Together! 2012 CIC’s Artistic Policy is underpinned by the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People, and in particular by Article 30. Article 30 gives disabled people the right to participate in the arts on equal terms, both as artists and as audience members, as well as to organize and participate in our own cultural activities. We celebrate the creativity in everyone, as well as showcasing disabled-led work of international excellence, and encourage and value freedom of expression.
We also draw on the artistic heritage of the London Borough of Newham, including the late Joan Littlewood’s philosophy of bringing art into the community that reflects the community’s lived experiences in addition to introducing new art forms. We value the experiences of all of our participants and audience members; the time and energy that they have expended to participate in our activities; and their reactions and responses to our work, whatever their access requirements, impairment label or educational level. We work to achieve greater inclusion of disabled people and carers within society and broader cultural change through the arts.
Together! 2012 CIC’s work supports Arts Council England’s aim of ‘great art for everyone’ and reflects their five strategic goals for the decade 2010-2020:
Goal 1: Excellence
- Together 2012! CIC is working to create an international centre of excellence for Disability Arts in the London Borough of Newham.
- Disability Arts is an international art movement in its own right, and is inclusive of all art forms. Disability Arts offers new perspectives on the world, as well as reflecting the lived experiences of disabled people and showcasing Disability Culture.
- We provide learning and showcasing opportunities for locally based, emerging, and nationally and internationally known disabled artists, and empower them to progress and develop their careers.
- We provide opportunities for both disabled and non-disabled audience members to enjoy and engage actively with high quality disabled-led arts activities.
Goal 2: For everyone
- Together! 2012 CIC offers a free year-round programme of disabled-led arts activities that aim to be fully inclusive in every sense.
- We work to remove barriers to engaging in the arts including financial, environmental and attitudinal barriers.
- We include people with physical and sensory impairments, people with learning difficulties, people with mental health difficulties and people with long-term health conditions within our work.
- Some activities are targeted at disabled people and their companions – unpaid carers and other companions are welcome to participate on equal terms. This work is aimed at redressing the opportunities that are being denied participants elsewhere.
- Together! 2012 CIC events, exhibitions, screenings and performances are open to everyone. Activities taking place before 7pm are generally suitable for family audiences.
- Together! 2012 CIC is working to bring great art to people’s doorsteps, working in 20 pop-up venues across the borough to date.
- In 2012 the London Borough of Newham had the lowest arts engagement rate in the UK – Together! 2012 CIC is working to increase engagement by disabled and non-disabled people alike as part of the Paralympic cultural Legacy.
Goal 3: Resilience and sustainability
- Together! 2012 CIC is a social enterprise, not a charity. We are developing a disability policy consultancy and training service and an online sales operation, creating employment for other disabled people and enabling disabled artists to develop markets for their work, as well as generating funds to subsidise our free offer.
- We aim to provide the participants in our targeted activities with the skills, ‘cultural literacy’ and experiences necessary to access the arts more widely, as well as with improved confidence and self-esteem.
- Together! 2012 CIC has been awarded ‘Community of Health’ status by Newham Clinical Commissioning Group for “outstanding services in improving the health and well-being of local residents”.
- Together! 2012 CIC intends to develop our own arts centre in the south of the borough, where no facilities exist at present. Income from lettings and from café and bar operators will help to subsidise our free offer.
- We have established the Newham Disability Arts Network (NEWDAN) to coordinate Disability Arts activities, maximize engagement opportunities and support the capacity building of other organizations.
Goal 4: Diversity and skills
- Together! 2012 CIC is located in the London Borough of Newham, which is the most culturally diverse community in the world. Newham was also the main Paralympic Host Borough role in 2012, bringing together people from all over the world to compete in peace. We are proud of this unique heritage, and celebrate it in our work.
- We reflect the lived experiences of disabled people from different impairment groups within the performances, events and exhibitions that we programme.
- We use informal but structured differentiated learning techniques to enable participants in our Club-based activities to develop a range of artistic and creative skills.
- Many participants in our Pop-Up Poetry Club have commented on the gains they have made in literacy, creative writing and public speaking skills.
- Together! 2012 CIC offers a range of volunteer opportunities to both disabled and non-disabled people.
- Together! 2012 CIC encourages workers and volunteers to engage with free employment training opportunities.
- Together! 2012 CIC is working with the Creative and Cultural Skills Council to develop a Creative Apprenticeship and Internship scheme.
Goal 5: Children and young people
- Together! 2012 CIC focuses our work with 0-16 year olds on disabled children and their families who for whatever reason find it hard to access the arts through the educational system.
- Together! 2012 CIC works in partnership with the Discover Centre and Richard House children’s hospice to programme disabled artists at venues that are already being used for families and young people.
- Together! 2012 CIC delivers an Arts Award programme in association with Richard House, supporting young people to gain nationally recognized arts qualifications.
- Together! 2012 CIC is exploring what services young people aged 16-25 year olds would like us to provide, in response to demand from young people and their families.
MONITORING AND REVIEW
The Artistic Policy will be monitored on an ongoing basis and reviewed annually by the directors to ensure that it remains fit for purpose, and will be updated as necessary.