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Beyond Access: the creative case for inclusive arts practice
12 Dec 2014
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In 2014, Arts Access Victoria, in partnership with the University of Melbourne, has been undertaking a research project, with funding from the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, to investigate and create an evidence base for the creative case for inclusive arts practice, to support greater recognition for artists with a disability by transforming and extending notions of what art is and who produces it.

Although significant academic research has been published internationally on the social and wellbeing benefits of arts participation for people with disability, very little rigorous research has yet been done to investigate the creative case for inclusion of artists with disability. Through a study of Victorian arts companies producing work involving arts practitioners both with and without disability, Beyond Access focuses on the strengths artists with disability can bring to the creative process by examining how inclusive arts practices can extend and redefine contemporary arts in exciting and innovative ways.

Part of the Beyond Access research project was a one day symposium, designed to showcase some of the findings of this arts and disability research, and bring together artists, producers, academics and industry to discuss inclusive arts practice. Highlights of the symposium included a keynote address from UK-based Australian artist Caroline Bowditch, two lively panel discussions, and a summary by ARC Future Fellow Prof Gerard Goggin (University of Sydney).
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