Western Sydney Project concludes

WAPD performers at Plugged In 2010Accessible Arts’ Western Sydney project is drawing to an end, but the work this project has inspired is by no means over.

Since 2007, the Western Sydney project has been working across eleven local council areas, building partnerships within the arts, with disability organisations and with local councils to ensure sustainable programs and practices.

A key objective of the project has been to ensure ongoing outcomes after the projects’ conclusion. Accessible Arts has worked closely with the major arts centres in the region to deliver a variety of programs and access initiatives, particularly over the last two years. In October 2010, this work was consolidated in a month long initiative, Plugged In, whereby all art centres across the region contributed to the event. The events popularity demonstrated the ongoing need for such programs.

Accessible Arts is confident that the arts centres will carry on the work achieved by the Western Sydney project, continueing to create opportunities in the arts for people with disability.

A number of other initiatives will also continue in the region. The development of the Penrith Disability Arts & Culture Network has been an initiative of the Sylvanvale Foundation, Penrith City Council and Accessible Arts. This network will continue to inspire and motivate the arts and disability sector to engage in community capacity building through the development of opportunities for people with disability to participate and experience the arts and cultural life.

An initiative at the Q Theatre in Penrith that responds to a need for practical exchanges between arts workers who work in the disability sector will also continue. The first Exchange It took place as part of the Plugged In program and was devised by Alison Richardson, Creative Programs coordinator, Accessible Arts and Katrina Douglas, Producer, Q Theatre. A resource has been developed from the day outlining ideas exchanged and proven creative processes for working with people with disability in the performing arts sector.

The main activities of the Western Sydney project have been documented on our blog and will remain as an online resource.

So this is farewell from the Accessible Arts’ Western Sydney team

Alison and Jen would like to thank all our partners and supporters over the years who have worked with us to raise awareness and make the arts more accessible and inclusive for people with disability.

In 2011 Alison Richardson will be starting a new role as the Creative Director of the Riverside Theatres’ performing arts program for people with a disability. Through her work at Accessible Arts, Alison had identified a need for a role to oversee and develop the WAPD program at Riverside Theatres, Parramatta. With Alison’s assistance, Riverside Theatres successfully secured three years worth of funding from Arts NSW to support the establishment of the role.

Jennifer Teo will continue to work for Accessible Arts as Web Coordinator, improving and expanding the organisations’ online presence, as well as provide specialist knowledge in the area of media arts.

stay in touch…

Whilst the Western Sydney project has come to an end this does not mean you have to lose contact with Accessible Arts. We are keen to hear from the arts and disability sector in Western Sydney and encourage news stories and contributions to the website. Please send your information to info@aarts.net.au or contact us on 02 9251 6499.

For staff contact details and further information visit the Accessible Arts website.

First Flight Crew celebrate International Day


The First Flight Crew hit the town with three official gigs this week. The crew will be celebrating International Day of People with a Disability at Get DIS Party Started at the Revesby Workers Club, then performing at the Australia Council for the Arts on 3 December.

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Performance in the Gallery 2011

Performance in the Gallery

Art and drama come together in a very joyous fashion every Tuesday at Hawkesbury Regional Gallery, where people with mild to moderate intellectual and physical disabilities are undertaking a series of specially designed performance workshops.

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Artists exchange ideas at the Q Theatre


As part of the Plugged In program, a bunch of very eager arts workers from all over Sydney gathered at the Q Theatre in Penrith to exchange ideas, thoughts, games and exercises for working with people with a disability in the performing arts sector.

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First Flight Crew - Face of campaign


First Flight Crew are the face of the 2010 Don’t DIS myABILITY campaign. They are on the cover of the Made You Look publication which also includes a feature story on the crew.

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Plugged In launch party photos and survey


Accessible Arts would like to thank everyone who attended the Plugged In launch party on 5 October 2010 at Riverside Theatres. All the performances were terrific and everyone had a great time.

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Exchange It: Exchange - Training - Development


18 October 2010
Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre

A free day for artists who work with people with disability in the performing arts to come together to exchange ideas and exercises in a practical way.

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See Me, Hear Me Exhibition


10 September – 14 October 2010
Fairfield Museum & Gallery

An exhibition in collaboration with the Benevolent Society created by people who experience mental illness and live in Western Sydney.

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