Making the Case Symposium: The Whitworth Friday 25 May 2018

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(Image credit: Rhiannon Davies -Deborah M, Manchester Museum Volunteer)

Venture Arts puts learning disabled people at the heart of culture and heritage and encourages cultural leaders to do the same.

Learning disabled people are taking ownership of culture and heritage places and spaces at the MAKING THE CASE | SYMPOSIUM, taking place at the Grand Hall, the Whitworth Friday May 25th 2018.

Venture Arts invites culture and heritage leaders and representatives to join them as they bring together ten ground-breaking organisations and individuals to share best practice in making our cultural landscape a more rich and welcoming place, with learning disabled people at its heart.

This will be a day of open discussion, debate and sharing to encourage change. Directors, artists, consultants, academics and curators will present their work to support the sector to reflect on and re-evaluate their approach to learning disabled people.

We’ll hear from experts in the field including Actionspace and Royal Academy of Arts (London);
Esther Fox – The History of Place (UK); Bluecoat – Blue Room and Jade French, Art As Advocacy Collective
(Liverpool); Holly Grange, the Whitworth (Manchester); Autism for the Arts (Manchester); Manchester Museum (The University of Manchester); HOME (Manchester) and Royal Exchange Theatre (Manchester).
(Image credit: Rhiannon Davies -Deborah M, Manchester Museum Volunteer)

Films and discussions will take place throughout the day. Delegates will uncover hidden heritage stories with Esther Fox, Head of the Accentuate Programme. She’ll present the groundbreaking Heritage Lottery funded disability project, History of Place, which follows the lives of deaf and disabled people over 800 years, across 8 different national locations.

There will be a chance to gain valuable insight into how creative organisations across the country are helping the cultural and heritage sector to open their doors to learning disabled people.

We’ll hear key success stories from speakers including Sheryll Catto, Co-Director of Actionspace, and Molly Bretton, Access and Communities Manager from Royal Academy of Arts, about their long-running “Friday Afternoon Art Club” partnership project.
Ella Walker, HOME Manchester, will talk to participants from Venture Arts’ Cultural Enrichment Programme about their experiences of this fantastic initiative. She’ll also talk about her own experience of the programme and the incredible impact it’s had on HOME as an organisation.
Ella Walker, Volunteer and Work Based Training Manager, HOME Manchester says: “Hosting the Venture Arts placements last year was a fantastic experience for us at HOME. We learnt so much from David and Liam and it was brilliant to support their exploration of HOME and see their confidence and experiences develop. Creating an annual placement will allow us to support more people to explore HOME and help to lead us in ensuring our venue can be a place for all”

Amanda Sutton, Director, Venture Arts says: “It is such a pleasure to be joined by so many great organisations for our symposium and to be able to show some of the excellent work being done in the sector with disabled people. I am really looking forward to hearing about others’ experiences and to some lively debate. It is timely too as the heritage sector starts to embrace Arts Council England’s Creative Case for Diversity, so it will be a day when we can all work together to start to make culture and heritage more welcoming and inclusive to all.”

Esther Fox, Head of Accentuate says: “Heritage and the arts can change lives and disabled people are leading that change. Whether it’s understanding our heritage and those who have gone before us or creatively reinterpreting historic material to ensure our voices are present. Working in partnership with our leading cultural institutions is providing a platform to spotlight this work.”

Making the Case Symposium marks the completion of the first phase of Venture Arts’ Cultural Enrichment Programme, which was developed in response to how few learning disabled people currently access cultural venues. Supported by national lottery players via the Heritage Lottery Fund, the programme has allowed Venture Arts to work closely with Manchester based museums, theatres and galleries including Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester Museum, the Whitworth, People’s History Museum and HOME Manchester, to co-create engagement programmes tailored to each participant. Several programme participants have since gone on to volunteer within heritage or have been introduced to other initiatives run by cultural venues. As a result, when you go into a cultural space in Manchester, you are now much more likely to see learning disabled people involved in and taking ownership of our shared culture.

The symposium takes place from 10.00am – 4.00pm on Friday 25th May at the
Whitworth. Tickets are on sale now at http://bit.ly/BookMTCSymposium.
www.venturearts.org
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For more information or interviews please contact Kate Royle, mailto:comms@venturearts.org or call on
0161 232 1223

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