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An open invitation 
to join a network
to radically change 
approaches to access 
in arts and culture.

Creative methodologies 
to improve access

As a neurodivergent producer working in publicly funded art organisations across the UK, I have dedicated my practice and research to developing avenues that accelerate cultural change by rethinking the ways we approach access for individuals with differing abilities in the arts and cultural organisations. This encompasses staff, participants, and exhibition visitors. My practice focuses on developing creative methodologies that move beyond fulfilling minimum requirements, focusing instead on valuing wider access and the individual experience.

My approach aims to move towards an industry that understands the potential of creative approaches, with a core focus on people with disabilities, can provide experiences enriched by individual differences that are valuable for all.

 

Working with and interviewing people with different abilities across the sector (advice-giving individuals and organisations, publicly funded arts organisations, audiences, practitioners, and individuals that are and identify as disabled) I concluded that in order to embed access we need to develop creative methodologies that approach the development of arts and cultural projects from anti-ableist perspectives right from the stage of artwork production. 

I aim to:

...build a growing inclusive leadership network of individuals willing to knowledge share 

 

…demonstrate that accessible programming and production doesn’t become

unachievable at the first hurdle but rather begins when time is taken to critically assess, creatively ideate, and knowledge share to ensure creative

provisions that demonstrate care.

 

Join my network. Connect. 

Artwork  Production

Access Consulting 

 Writing   Speaking Arrangements

Curation    Access Research  

Creative Solutions to Access

MA Arts and Cultural Enterprise, Dissertation, Published 8 December 2022.

Can Band 1 and 2 Arts Council England funded visual arts organisations in the National Portfolio employ creative methodologies to better provide accessible contents and programmes?

This paper seeks to answer whether Band 1 and 2 Arts Council England (ACE) funded visual arts organisations in the National Portfolio can employ creative methodologies to better provide accessible contents and programmes, through exploring the motivations, challenges and limitations of these organisations. This research is grounded in ACE’s ‘Let’s Create’ Strategy (2020) which prioritises a shift towards inclusive practices as evidenced by their Creative Case for Diversity established in 2011, which as a public body responsible for the majority of public arts funding in England, has huge influence over the behaviours, ambitions and direction of the organisations they fund. As an institutional critique of the structures of National Portfolio Organisations (NPO), and of ACE itself, this research aims to investigate the structures, ideologies and attitudes that we as society consider accessible and the challenges organisations face in trying to meet these varied and multiple demands. In doing so it poses the hypothesis of considering alternative methods in the form of creative methodologies as a possible solution to organisational hurdles.

The qualitative data for this project was collected through conversations in the form of structured and semi-structured interviews with 14 NPO’s and four expert organisations and individuals.

 

With the rise in attention given to inclusive movements in society currently (such as Black Lives Matter, the disabled people’s movement, and trans, asexual and people of colour in the LGBT community), there is a fear of doing wrong or not being sufficiently inclusive which in turn paralyses organisations into inactivity. By analysing the challenges and difficulties organisations face, this study establishes the viability of creative methodologies for organisations with limited time, budget and resources encouraging organisations to find creative ways to maximise their inclusive practices, meet ACE funding requirements and provide accessible arts and culture to a broad public audience. Other findings include the need for attitudinal shifts, knowledge sharing amongst organisations with similar goals, the involvement of people with disabilities in the creation of provisions, the redefining of ability and taken-for-granted understandings of access, and the integration of access in the creative process.

 

This paper also argues for further research into alternative methodologies to provide access that place less strain on organisations’ resources and abolishes the emphasis on segregated provisions in favour of valuing differing abilities.

This study acts as an open invitation for ACE funded visual arts organisations in the National Portfolio to use their practice to their strength and to think creatively about new methodologies for access provisions.

Selected Research  

BA Culture Criticism and Curation, Final Project, Published June 2018

A mobile application for museums and galleries: ARTXSENSE - Virtual Synesthesia 

ARTXSENSE is an app that revalues seeing offering an equally emotional, creative and knowledgeable experiences for everyone, regardless of their artistic knowledge, ability or disability bringing freedom of thought, movement and understanding to the forefront of arts and culture. Grounded in disability theories such as the social model of disability ARTXSENSE revalues sight as the primary method of experiencing in arts and cultural environments through the creation of an experience accessible to all that allows cultural experiences to be relayed through translation into the other four senses. In synesthetic nature, the app transforms cultural experiences by devaluing sight as the primary vessel of understanding diversifying the intake of a works perception. Developed to be fully accessible to people with visual impairments ARTXSENSE allows its users to enter a world of new perceptions and insights available at the tip of their fingers and the crack of their vocal chords. Through orientation, navigation, emotion and knowledge ARTXSENSE provides context, and emotional and artistic insights...

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