Arts Derbyshire


New conference on disability arts and access announced

New conference on disability arts and access announced

HouseFound Symposium is a new conference on disability arts with a focus on artists who have difficulty leaving the home produced in collaboration with LEVEL’s Artistic Associate Katie Walters and Radical Body.

Katie joined LEVEL centre as a freelance Artistic Associate in April 2021 as part of LEVEL’s ambition to support more disabled creatives and the freelance community. Katie is one of four associates working with LEVEL to develop projects that will have a lasting impact and change on the sector. Through conversations with LEVEL Centre’s Executive Director Kerry Andrews, HouseFound was created as a response to the challenges Katie faces as an artist who has difficulty leaving the home.

Kerry said: “We are delighted to create this symposium to highlight the challenges and opportunities. We want arts centres, theatres, museums and libraries to consider what they can do. The aim for this symposium is to lead to the creation of the HouseFound Festival in 2023 collaborating with cultural organisations across the UK to put forward artists to be considered to perform on this digital platform. This platform is needed more than ever as Covid-19 continues to impact this artistic community.”

The symposium takes place on Wednesday 2nd March 2022 and will comprise of a series of panel discussions followed by three short performances. The panelists include LEVEL Centre Artistic Associate Bella Milroy, a disabled visual artist based in Chesterfield; Elle Chante a singer-songwriter and musical self-expressionist who lives with multiple invisible physical and mental health conditions; and Ban Summers a musician and Radio DJ who plays work by disabled musicians on air. More guests will be confirmed leading up to the symposium.

The goal of HouseFound is to engage arts leaders on how best to work with creatives who struggle to leave their homes and provide an opportunity to learn, exchange and have a conversation about making change.

HouseFound will be a hybrid digital and live streamed event. Selected artists will perform to a camera in their homes, with their performance streamed and projected into a physical space at LEVEL for a small in-person audience of 20 delegates in addition to the online delegation. This is to act as a proof of concept for how to run an event that includes performers who struggle to leave the home and can be used by attendees as a model for future events.

“As a disabled artist who has experienced severe barriers in my career, it’s been amazing to be able to work with LEVEL to create a conference focussed on disability arts and access. HouseFound will bring together representatives from across the creative sector to recognise and work towards addressing the barriers in engaging artists who have difficulty leaving the home.” Katie Walters, LEVEL Artistic Associate and HouseFound co-producer.

The HouseFound Symposium is on Wednesday 2 March 2022. More information and details about how to register for the event are available on the LEVEL website.

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