A short statured woman leaning on a desk and holding a microphone while looking at a laptop on the desk
Delegate at Arts Activated 2016 Conference

Day 1 | Thursday 22 August

8:00am          Registration Desk Opens

9:15am          Conference Opening | Room 1        

  • Alex Jones (MC) | Actor; Advocate; Accessible Arts Board Dir.
  • Daniel McDonald | Artist; Metropolitan Aboriginal Land Council Representative
  • Andrew Buchanan | Accessible Arts Board Vice Chair

9:45am         Opening Plenary | Making It Happen Today | Room 1

Leading UK artist and disability arts advocate Rachel Gadsden will deliver the opening keynote address centred around innovative action we can take to create equity for artists and audiences with disability.

“I’ll be drawing upon my 25 years experience as a practitioner to give an insight into how I have navigated my work and projects, both personally and in collaboration, to create my artistic practice. I’ll give an insight into key projects and commissions, and how my motivation and inspiration has shifted to use the platform I now have as an artist to contribute, through creativity, to necessary and important cultural change within societies, relating to issues of diversity, disability, human rights and accessibility.

“I’ll discuss experiences of working with many diverse artists, individuals and communities in vulnerable arena’s where social, economic and political challenges affect and impact on daily lives, but how these challenges can also be the starting point to develop creative projects and art that can significantly contribute to the repositioning of culture, and the reconstruction of the cultural concept of a society. It is our individual responsibility, as people with disability, to generate significant and important work that ultimately means that the mainstream platforms, directors, programmers and policymakers will no longer ignore important creative voices.”

  • Rachel Gadsden | Artist; Disability Arts Advocate
  • David Capra (moderator) | Multidisciplinary Artist 
  • Presented by: British Council

10:45am        Morning Break

11:15am       Morning Sessions | 2 Concurrent Sessions

Captain, My Captain: Arts Leadership & Disability | Room 1

Artists, disability advocates and government policymakers examine disability leadership in the arts and cultural sector. Participants will explore strategies to develop more disability led initiatives.

  • Rosemary Kayess | UNSW Disability Innovation Institute Dir.; Member of UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Caroline Bowditch | Arts Access Victoria Exec. Dir.; Performance Artist; Choreographer
  • Meagan Shand | Arts Access Australia CEO
  • Paul Nunnari | Dir. of Inclusive Infrastructure & Experience, NSW Dept of Planning, Industry & Environment; Performer; Paralympic Athlete
  • Bree Hadley | QUT Assoc. Prof. Creative Industries
  • Morwenna Collett (chair) | Dir. Major Performing Arts Projects, Australia Council for the Arts
  • Presented by: UNSW Disability Innovation Institute

Creation Stories: Shaping The Narrative Of Arts And Disability | Room 2

Artists with disability explore their work and new ways of articulating the aesthetic value of arts and disability.

12:30              Lunch | Closed Session  

Closed Session | Delegates With Disability Only | Room 1        

Delegates will identify priority areas for arts and disability advocacy work, followed by the opportunity for interested participants to share information about their work and any upcoming events.

  • Morwenna Collett (moderator) | Dir. Major Performing Arts Projects, Australia Council for the Arts
  • Liz Martin (moderator) | Arts Development & Training Mngr, Accessible Arts

1:30pm         Mid Afternoon Sessions | 3 Concurrent Sessions

Showing The Way: Improving Access For Audiences | Room 1

Access specialists and disability experts explore how arts organisations and venues are making change and providing better access, including through inclusive programming.

  • Kari Seeley | Access 2 Arts Audio Describer
  • Jody Holdback | 2 Arts Audio Description Coord.
  • Alison Miles | Substation Audio Description Mngr
  • Jacqueline Homer | DADAA Head of Production
  • Darlene Thornton | Auslan Consultant & Interpreter
  • Jeremy Smith (chair) | Dir. of Community, Emerging & Experimental Arts, Australia Council for the Arts

Planning Makes Perfect: Unpacking Disability Inclusion Action Plans | Room 2

Arts organisation representatives and access experts discuss the development and implementation of Disability Inclusion Action Plans (DIAPs) and how to ensure they demonstrate return on investment. This workshop will include practical guidance on navigating the DIAP process.

