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Sean Edwards selected to represent Cymru yn Fenis Wales in Venice 2019, curated by Bluecoat Head of Programme, Marie-Anne McQuay Arts ...

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Venture Arts - Putting Learning Disabled People at the Heart of Culture and Heritage

Learning disabled people are taking ownership of culture and heritage places and spaces at the MAKING THE CASE | SYMPOSIUM, taking place at the Grand Hall, the Whitworth Fri 25 May and Bluecoat's Blue Room artists will be contributing!

Venture Arts invites culture and heritage leaders and representatives to join them as they bring together ten ground-breaking organisations and individuals to share best practice in making our cultural landscape a more rich and welcoming place, with learning disabled people at its heart.

This will be a day of open discussion, debate and sharing to encourage change. Directors, artists, consultants, academics and curators will present their work to support the sector to reflect on and re-evaluate their approach to learning disabled people. Attendees will hear from experts in the field including:

- Bluecoat; Blue Room and Jade French on Art As Advocacy Collective.

- Actionspace and Royal Academy of Arts; Esther Fox on the History of Place.

As well as, Holly Grange, the Whitworth; Autism for the Arts; Manchester Museum (The University of Manchester); HOME and Royal Exchange Theatre.

Films and discussions will take place throughout the day. There will be a chance to gain valuable insight into how creative organisations across the country are helping the cultural and heritage sector to open their doors to learning disabled people. 

Amanda Sutton, Director, Venture Arts says:

“It is such a pleasure to be joined by so many great organisations for our symposium and to be able to show some of the excellent work being done in the sector with disabled people. I am really looking forward to hearing about others’ experiences and to some lively debate. It is timely too as the heritage sector starts to embrace Arts Council England’s Creative Case for Diversity, so it will be a day when we can all work together to start to make culture and heritage more welcoming and inclusive to all.”

Making the Case Symposium marks the completion of the first phase of Venture Arts’ Cultural Enrichment Programme, which was developed in response to how few learning disabled people currently access cultural venues. Supported by national lottery players via the Heritage Lottery Fund, the programme has allowed Venture Arts to work closely with Manchester based museums, theatres and galleries including Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester Museum, the Whitworth, People’s History Museum and HOME Manchester, to co-create engagement programmes tailored to each participant. Several programme participants have since gone on to volunteer within heritage or have been introduced to other initiatives run by cultural venues. As a result, when you go into a cultural space in Manchester, you are now much more likely to see learning disabled people involved in and taking ownership of our shared culture.

The symposium takes place from 10am – 4pm on Fri 25 May at the Whitworth and tickets can be purchased here.


MAKING THE CASE | SYMPOSIUM is supported by Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England and produced by Venture Arts (Manchester).  

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Liverpool’s centre for the contemporary arts, Bluecoat showcases talent across visual art, music, dance, live art and literature. As the most ...

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