Courageous, visionary projects supported by Arts and Disability Initiative

Creative Australia is pleased to announce the 10 recipients of the 2023 Arts and Disability Initiative. This program is designed to advance the careers of d/Deaf artists or arts workers and artists or arts workers with a disability.

The Arts and Disability Initiative provides financial support of $30,000 for up to two years for artists to undertake significant projects that advance their skills, practice or networks.

The initiative is part of Creative Australia’s broader investment in arts and disability in response to research showing the need to create pathways and address barriers to access and inclusion in the arts.

Creative Australia’s Executive Director for Arts Investment Alice Nash said:

“Creative Australia has a longstanding and strong commitment to supporting arts and culture that reflects the diversity of this country. We acknowledge the difficulties and inequality in society that impact participation in culture, which is a basic human right.

This investment will support an impressive group of artists and arts workers to pursue courageous, innovative, and visionary projects and new work. We look forward to seeing what’s on the horizon for them all in coming years.”

Meret Hassanen was granted funding for her new theatre work INFLUENCE, which will be developed through participation in two artistic residencies. Meret said:

“I am thrilled to be a recipient of the Arts and Disability Initiative. The grant is allowing me to explore storytelling through theatre, a medium which I haven’t worked in before, and develop my craft through residencies with two renowned theatre companies. Whilst I have been fortunate to work on some fantastic productions, this grant means I can finally author a creative work and explore the themes and challenge the issues that are important to me.”

Other recipients include Debra Keenahan, whose work Disability Pride – ‘All Ways A Pleasure’ – is a collaborative mentorship in Devised Theatre. Debra said:

“All Ways A Pleasure” is an ambitious innovative and insightful devised theatre work addressing the subject of disability and sexuality from our perspective – disability-led and disability focused. Working in a collaborative mentorship with the internationally renowned theatre maker Julie McNamara, I will learn to embed access in the script writing and design of this work to develop my unique aesthetic of access, so in my future works I can collaborate with people across a broad range of disabilities.”

Cara-Ann Simpson was also successful with her production and presentation of a multisensory exhibition: Furari Flores (Stealing Flowers). Kim Bowers was granted funding for her work on the research and development of ‘Confessions of the Brutally Blessed – A Survival Handbook’.

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