  • Glenn Redmayne | Inner West Council Community Project Officer, Access and Inclusion
  • James Wolley | Sydney Film Festival Head of Marketing
  • Priya Pavri | Next Wave Festival Gen. Mngr
  • Liz Martin (chair) | Arts Development & Training Mngr, Accessible Arts

Learning Curve: Boosting Mainstream Training Opportunities | Room 3

Disability advocates and arts education representatives explore how to increase training opportunities for artists and arts workers with disability so they can work with mainstream arts companies, venues, and events. This session will include practical tips and guidance about accessing education and training.

  • Mark Gaal | NIDA Exec. Dir. of Pathways & Partnerships
  • Paul Sabey | Assoc. Prof., Head of Performing Arts, Qld Conservatorium, Griffith University
  • Claire Lamont | Head of BA Performance in BSL and English, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
  • Gary Paramanathan | AFTRS Engagement Coord.
  • Tracey Corbin-Matchett (chair) | Bus Stop Films CEO
  • Presented by: Media Super

2:45pm         Afternoon Break

3:15pm         Late Afternoon Sessions | 3 Concurrent Sessions

This Is Us: Authentic Casting & Representation   | Room 1

Performers, content creators, casting directors and casting agents explore representation and inclusion across both stage and screen. This session will include practical tips on casting and auditioning.

Transformers: Creating Change Through Personal Impact | Room 2

Artists, arts workers and disability experts examine the transformative effect that artists and arts workers with disability have on the programs, people and culture of arts organisations which actively engage with them on site and in person. This session will include practical tips for engaging colleagues with issues around accessibility.

Tactical Advantage: Developing The Arts & Disability Evidence Base | Room 3

This workshop will explore the ways evidence, research and data analysis can support planning and strategic policy for artists and audiences with disability. This will include looking at key results of the 2018 consultation on the National Arts and Disability Strategy and providing practical advice on ways to measure impact. 

  • Jackie Bailey | Jackie Bailey, Principal BYP Group
  • Nea Cahill | Policy Lead, Strategic Policy, Create NSW

4:30pm          Networking Reception

  • Cr Patricia Prociv | City of Parramatta Councillor
  • Andrew Buchanan | Accessible Arts Board Vice Chair
  • Presented by: City of Parramatta

6:00pm Reception ends

Day 2 | Friday 23 August

8:30am         Registration Desk Opens

9:30am         Plenary 2 | Place Settings: Making Cultural Venues Work For Everyone | Room 1

Director of Accessibility at The Smithsonian Beth Ziebarth will outline how the Smithsonian has developed its approach to accessibility over recent years. She will be joined by artist and Access Smithsonian colleague Robin Lynne Marquis who has over 15 years of experience in smaller community organisations in Washington D.C. and Baltimore. They will discuss how the policies and practice of large institutions can be distilled into achievable access outcomes for smaller organisations.  Ms Ziebarth will be presenting via live video link from Washington. Ms Marquis will be presenting live on stage in Sydney. 

  • Beth Ziebarth | Accessibility Programs Dir., The Smithsonian
  • Robin Lynne Marquis | Access Smithsonian Project & Community Outreach Coord.
  • Katie Russell (moderator) | Head of Public Programmes, Education Research Library and Archives, National Gallery of Australia
  • Presented by: Sydney Olympic Park Authority

10:30am       Morning Break

11:00am       Morning Sessions

All Of Me: The Intersection Of Identities | Room 1

Artists, arts workers and diversity experts explore where disability sits within dialogues around intersectional identities, identity politics and the arts.

