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Disability Arts Online

> > > Diversity and digital media at heart of new £107k programme from Disability Arts Online

Disability Arts Online are today announcing the launch of Viewfinder, an 18-month commissioning, digital media and sector development programme funded by Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts, to be run in partnership with Wikimedia UK, Sick! Festival, SPILL Festival, Carousel, the New Wolsey Theatre, Culture 24 and Goldsmiths Disability Research Centre.

Viewfinder logo featuring a brushstroke with the text in white.

Viewfinder will be Dao’s most ambitious project to date; encompassing individual artist commissions, a new video channel of curated content focussed on promoting disability arts practice to broad audiences, Wikimedia UK ‘editathons’ to create Wikipedia entries about UK-based disabled artists and proactively encouraging mainstream venues to appreciate and employ more disabled arts practitioners. 

Our newly branded Viewfinder video platform will curate the most entertaining, enlightening and powerful disability arts into one area where work can be viewed. To support the collection we will be commissioning film-maker’s and artists to create new work.

In partnership with SPILL Festival/ Robert Pacitti Company we’ll be inviting an artist to immerse themselves in SPILL’s archive and enter into extended dialogue with Robert Pacitti to tease out themes on live art and disability.

We will be commissioning a film-maker to work  with Carousel and Wolsey Theatre’s programmer and the resident Agent for Change, Jamie Beddard to curate a collection of videos that exemplify good practice for the inclusion of actors with learning difficulties in theatre.

Dr Anna Hickey-Moody from Goldsmiths Disability Research Centre will be curating an exhibition at the Tate in December 2015. Dao will commission a visual artist to create an artwork in response to conversations about the representation of disability within the Tate collection.

We will also be commissioning a video artist with an interest in performance to work with SICK! Festival in Manchester next Spring, who are producing a programme exploring ‘identity’.

Dao’s Director Trish Wheatley says

“Through developing partnerships, commissioning new work, promoting artworks via its website, social media and weekly bulletin, and curating a collection of high quality video works, Dao will make the discovery of disabled artists an easily accessible, enjoyable experience for a wide range of people. 

We are incredibly excited about our partnership with Wikimedia UK to address the lack of information available on Wikipedia about the main proponents of disability arts in England. As of June 2015 Wikipedia reported traffic of 439 million unique visitors monthly. This project will enable people to find information about disabled artists, organisations and of disability arts, thus taking the unique history of a worldwide movement that has sprung up over the last 35 years to a huge audience.”

Alongside the ‘editathons’ will be a series of writing workshops assisted by journalist Bella Todd, training disabled artists to produce professional profiles of disability arts, some of which will then be published in the highly regarded Culture 24.

This programme of work will also see Dao launch a new look online journal, aimed to attract wider audiences to the quality content found in Dao’s pages. This first Viewfinder commission is launched today for a graphic/web designer to transform and modernise the visual identity of Disability Arts Online. For details please click on this link to go to Dao’s jobs listings. 

Future artists’ commissions and workshop opportunities will be announced shortly. Sign up to Dao’s mailing list to be the first to receive details. 

Would you like to be part of the team that delivers Viewfinder? We are currently recruiting a full time Project Co-ordinator and Sub-editor. For details please click on this link to go to Dao's job listings. 


Ruth Hamblett

12 July 2015

Interested in film side have a few that explore dyspraxia/ Iren Syndrome through media of recorded ethereal singing, pramblating up stairs, walking and light box experiences some of these can be viewed on web page others are kept on memory stick or camera based memory chip. If you are interested in the concept of blurred boundaries within artists own self then contact me.