Unlimited was a groundbreaking three-year initiative that commissioned 29 new pieces of work by deaf and disabled artists from the UK. We supported five UK international collaborations with artists from seven countries which premiered in: Birmingham, Cambridge, Liverpool, Newcastle and Weymouth prior to a major showcase during the Paralympics, at the Southbank Centre, part of the London 2012 Festival.
The Unlimited Festival attracted live audiences of 20,000 people at ticketed and free events and engaged with an estimated 11,000 people through digital media. In addition, the international commissions we supported reached an audience of over 65,000 through websites, exhibitions and performances at venues across the UK.
LOCOG has reported that the International Olympic Committee has recognised this as an extremely successful initiative.
Unlimited gave artists the opportunity to develop new skills and collaborate with international partners. It is anticipated that many of the artists, drawing on this experience, will develop new, exciting collaborations in the future. Feedback from participants showed that they had built confidence and connections, with over half saying they would like to initiate new international projects. Many artists who were involved have since accepted invitations to present their work as part of major festivals in South Africa, Brazil and Qatar, while five UK sector specialists will be invited to speak or train at international events.
'The overall collaborations between artists and directors pushed the boundaries and in doing so lifted the bar for disability arts...being part of the Unlimited Selection Panel and experiencing the Unlimited Festival has helped me to conceptualise the first ever Disability Festival at Artscape in South Africa.' - Marlene Le Roux, Unlimited Panellist and Director, Artscape, South Africa.
Unlimited formed part of the London 2012 Festival and was principally funded by the National Lottery through the Olympic Lottery Distributor, and delivered in partnership between London 2012, Arts Council England, Creative Scotland, Arts Council of Wales, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the British Council.