Members of Act Up theatre company in Changing Attitudes, performed at Ascension Church in Custom House on International Day of Disabled People 3 December 2013.
Together! 2012 CIC was formally launched in March 2013. In our first 12 months we were proud to achieve the following:
Our Art Club created a mural on the Ironworks ‘Meanwhile London’ site opposite Canning Town station over the summer of 2013, with sponsorship from the Gallion’s Reach Centre Beckton.
Our 2012 Open Exhibition by more than 45 disabled artists with a local connection was shown at the London Borough of Newham’s Dockside HQ in July 2013.
Our Professional Development Club held their Nucleus exhibition, showcasing the work of five artists, at the ViewTube in Stratford from August-November 2013, with support from London Borough of Newham and the Gallion’s Reach Centre Beckton.
Our 2013 Open Exhibition, showcasing the work of more than 70 disabled children and adults with a local connection, opened at the Old Town Hall Stratford in November 2013 and continues until April 2014, when it moved to the London Borough of Newham’s Dockside HQ.
DISABILITY HISTORY MONTH FESTIVAL
We held our 2013 Together! festival for Disability History Month (22 November-19 December), with financial support from Arts Council England and in-kind support from Newham Volunteer Team. In addition to the 2013 Open Exhibition, the festival included:
Sophie Partridge performs Song of Semmersuaq at Richard House Children’s Hospice in Beckton on 30 November 2013.
- Performances by Act Up theatre company, comedian Don Biswas, musicians Clare Summerskill and Robin Surgeoner, poets John O’Donoghue and Allan Sutherland, Signdance Collective International, Starpad DJs, storyteller Liz Porter and VJ Mouse on the Telly.
- A specially commissioned Live Art piece by Katherine Araniello, which was performed at the opening and closing events at the Old Town Hall Stratford.
- Workshops for disabled people and their companions in comedy writing, storytelling, no-budget film-making, DJ-ing and fashion upcycling, and an Art Hive.
- A puppet show by Sophie Partridge at Richard House children’s hospice, followed by a Q&A session about careers in the arts for disabled young people with Sophie Partridge, Paralympic Opening Ceremony star Nicola Miles-Wildin, and child actor Eve Smith from The Smoke.
- A three-day film festival at UEL’s Docklands campus.
Plus a Local History Day with Newham Alliance of Disabled People and Allies; an LGBTea Party with Regard; the inaugural meeting of the Newham Disability Arts Network; and a meeting of the Arts Council England-funded Disability Arts Touring Network.
Our Music Club at the new ‘urban village green’ under the A13 flyover at Canning Town on 5 August 2013.
In July 2013 we launched our monthly Music Club with seed funding from the Community First Foundation. Held at the RC Centre in Canning Town on the first Monday of each month from 7-8.30pm, we play and share a very wide range of music, and everyone is encouraged to participate. In August 2013 we held a special session of the Club at the new urban village green under the A13 in Canning Town, and also performed at the Dragonboat races in the Royal Docks.
NETWORKING & CAPACITY BUILDING
We are a founder-member of the Disability Arts Touring Network, funded by Arts Council England and coordinated by DaDaFest International in Liverpool. In December 2013 we launched the Newham Disability Arts Network, so that everyone involved in delivering arts activities to and by disabled people can meet regularly to coordinate our work. Our exhibitions and festivals also offer an opportunity to showcase the work being done by a range of organisations and groups from across the borough.
In addition to delivering our own activities, we are committed to capacity building existing locally based Disability Arts organisations and supporting the development of new ones. We worked with Folk in Motion to assist them to become a CIC; since then they have been awarded funding from Arts Council England to produce a show celebrating the refurbishment of Cecil Sharp House, the HQ of the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS). We also advised other groups on funding and project development.
PHOTOGRAPHERS & FILMMAKERS CLUB
More than 25 people attended our no-budget film-making workshop in December 2013. Club members also help to document our activities using photography and video, and participate in our exhibitions. In January 2014 we launched a monthly workshop at the McGrath Centre.
POP-UP POETRY CLUB
In August 2013 we launched a weekly poetry workshop, with support from the People’s Health Trust. We also ran a monthly Poetry Café on the third Monday of each month, and organize regular visits to poetry events. On 7 September 2013, National Paralympic Day, we held a special Poetry Café at the Viewtube in Stratford.
We are committed to creating employment and self-employment opportunities for disabled people, including opportunities for individuals and groups to sell their art work. Over summer 2013 we ran our Pop-Up Shop at the Medway River Festival, the Dragonboat races in the Royal Docks and in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on National Paralympic Day. We also ran a sale of work in Stratford during our Disability History Month festival.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT CLUB
Our Professional Development Club brings together professional, semi-professional and aspiring professional disabled artists for mentoring, advice and peer support; we provide one-to-one as well as group sessions. We held the Nucleus exhibition, showcasing the work of five artists, at the ViewTube in Stratford from August-November 2013, with support from London Borough of Newham and the Gallion’s Reach Centre Beckton. We also produced art cards and prints for sale.
VOLUNTEERING & TRAINING
Together! 2012 CIC has been created by volunteers, and we offered a wide range of high quality volunteering opportunities for both disabled and non-disabled people. We also worked with Newham Volunteer Team, who provide trained and qualified volunteers to assist with event delivery.
Click here for more details of our 2013 Disability History Month Festival and click here for details of our 2013 Exhibitions.