Creating connections in arts and disability

ACCESSIBLE ARTS: Participants at last year’s Sprung dance workshop get creative.
ACCESSIBLE ARTS: Participants at last year’s Sprung dance workshop get creative.

FOR people living with a disability in a rural region, having a place where your voice can be heard and your needs respected is pretty important.

Now, a new website has been created as a central information hub, gig guide and blog to give opportunities for people with disability to fully experience and participate in the arts.

The website is a project of Accessible Arts NSW and Julie Barratt, Accessible Arts North Coast manager wants people to contribute to it and help promote accessible venues and activities happening in the local area.

"Creating Connections is about pushing boundaries," Julie said.

"It's about changing people's perceptions of art and of the people who make it. Regardless of what your ability is, it's about using art as a way to communicate."

Giving people more opportunities to develop skills is a big part of the project and this year, Julie is planning excursions to the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane as well as performance opportunities.

"Last year, we held an integrated dance workshop called Sprung that we'll be continuing with this year, meeting on the first Sunday of each month," Julie said.

"About half the participants were under 21 and had a disability and their performances were amazing.

"The dancers helped each other, worked together and helped break down some of the perceptions people have about what they can achieve.

"It gave them an opportunity to show their creative sides and once they did, many of them excelled.

"Some of the young boys had never danced before and they were natural performers. One of them went on to perform in Sydney in master classes and a couple of young artists who worked in art classes went on to find a passion in art."

Keep up to date with local news and opportunities by visiting the website aarts. or look for CreatingConnections on Facebook.

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