Hello again, and welcome to The Disability Issue’s upcoming events and opportunities post. We have now passed 12 April, so many people in England now have access to non-essential shops and can meet outdoors for drinks outside the country’s cafes, pubs and bars as well. I know quite a few disabled people won’t be able to use this moment to their own advantage, but at least try and look at it as a turning point towards more normality and freedom in the future. Try to stay as positive as possible. Three and a half months have passed by in 2021, and this pandemic era won’t be with us forever.
Admittedly, the art galleries and museums should be open now. Sadly, our Government is just too inconsiderate to give people that access. But there is just one month until we will be able to access them on 17 May. Until that point, I’ll certainly try and keep people as entertained as possible via The Disability Issue.
I hope you enjoyed the interview with Jo Verrent I released earlier this week. Jo’s a bit of a workaholic, and so many of us should appreciate the efforts she makes for other disabled artists in society. Her arts commissioning programme Unlimited is still giving money to disabled artists who need it most. There is no doubt that artists and funders are still active, and disability arts are still alive and well at this moment in time.
Once again, the events and opportunities listed below are available for readers to experience in some way. You might watch them, you might hear them, or you might get involved with them yourself. People can access discussions about various disability arts online. There are also plenty of ways to get involved in viewing, hearing or expressing visual artwork, music, film, performing arts and literature due in the future.
If real-time interaction is needed, most people currently speak face-to-face via Zoom. If you need help setting up Zoom, then click here for help via their website. YouTube is also regularly used to show videos, and webpages often give plenty of information about the event or opportunity too.
So, I came across a few more events and opportunities to share with you this week. Interested?
Para Dance UK in Partnership with Limbpower Launches a Series of Virtual Dance Classes
What does it involve?
10 pre-recorded dance videos have been produced for Para Dance UK and funded by the Irving Memorial Trust. Ten videos have been split into three categories, with children/young people, families and older individuals all able to gain access to free dance classes online. It doesn’t matter if you must sit or stand, either! Alternative versions are available to meet whatever needs people have regarding their mobility.
Dance is a great way for anybody to get physically active. Almost anyone can get involved with what’s on offer here. To take advantage of these videos, you don’t need much space or equipment, unlike sports or other activities. Dance is an art that should not be forgotten.
Kiera Roche, CEO of LimbPower, says: ‘The mental and physical health of our community members is paramount, particularly during this second lockdown. These virtual dance classes will help the community to get moving, improve their fitness and have some fun during these challenging times.’
Graeae’s Crips with Chips at Home
8:00 pm till 9:00 pm, Tuesday 20 April.
What does it involve?
Crips with Chips at Home…sounds good, doesn’t it?
Well, I think so – and I’m so sure I’m not wrong. Graeae’s Crips with Chips at Home is free, live entertainment online from 8:00 till 9:00 pm on Tuesday, 20 April. Known as Graeae’s ‘accessible scratch night’, the organisation have asked five Deaf and disabled writers for short plays responding to a randomly assigned TV genre. Graeae say they’re looking forward to sharing it with others, and I’m looking forward to viewing it too.
They’ve announced the evening will be hosted by star of stage and screen Sharon D. Clarke (most recently seen in The Gift for Crips without Constraints), alongside playwright Leanna Benjamin (writer of The Gift). The work will be presented from some of the finest writing talents from across the UK, including Amy Bethan Evans, Adam Denton, Kathryn Holding, Kate Lovell and Nicole Joseph. Cast members are soon due to be announced too.
The first Crips for Chips event was held in February 2020, just before the pandemic started to interfere with our lives in the UK. However, Graeae have decided to offer the event to us in 2021! As mentioned, tickets are totally free, and available online via EventBrite. However, Graeae have produced some great disability arts events and opportunities over the pandemic era. If you appreciate their help, I think people should click here to offer a donation to Graeae via JustGiving.
Iberodocs Presents Maricamen Online
Available from 19 April till 2 May.
£5 or £3 (concessions) individual ticket, £15 or £10 (concessions) festival pass
What does it involve?
