Park Public School, Urban Theatre Projects
Sunnyfield Unbard two performances at PACT Theatre Erskineville 14 to 15 November 2012.
Support the development of excellence within arts and disability projects and programs
The NSW Arts and Disability Partnership supported works created by NSW artists with disability in conjunction with professional arts and disability organisations, that demonstrate and foster an appreciation of the artistic achievements of people with disability.
Identify employment opportunities within the arts and cultural sector
As part of the NSW Arts and Disability Partnership, the Australian Network on Disability (AND) developed IDEA – Inspiring Disability Employment in the Arts.
AND worked with all of the state cultural institutions and nine state significant arts organisations (major performing arts, visual arts and major festivals) to develop information and resources on employment and work experience opportunities for people with disability.
Workshops were hosted by the Sydney Opera House and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
NSW Trade & Investment has become a member of the Australian Network on Disability, joining a network of public sector and private sector employers building capacity to employ and retain staff with disability and do business with people with disability.
The UTS research study
The projects funded under the NSW Arts and Disability Partnership are building a body of information/best practice examples on arts and disability programs, including the “supported studio” model.
The partnership has funded a two-year research project by the University of Technology, Sydney into the impacts of the partnership on the participants with disability and the participating organisations.
The UTS research study aims to determine the effects on:
- The social well being and/or social capital of participants with a disability and in particular on their networks. This will include the extent to which participants’ sense of social inclusion may have increased.
- The level of systemic and cultural change in the participating organisations that promote social inclusion for people with a disability.
UTS has interviewed participants and organisations from all 2012-13 projects and is developing case studies on six of the projects. The research study will be part of the evaluation of the partnership, will add to research as the National Disability Insurance Scheme rolls out and will be a resource for organisations providing programs involving people with disability.
Regional Arts NSW presented on its Access All Areas regional workshops at the National Arts and Health Conference held in Fremantle WA in November 2012 and screened the video it created for Access All Areas. The video will continue to be a useful resource for managers and organisers of arts and disability projects.
Eastern Riverina Arts “8 Artists” exhibition
8 Artists received funding from the NSW Arts and Disability partnership as part of a bigger and impressive regional visual arts project involving artists with disability and professional artists.
The objectives of the exhibition phase were:
- Visibility of an inclusive art making environment.
- Visibility of artists working equally on creating professional, major public outcomes.
- Two creative communities opening up a dialogue of exchange.
- A progressive model of working within the disability/arts sector.
- Meaningful collaborations that are mutually agreed.
- Professional development skills for emerging artists in presenting an exhibition.
- Audience development across two existing creative communities.
- A beautiful and interesting exhibition.
A website documents the process of 8 Artists from start to finish (www.8artists.net)
The 8 Artists project has been a highly rewarding and beneficial experience for Wagga Wagga Art Gallery. The Gallery has been able to strengthen its working relationships with the project’s partners, as well as further developing relationships with other key stakeholders in the arts and disability community sector within the Riverina and across the state. Visitor numbers to this exhibition were higher than average for this period, and comments received from the public indicated a warm response and a high level of appreciation for both the skill and effort of the artists, and for the Gallery’s support for this unique collaborative model of engagement with artists with and without disability.
“The 8 Artists project provided a broader systemic outcome for emerging artists with a disability. Their inclusion through the medium of arts is an essential part of the citizenship and human rights journey that people with a disability are on to be included in their communities as valued, participating and contributing members. The success on a number of fronts of the 8 Artists project, both personally for the emerging artists, and in promoting inclusion of people with a disability, clearly shows that it is a project worth repeating.” Steve Jacques, CEO of Kurrajong Waratah.
Some direct outcomes from the project include the following:
Kurrajong Waratah’s yearly exhibition, Art to Crow About was held in the main gallery space of the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery; Jacqui Meyers was an ambassador for the Don’t Dis My Ability Campaign 2013; Angela Coombs Matthews is teaching a short course of training modules at Riverina Community College in Wagga Wagga to artists with disability on how to set up and run a studio; the exhibition was shortlisted for the Museum and Galleries Imagine Awards 2013; the project has started the conversation about establishing a Support Studio in Wagga Wagga.
This project has directly benefited Eastern Riverina Arts in the development of an Ethical Framework including:
- Representation of the artist and their work.
- Mutually agreed outcomes between the artists.
- Plain English documents and contracts.
- Time allowed for signing and returning documents.
- Acknowledgement of authorship and intellectual property.
- Acknowledgement of relationships with carers and support staff.
This document will be adapted and put into practice in all future relationships the organisation has with any artist.
Projects and collaborations beyond the partnership
A number of the projects and programs funded under the NSW Arts and Disability Partnership have developed professional arts practice and collaborations beyond the partnership.
The Studio ARTISTS Collective and individual artists have expanded their network of social and creative relationships. Genuine and sustained relationships have developed between the professional artists facilitating workshops, and the Studio ARTISTS participating. That the mentors and participants shared genuine creative interests and a drive to develop their practice, made it easy for strong connections to develop between the two parties. Brook Morgan, one of the mentors, and Studio ARTIST Adam Mandarano continue to update one another about their latest creative pursuits. Studio ARTIST Greg Sindel and comic artist/mentor Leigh Rigozzi have begun undertaking creative collaborations independent of the Studio ARTISTS Program.
Five artists from the collective experimented with different forms of storytelling with creative mentors, through the Paper to Puppetry project.
In November 2013, an exhibition at Gaffa Gallery in Sydney showcased the first stage of multi-media works by Studio ARTISTS Mathew Calandra, Nadia Lolas, Skye Saxon, Greg Sindel and Robert ‘Thom’ Smith, with puppetry and performance company Erth Physical and Visual, digital storytellers CuriousWorks, independent artist Alison Clouston and graphic novelist Leigh Rigozzi.
The project was supported by a grant from Arts NSW’s 2013 Arts Funding Program and a Pozible campaign by Erth. As part of the project, Erth hosted an intensive week of puppets, projection and music making at CarriageWorks.