This site now acts as an archive only. For the latest news, opinion, blogs and listings on disability arts and culture visit

Disability Arts Online

Disability Arts and Corporate funding / 26 March 2011

As many of us will know, being a disabled artist and not allied to any group or organisation, it has always been extremely difficult to obtain funding. And those of us who produce work that has an overt political edge are even more handicapped (sic) by the funding system.

That's not to say that groups and organisations of disabled people who have applied for funding have had it any easier. For example I'm aware that our esteemed Editor Colin Hambrooke spends a large amount of his time searching for funding and then completing the endless application forms that inevitably go with this - and Disability Arts on Line (DAO) is one of our more established disability arts organisations.

And now the bloody CONDEMs, not content with slashing our benefits and support services have declared their 'Big Society'.

This involves not only the big disability charities coming back to haunt us with a vengeance (click here to see Crippen's political blog ) but also brings in the big corporations. These corporations will be encouraged to offer sponsorship to artists, including disabled artists who will be expected to compromise their art  in order to obtain funding from a specific commercially oriented funder. Funding organisations like the Arts Council may well become redundant in this scenario.

And let's not forget the new funding process called the 'National Portfolio (NP)'. This is going to change the funding landscape yet again as the system of having Regularly Funded Organisations (RFO) is overturned. As usual most of the funding will probably go to organisations like the Royal Opera House (ROH). The subsidy on bums on seats at the ROH exceeds any other subsidy for the arts. So the toffs are being subsidised at everyone else's expense ... what a suprise!

Cartoon in the pipeline re the National Portfolio ... watch this space!

Keywords: cartoons,charities,corporate funding,cuts to services,disability art,disability publications,disabled peoples movement,the big society,user led organisations,visual arts


Katie Fraser

26 March 2011

Great blog Crippen! I understand about loss of funding as where I work we have to be careful with whatever money we use as our lottery funding is only lasting another year and will end, so we are looking for funding for all the services we provide and lots of disability organisations near us have nearly folded.

We use disability arts in our summer job forum which helps young disabled adults to understand the reality of work, by using creative media.

Arty farty

26 March 2011

With the big disability charities and global corporations becoming the gate keepers for funding for disability arts, what future do we have as disabled artists? BTW Mr C, when you going to put up the arts protest stuff you promised us a while ago? I think we're all ready to go now!