Access All Areas announced as new NPO

The artists, trustees and staff of Access All Areas are delighted to announce that we’ve been included as an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation for 2018-2022, receiving £125,000 per annum for 4 years.

This is a transformational grant for the learning disabled artists that we work with. The learning disabled community continues to be excluded from the cultural mainstream in the UK. We hope that now, with the support of Arts Council England, we can continue to make cutting-edge work that disrupts complacency and misconceptions surrounding learning disability.

After recently growing our professional work under Arts Council England’s Elevate programme, we’ll now roll out an artistic programme that supports 17 professional learning disabled artists each year to author their own work, partner with some of the UK’s most exciting arts organisations, and establish artistic voices at the centre of the UK arts scene.

We’ll continue our work to engage more people with learning disabilities with the arts through our Take Part programme, which last year reached 374 participants.

We’ll also be working with venues around the UK to make theatre more accessible for audiences with learning disabilities and autism, working to make the arts accessible for all, regardless of disability.

Artists Emma Selwyn, Charlene Salter and Terry Huggett said: “It’s really encouraging that the Arts Council seems prepared to give learning disabled artists a chance in London. This will give us the opportunity to work with new companies in the mainstream, and will allow us to further develop our skills to grow as artists. This will make dreams come true.”

Nick Llewellyn, Artistic Director of Access All Areas, said:

“This transformational grant will enable a new generation of emerging learning disabled artists to author their own work, and make their stamp at the centre of the theatre industry in London and beyond. This is an exciting moment for learning disabled art in London.”

Upcoming work by Access All Areas includes:

MADHOUSE re:exit – an immersive, satirical theatre experience exploring the institutionalisation of people with learning disabilities, supported by organisations including The Lowry and The Barbican. We’ll be touring to London, Manchester and Cardiff in 2018, with disruptive pop-up performances happening across the UK before our debut.

Performance Company – we’ll be working with leading venues from London Theatre Consortium to develop 3 new productions authored by artists from our company, helping artists to launch new careers.

Performance Making Diploma – we’re re-launching our Guardian Award-winning Diploma for learning disabled artists, in association with the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. This 2-year programme will train and nurture exciting new learning disabled talent, with 12 students per year.

For more information about our work and what this grant will mean for us, contact Executive Producer Patrick Collier on 07949380043 or patrick@accessallareastheatre.org.