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Act Up! Newham perform Outside the Box at the Old Town Hall Stratford on 25 November as part of the Together! 2016 Disability History Month Festival. L to R: Paizah Malek, Glory Sengo, Grace Fundu, Sterre Ploeger, Abdul Qureshi and Jade Sempare.

Act Up! Newham perform Outside the Box at the Old Town Hall Stratford on 25 November as part of the Together! 2016 Disability History Month Festival. L to R: Paizah Malek, Glory Sengo, Grace Fundu, Sterre Ploeger, Abdul Qureshi and Jade Sempare.

Welcome to the Together! 2012 Home Page. Click here to read the programme for the Together! 2016 Disability History Month Festival (22 November-16 December 2016). Watch our 4.5min film here, celebrating the first three years of Together! 2012. Read our Twitter stream for updates or subscribe to our mailing listWe are also on Facebook (Together 2012 CIC) and Flicker (together2012)

“Together! 2012 is helping to deliver our vision of using the power of the 2012 Games to boost disabled people’s participation in arts and culture. I am proud that, with the help of partners such as Together! 2012 and the UK Disabled People’s Council, we will be able to create a lasting and meaningful cultural Paralympic Legacy in East London.” 

Lord Sebastian Coe, the Prime Minister’s Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Ambassador

Together! at Newham Carnival 2015.

Together! at Newham Carnival 2015.

About Together! 2012 Together! 2012 began as a free Disability Arts and Human Rights festival, organized by the UK Disabled People’s Council (UKDPC) in the main Host Borough of Newham to celebrate the Paralympics and Disability History Month. At the end of 2012, UKDPC helped to establish a social enterprise in Newham, Together! 2012 CIC, led by four locally based disabled artists under the artistic direction of international disabled artist Dr Ju Gosling aka ju90, to take this work forward and make Newham into an international centre of excellence for Disability Arts as part of the 2012 Legacy. We want to ensure that future visitors to and new residents in Newham, disabled and non-disabled, find us accessible, welcoming and inclusive of all, with plenty of both inclusive and disabled-led arts and cultural activities to choose from.  The theme of international friendship and disability rights is highlighted in our Hands Project.

Stopgap Dance Company lead a workshop for the Together! Dance Club on 28 November 2016 as part of the Together! 2016 Disability History Month Festival

Stopgap Dance Company lead a workshop for the Together! Dance Club on 28 November 2016 as part of the Together! 2016 Disability History Month Festival

ACTIVITIES

As well as the Together! festival, which continues to take place annually in Disability History Month, we organise free arts activities and events throughout the year, and help to strengthen existing Disability Arts groups in East London and create new ones. We have already provided many hours of arts activities for disabled people, including those whose previous arts clubs had been closed; generated significant amounts of additional work for disabled artists and other creative workers, income for local groups and businesses and opportunities for volunteers; begun to re-establish the month-long autumn Disability Arts festival and international film festival that Londoners used to enjoy; increased the profile of Disability Arts and disability issues; and represented disabled artists’ and local and disabled people’s interests in a wide range of arenas.

Locally based Sign poet Sterre Ploeger performs at the Together! 2014 Disability History Month Festival.

Locally based Sign poet Sterre Ploeger performs at the Together! 2014 Disability History Month Festival.

“Together! is where the next generation of grassroots Deaf and disabled artists will come from.”

SERVICES

We offer disability consultancy and training services, and can organise and deliver events and exhibitions for inclusive audiences on behalf of third parties. Contact us for further details of our income-generating services, which create further work for disabled people and subsidise our free programme. Assisting organisations and businesses to understand the requirements of disabled people and carers, and to become better employers and service providers, also makes a very real contribution to changing our world.

Constructing the Recycled Band for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Constructing the Recycled Band for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

WORKING TOGETHER

‘Together’ is our philosophy and we work with a wide range of local and national partners whose support has made our progress possible (see below for partners’ logos and links). Within East London, we have founded and coordinate the Newham Disability Arts Network, working together for common goals; and we are a member of the Stratford Rising and Stratford Original organisations and the Newham Chamber of Commerce. We were delighted, in the summers of 2014, 2015 and 2016, to join with the GLA and produce our own tent at the Liberty Festival in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on National Paralympic Day with the support of Arts Council England. We were also proud to be selected for a Local Programme Commission for the Park itself, The Recycled Band.

INSPIRED BY DAVID MORRIS

Photograph of a man in a dark hat and sunglasses, with a brightly coloured wig and make up on and a red and white spotted handkerchief around his neck, dressed for carnival or a parade.

The late David Morris in festival mode

Together! is inspired by the late David Morris (1958-2010), External Inclusion lead at London 2012 and the Mayor of London’s disability adviser, whose work changed the lives of many disabled Londoners. His unique ethos underpins our aims and objectives.

David Morris was a talented poet and low-budget film-maker as well as a campaigner, and completed his final film, Together!, for the UK Disabled People’s Council just before he died. Click here to view Together! with subtitles, click here to view Together! with added BSL interpretation, and click here to view Together! with added audio-description.

Locally based performers stage 'Sheep' in Stratford Shopping Centre for International Day of Disabled People 2015

Locally based performers stage ‘Sheep’ in Stratford Shopping Centre for International Day of Disabled People 2015

OUR ETHOS

We support the Arts Council’s aim of ‘great art for everyone’. We create performances and exhibitions at pop-up venues throughout Newham as well as at some of the oldest venues in the borough, bringing great art to the doorstep in a borough which officially has the lowest level of arts engagement in the UK. Within our programming we prioritise emerging artists, together with established artists making work that takes them in new directions, and artists who have remained undiscovered for too long. We are always particularly interested in work that reflects the lived experiences of disabled people, and represents communities who too often remain invisible.

Locally based poet and singer Dwain Bryan at the Together! tent at the 2016 Liberty Festival

Locally based poet and singer Dwain Bryan at the Together! tent at the 2016 Liberty Festival

We empower disabled people through involvement in the arts; provide disabled artists at all levels with opportunities to learn and progress; and support the growth of the Disability Arts sector. Our community based programme brings together amateur, community, semi-professional and professional disabled artists to learn and share work on equal terms. Learning is important in all we do, including training disabled people to deliver live events and produce exhibitions, and providing opportunities to experience a wide range of roles related to careers in the arts.

We are committed to making all of our activities free to disabled people and their families, carers, companions, PAs and support workers. We are currently searching for support to expand and secure our activities, and also need more volunteers to help us to deliver our programme. You can make a donation to support our work by clicking the ‘Donate’ button at the bottom of this page, or email us on info@together2012.org.uk or call 07973 252751 for more information or to volunteer.

Photograph of a canvas banner, with the name Together! 2012 written at the bottom in colourful graffiti, with spray painted symbols above of different art forms such as a palette and brushes, camera, book, needle and cotton, clapperboard, microphone etc

The banner created by participants in our Summer Together! graffiti art workshop with Graffiti Life.