Partnership promotes access and inclusion in the Hunter
Octapod has joined forces with St Vincent de Paul Society’s Ability Links and Early Links NSW to promote social inclusion and better access to the arts by people with disability across the Hunter region. This three year partnership seeks to build the capacity of artists and the creative sector to be accessible and inclusive and provide opportunities for local artists with disability to develop their professional and creative practice.
In coming months Octapod plans audits of its three major programs – Smart Arts, This is Not Art and Culture Hunter – to ensure these are accessible to and inclusive of people with disability. Resources will then be developed to enable Octapod to support other arts organisations, arts programs and artists to assess their own programs to support greater arts participation by people with disability.
‘Four+Four’, an innovative mentoring project will also be developed, involving matching four established artists with four emerging artists with disability. It will provide opportunities for artists to collaborate via a process of creative skills exchange, leading to a public outcome. Octapod’s expertise in supporting artists to develop their arts practice and/or creative business over many years will be offered to artists with disability or mental illness to access the arts, with the view to building a framework which supports any access into the arts by diverse communities.
“We have been working solidly with the community over the past two years to develop new models to support participation in the arts by people with disability, and this new partnership offers the potential to develop our program and extend our reach across the Hunter”, said Christina Robberds, Octapod Director.
Octapod will soon be calling for expressions of interest from established artists and emerging artists with disability interested in participating in the Four+Four mentoring project. Check the Octapod NEWS page on the website for details in coming months or sign up for updates via the ‘CANPress Updates’ link on the homepage of www.octapod.org
Ability Links and Early Links NSW is funded by the NSW State Government and is delivered in the Hunter and Central Coast region by St Vincent de Paul Society. Ability and Early Links Coordinators (Linkers) support people with disability, their families and carers to identify their hopes, dreams and aspirations supporting them to live the life they want, as valued members of their community. Ability and Early Links support communities to be inclusive. Contact a local Linker by calling 4905 0700.
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Phone: 0415 699 227
Photo credit: Creative Hands by Justine Cogan Potter