Soon, a documentary is due to be released that speaks to people about the great talents of disabled artist Maricarmen Graue. A music teacher, a writer, and a marathon runner, Maricarmen is also completely blind, and lives alone with her cello-playing abilities.
Her tough sense of humour and demanding attitude only make this film even more interesting. When watching, we’ll be able to find out how her personality works with her cello-playing abilities in both the rock band and chamber orchestra she contributes to at her home in Mexico.
“Maricarmen” (Sergio Morkin, Mexico, 2019) is part of IberoDocs’ 8th edition, running 19 Apr- 2 May via the streaming platform Indy on Demand and is available in the UK, Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Latin America. Full list of countries on IberoDocs’ website.
The film will be followed by a Q&A on Mon 19 Apr at 7.15pm with director Sergio Morkin and Maricarmen Graue, led by Pedro Eusebio Cuesta, Director of Instituto Cervantes Manchester & Leeds (BSL interpreted)
You can access the film by purchasing an individual ticket (£5 /£3 concessions), or with a festival pass (£15 /£10 concessions). To purchase your ticket/s today click here to head their website.
Free Coaching Sessions, Workshops and Tech Grants from Disability Arts Cymru
Weekly workshops available 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm, from 21 April till 26 May.
Free with membership.
What does it involve?
I’ve almost explained everything that’s mentioned on the DAC website. You should be well-aware by now that disabled people have been affected by COVID-19 pandemic. If your work and income has been disrupted, then you may well want to join the DAC Arts and Creative biz project on offer.
If you’re a member, there are new ways the organisation are offering skills to take on board. Zoom workshops are available, and will be led by Disability Arts Cymru Director Ruth Fabby MBE.
One-to-one coaching sessions will also be made available with experienced practioners in your field of interest. If needed, grants for tablets and wi-fi boosting hardware might also be accessible.
Click here if you want to take a direct look at the project’s webpage. If you’re interested in applying for the role right now, you’ll need to contact the project’s coordinator Rosey Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are living in Wales and are Disabled or Deaf, it’s free to join Disability Arts Cymru. Disabled people who live elsewhere in the UK can join DAC Cymru for just £7.00.
Beyond Human Shamanism and Neurodivergence
What does it involve?
Shape arts have been supporting artist Alicia Radage in the development of their Arts Council-funded project since late last year. Alicia’s project has now become an online exhibition of Neurodiverse arts, entitled Encounter A New Normal, along with the individual works emerging from their own practice.
In this article, Alicia speaks out about how Shamanism is the practice of Aminism, which is the believe that everything is alive. They have been journeying through Shamanism, which includes Shamanic drumming inducing Theta brainwaves within what can be altered states of consciousness. During these journeys, Alicia explains how we can supposedly receive healings and knowledges, and also shapeshift into other lifeforms.
The work they’ve been up to is a spiritual and very unusual creative activity. If you head to the Shape Arts website, you can read about it in a lot more detail, as well as watch the video released this year entitled ‘Caught’.
Based in London, Alicia has been working via performance, video, text and sound. This is the first in a series of blog titled ‘Beyond Human’ that Alicia has written for Shape.
Looking Forward to the Near Future
I’m looking forward to watching the disability arts-related film and theatre productions mentioned above soon. I might well choose to dance as well, although I have a bit of a back problem. We’ll wait and see.
Revell Dixon is the next interviewee you’ll learn about if you’re following The Disability Issue’s weekly interview schedule. Revell’s been the filmmaker for #WeShallNotBeRemoved ever since the UK Disability Arts Alliance began. He’s worked with many of the group’s members, and every disabled artist should appreciate the series of videos he’s created. It’s been important for us to keep track of the work completed and the progress we’ve made since the COVID-19 pandemic led to movements last year, and thanks to him we’ve got our discussions about what’s been happening in the alliance on record.
I hope you take a look at and enjoy the interview with Revell when it’s made available on the website on Tuesday next week.
Thanks for reading this post.