Website creates opportunities for Deaf and disabled artists

Tuesday 08 July 2014

New website creates global opportunities for Deaf and disabled artists

The British Council has launched a new website dedicated to creating more international opportunities for Deaf and disabled artists.

www.disabilityartsinternational.org builds on the UK’s reputation as a home to many unique disabled artists whose excellent work is being presented and celebrated around the world. Primarily designed for an audience of global arts professionals, venue programmers and arts curators, the website allows disabled artists and disabled-led companies from around the world to profile their work and find new international bookings. In addition the website offers promoters resources, case studies and personal testimonies, sharing insights into how the UK came to be recognised as world leader in disabled-led arts.

The British Council has a long history of working with British disabled artists to present their work around the world and to open dialogue about the different ways in which wider society engages with disability and disabled people. www.disabilityartsinternational.org has been developed at a time of increased international focus on British disabled artists, much of which was inspired by Unlimited - a London 2012 Cultural Olympiad project.

Graham Sheffield CBE, the British Council’s Director, Arts, said: “Across the arts world the landscape for Deaf and disabled artists is changing, gathering momentum and energy at a remarkable rate. Artists who have a unique experience of the world make unique art. Programmers and producers are increasingly recognising that artists with a singular perspective not only challenge traditional narratives, they also challenge the received aesthetics of the art forms themselves. Disability Arts International provides a space for arts professionals to discover more about Deaf and disabled artists working around the globe, and also information about the contexts in which they work.”

The website currently features companies such as Graeae Theatre, CandoCo, The British Paraorchestra, and Bobby Bakers’ Daily Life Ltd. Films hosted on the site include commentary from co-director of the Paralympic Opening Ceremony Jenny Sealey MBE, Artistic Director & Chief Executive of Dance Umbrella Emma Gladstone, and Artistic Director of the Young Vic David Lan.

www.disabilityartsinternational.org has been created as part of Unlimited Access - a project co-ordinated by the British Council and co-funded by the EU Culture programme. Unlimited Access is a partnership between the British Council and Vo'Arte (Portugal), the Onassis Cultural Centre (Greece), and the Croatian Institute for Movement and Dance (Croatia).

Unlimited was a London 2012 Cultural Olympiad project. The project was principally funded by the National Lottery through the Olympic Lottery Distributor, and is delivered in partnership between London 2012, Arts Council England, Creative Scotland, Arts Council of Wales, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the British Council.

Notes to Editor

For more information, contact Mark Moulding in the British Council Press Office on 0207 389 4889 or mark.moulding@britishcouncil.org

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide.

We work in more than 100 countries and our 7000 staff – including 2000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year teaching English, sharing the Arts and in education and society programmes.

We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A publically-funded grant-in-aid provides less than a quarter of our turnover which was £781m in 2012/13.  The rest we earn from English teaching, UK exams and services which customers around the world pay for, through education and development contracts and from partnerships with other institutions, brands and companies.  All our work is in pursuit of our charitable purpose and creates prosperity and security for the UK and the countries we work in all around the world.

For more information, please visit: www.britishcouncil.org. You can also keep in touch with the British Council through http://twitter.com/britishcouncil and http://blog.britishcouncil.org