  • Caroline Bowditch | Arts Access Victoria Exec. Dir.; Performance Artist; Choreographer
  • Gayle Kennedy | Writer
  • Amrita Ramjas | Filmmaker, Bus Stop Films
  • Sam Martin | Filmmaker
  • Ohni Blu | Artist; Curator; Events Producer
  • Robin Lynne Marquis (chair) | Access Smithsonian Project & Community Outreach Coord.

Reviewing The Situation: Working With Critics | Room 2

Artists and critics provide insights on the critiquing of work created by or including artists with disability. Participants will receive practical tips on approaches to working with critics and getting work reviewed.

  • Dov Kornits | Filmink Critic
  • Matt Shilcock | Dancer
  • Kate Disher-Quill | Photographer
  • Jodee Mundy (chair) | Artistic Dir., Jodee Mundy Collaborations

12:00pm       Early Afternoon Sessions

Jumpstart: Creating Opportunities For Emerging Artists | Room 1

Participants of the Creatability program discuss the impact of these kinds of initiatives on developing employment, career and leadership opportunities for artists and arts workers with disability.

  • Jack Dowdell | Goalpost Pictures Intern
  • Sarah Christie | Goalpost Pictures Development Exec.
  • Thomas Hamilton | Sydney Festival Intern
  • Shay Spencer | Jungle Entertainment Development Mngr
  • Johanna Garvin | Communications Officer, Strategic Communications & Marketing, Create NSW
  • Presented by: Media Super

Future Focus: Tech And Design Trends For Universal Access | Room 3

Artists, designers, and technology experts explore current trends in accessibility technology and universal design across all areas including venue design.

  • Kirstin Sillitoe | Google Creative Lab Team Lead
  • Duncan Meerding | Designer
  • Rachel Gadsden | Artist; Disability Arts Advocate
  • Paul Nunnari (chair) | Dir. of Inclusive Infrastructure & Experience, NSW Dept of Planning, Industry & Environment; Performer; Paralympic Athlete

1pm              Lunch

2pm              Mid Afternoon Sessions

Fast and Curious | Room 1

Artists, arts workers and researchers share information about their projects, ideas and research in a speed dating format.

  • Tarnya Sim | Creative Marketing Lead, Feros Care
  • Pat Swell | Access Arts Chief Exec.
  • Alison Reynolds | Visual Artist
  • Sonal Patel | Adelaide Fringe Festival Artist & Venue Coord.
  • Dan Collalti | Visual Artist
  • Rebecca Canty | Studio Artes Service Mngr
  • Jessica Raymond | Studio Artes Inner West Mngr
  • Athena Pavlis-Goard | Writer
  • Ceilidh Dalton | Visual Artist
  • Dan Graham (chair) | Director

Easy Access: A Practical Guide To Increasing Accessibility | Room 2

Access/inclusion experts and disability equity trainers provide useful strategies and practical tips for delivering better access and increased participation for artists, audiences and arts workers with disability.

  • Anna Rigg | Social Policy Mngr, Social Programs & Services, City of Sydney
  • Julia Phillips | Disability Programs Inclusion Officer, Inner West Council
  • Ruth O’Brien | Accessible Arts Project Officer
  • Daniel Savage (chair) | Artist; Photographer; Accessible Arts Trainer

3:15pm         Afternoon Break

3:45pm         Closing Plenary | What Happens Tomorrow? | Room 1

Artists, arts workers and policymakers explore the big ideas, challenges and opportunities that have been identified over the course of the conference. They’ll then consider how artists with disability and their allies can challenge the status quo, take control, and make lasting change happen now.

  • Caroline Bowditch (chair) | Arts Access Victoria Exec. Dir.; Performance Artist; Choreographer

4:30pm         Event ends

Program Notes

The conference is designed for those in the arts and cultural sector who want to discuss issues, solutions and possibilities, engage with different perspectives and to plan for real change.

Attendees will be able to use the conference as an opportunity to connect with others, exchange knowledge, ask questions, learn from best practice case studies, develop new skills, shift perceptions, provide new ways of thinking and widen perspectives

Enough times will be allowed for genuine, deep discussion and debate so that attendees can determine their own actions to make change happen.