In April 2018 Together! 2012 CIC became an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation, funding our artistic programme and our artistic director Dr Ju Gosling aka ju90 until 2022. This enabled us to plan further ahead to develop our artistic programme.
As part of this process we appointed two locally based associate companies, Act Up Newham! and Folk in Motion CIC, and two Outdoor Arts Partners, Paracarnival CIC from East London and Natural Diversions from Bath. Summer Together! programme highlights included participating with Paracarnival in Hackney Carnival, where the group won the Judge’s Choice Award, and in November the group paraded around Gallion’s Reach Shopping Park in Beckton as part of the Together! 2018 Disability History Month Festival. Natural Diversions led a Street Art Development Day in August, and subsequently directed a new performance, Always Waiting, outside Beckton Globe to launch the Together! 2018 Disability History Month Festival. Other Summer Together! projects included Art Club field trips to West Ham Park and Wanstead Flats, and an open-access guitar master-class with Robin Surgeoner.
With our support, Act Up! Newham obtained Project Grant funding from Arts Council England to create a play in response to the Circus 250 anniversary, When You See Me, which premiered to open the Together! 2018 Disability History Month Festival in November. Other highlights of the year included our tactile sound project VIBE: The Art of Transatlantic Inclusion, which culminated in a simultaneous exhibition and symposium with Montreal as part of the Together! 2018 Disability History Month Festival. The VIBE project began in 2017 in partnership with Canadian artists at the Vibrations Lab in Ontario and Concordia University in Montreal, with additional funding from British Council of Canada. In November Canadian artists visited Together! 2012 CIC to create a video with the Dance Club and take part in the festival launch street art performance.
The Together! 2018 Disability History Month Festival also included our traditional Open Exhibition, showcasing artwork by amateur, community and professional locally based disabled artists, and our international Together! Disability Film Festival, as well as a special reading at Beckton Library to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Full details of the artistic programmes can be found by clicking on the links below (or using the top pull-down menu if these become out of date.
- Summer Together! 2018
- Together! 2018 Disability History Month Festival
- Together! 2018 Disability Film Festival
Our Clubs programme continued to thrive at Vicarage Lane Community Centre, providing free creative workshops during the mornings for disabled people and their companions. In December, The National Lottery Community Fund announced that it would fund our year-round Clubs programme for three years. This will enable us to recruit a Clubs Programme Leader, a Youth Development Worker and an Engagement Support Worker in 2019.
The Together! 2012 Consultancy launched formally, and was successful in obtaining a £10,000 grant from the Big Lottery’s Awards for All programme to deliver free ten ‘Inclusion Confidence’ training sessions for the local voluntary and community sector, led by director Robin Surgeoner MBE. As part of this the Consultancy also published a free training manual to delivering inclusive events and activities, authored by Robin Surgeoner and Ju Gosling. The Consultancy also continued to develop the Together! 2012 Gallery to sell work by disabled artists.
All of our work was supported by our Community Advisory Board, made up of local disabled people, carers and volunteers, and by our Non-Executive Directors from the worlds of arts and business, including Richard Ireland of Stretch Media, Alison Davenport of East London Rugby Club and Mark Norden of Nordens, who also provide us with pro-bono accountancy and business advice services.