'First of its kind' inclusive arts symposium takes place in Carlisle

'First of its kind' inclusive arts symposium takes place in Carlisle name


Carlisle based disability arts organisation, Prism Arts, and the University of Cumbria’s Institute of Arts have teamed up to deliver a symposium event showcasing inclusive arts in higher education.

The symposium, held at the university’s Brampton Road campus in Carlisle, will be the first of its kind in the region. Taking place on Tuesday 5 July from 10am – 4.30pm the event offers a day of active sharing, workshops and presentations demonstrating how learning disabled and autistic artists can access learning opportunities and develop as artists in higher education settings.

Representatives from Prism Arts and the University of Cumbria’s Institute of Arts will share the findings of ‘Step Up’ a two-year progression project, funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, which tested routes for learning disabled and autistic artists to develop and produce their own work. Project leaders and students will show how they were able to work together to remove barriers and deliver truly inclusive teaching and learning, creating a richer learning environment for all.

Suitable for people working in public sector organisations, education (including Further Education, Higher Education and schools), cultural and arts organisations wishing to work more inclusively, freelance artists and students, the event will be active and accessible with an exciting programme of creative workshops, presentations and exhibitions developed and co-curated by the artists.

Delegates will learn more about inclusive arts, as well as the routes of progression available to disabled artists in education settings. They will also be able to experience and participate in successful examples of inclusive arts activity in order to inspire their own practice, build skills and increase knowledge.

For the first time four nationally recognised arts organisations will be coming to Carlisle to present their experience of working within inclusive arts and higher education. These organisations include Access All Areas from London, Mind the Gap from Bradford, Rocket Theatre from Brighton and Heart n Soul from London.

Catherine Coulthard, Director, Prism Arts said, “We are delighted to be co-presenting this event with the University of Cumbria. It is the first time that leading disability arts organisations and artists are coming to Carlisle to share their practice, alongside our artists at Prism Arts.  This event is ideal for disabled people, care and support organisations and educational organisations interested in exploring routes for learning disabled and autistic artists to access creative learning and development opportunities.”

Dr Colette Conroy, Director, Institute of Arts, University of Cumbria said, “The University of Cumbria’s role is to provide inclusive and accessible higher education for students and to increase higher education participation in the region. Our Institute of Arts has a firm focus on community engagement and strong partnerships. These collaborations are enabling us to develop learning opportunities that are relevant to the Creative and Cultural Industries in the years to come. Prism Arts is a valuable partner to the Institute, and we look forward to continuing to work with and learn from them.

“The Step Up Step Forward programme has been an enriching experience for all of us, especially the lecturers and students who have worked alongside Prism Arts over the last two years. It has brought a new element to our on-campus provision, and we will celebrate this when we welcome visitors to the symposium. We look forward to an active day of knowledge sharing, with workshops and presentations to demonstrate how learning disabled and autistic artists can access learning opportunities and develop as artists in a higher education setting, making a vibrant and exciting contribution.”

June special offer: 50% off all tickets for group bookings. Use Promo Code: GROUPBOOKING on Eventbrite.

Tickets for the symposium cost £50 for organisations, £20 freelance artists, individuals, and £5 for students and the unemployed. Carers go free. Price includes all workshops, lunch and refreshments and can be booked via www.prismarts.org.uk/join-us/step-up-step-forward/

To see the full programme please visit Prism Arts’ website www.prismarts.org.uk For more information please call 01228 587691.