Tackling diversity in children's arts: what we've learned in a year

A man in a wheelchair performing for a group of young children
18 Jul 2019

Tara Lopez identifies three key themes that have emerged so far from the four-year Vital Spark initiative.

'They let us pick any artist in the world': the freedom to create relatable theatre

Photo of Japanese artists Chim↑Pom
18 Jul 2019

The Contact Young Curators programme gave Wez Thistlethwaite the opportunity to re-engage his creative muscles by co-curating a world premiere at this year’s Manchester International Festival.

Austerity is undermining children’s access to culture, finds research

A photo of a boy holding a tablet
12 Jul 2019

An LSE researcher said children’s development is being thwarted by Government policy, but argued the situation could be improved if recent welfare cuts were reversed.

Call for orchestras to act on disability

Photo of James Rose
09 Jul 2019

A report says “radical, bold action and a sense of collective responsibility” are needed to transform inclusion practices in the arts sector.

Tristram Hunt ‘not interested’ in V&A prayer room

A photo of a gallery at the Victoria and Albert Museum
27 Jun 2019

The V&A Director is unconvinced by arguments for a dedicated prayer room in V&A East.

Southbank Creative Director warns of 'cultural apartheid' risk

Photo of Madani Younis
26 Jun 2019

Madani Younis said "institutions that have historically not given a shit are saying 'we’re going to start caring'", but called for a faster pace of change.

Experimental instrument lab re-launched

Photo of John Kelly
13 Jun 2019

A new partnership hopes to bring disabled and non-disabled musicians together to create accessible instruments and remove barriers to participation.

Cultural attractions still fall short on accessibility, finds report

A photo of visitors in an art gallery, including a wheelchair user
31 May 2019

Only one in four of the top 100 venues are considered to be more than 90% accessible.

Wheelchair users barred from online bookings

A photo of an empty theatre auditorium
24 May 2019

New research finds only 4% of bookings that included wheelchair access needs were made online, compared to 60% of all transactions.

Making the impossible possible

A photo of an Open Arts performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream
23 May 2019

Last month, weekly arts group participants with sensory impairments, physical disabilities and mental illnesses came together to perform an adapted Shakespeare play in Belfast. Eileen Branagh explains the process of creative collaboration that allowed the cast to realise their ambitions.

Musicians 'fobbed off' on access requests

Lizzie Emeh
10 May 2019

Fear of negative reactions is deterring Deaf and disabled musicians from mentioning their access needs when talking to promoters, venues or festivals about performing opportunities.

Arts Council calls in Plain English Campaign

A light bulb in front a a blackboard with thought bubble drawings
03 May 2019

The campaigning group which challenges “gobbledygook, jargon and misleading public information” has been brought in to help stamp out meaningless and inaccessible language. 

The arts in a backpack

Photo of a blue backpack
23 Apr 2019

An Action for Children’s Arts study recommends that every child at primary school should have five quality arts experiences in the school year. Chris Jarvis explains how the Arts Backpack project is working to make this a reality.

My gurus - Nick Anderson

The Sick of the Fringe image
17 Apr 2019

Nick Anderson, Programme Producer at The Sick of the Fringe, looks back on the people who have inspired and shaped his career.

Arts leaders slam ‘new paternalism’ of diversity initiatives

Photo of Madani Younis
29 Mar 2019

Southbank Centre’s Creative Director has called for a “much more disruptive intervention”.

Investing in the workforce

A woman, on scaffolding, installing lighting in a theatre
28 Mar 2019

How can we attract a diverse workforce into the arts sector? Robert West says arts organisations can start by dismantling the barriers they are putting up themselves.

Experiencing words visually

Photo of Charlotte Arrowsmith in rehearsal for As You Like It
21 Mar 2019

Charlotte Arrowsmith, who is performing in two plays with the RSC this summer, explains the challenges and opportunities involved when deaf actors are cast in mainstream productions.

Encouraging signs

Charlotte Arrowsmith acting in As You Like It
20 Mar 2019

The casting of deaf actor Charlotte Arrowsmith in a current RSC production illustrates how committing to diversity does not mean being worthy or boring, says Jonathan Knott.

An investment in the future

Photo of Third Angel's work
18 Mar 2019

A paid internship scheme provides theatre company Third Angel with essential administrative support – and develops talent that will benefit the wider sector, the company writes.

MPs and arts organisations pledge to support disabled access

Photo of Graeae performer
25 Jan 2019

More than 100 people and organisations have signed The Cultural Inclusion Manifesto, making an urgent plea for strategic partnerships between Special Educational Needs organisations and cultural institutions.

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