National Access Arts Assembly
Part One: The Good Host Calgary Assembly
Inside Out Theatre, British Council and Tangled Art + Disability, with the support of Canada Council of the Arts, have joined forces to improve accessibility in the arts countrywide. By inviting artists, producers, advocates and audience members to join the conversation in our spaces, we hope to imagine possible cooperative futures for accessible performances in Canada.
In order to do this, we’re hosting two, three-day accessibility-based assemblies. Inside Out Theatre will host the first assembly in August, 2019 in Calgary, and British Council and Tangled Art + Disability will host the second assembly in Toronto in October, 2019. Our mission with these assemblies are to celebrate the great work that is already taking place with accessible performances, but to also determine how we can improve further within every community. With the first assembly focusing on coordination and organizing accessible performances, the second will cover the practice and training necessary to best host an accessible performance.
Inside Out Theatre & the Good Host program:
In 2016, Inside Out launched The Good Host program to serve the Calgary arts community as a centralized facilitator and coordinator of accessible practices. These practices include ASL/English Interpretation, Audio Description, Relaxed Performances, and play going clubs. This past season we had the privilege of hosting 50+ performances with 15 partners here in Calgary. This year we have also had many exciting conversations with colleagues across the country about potential collaborations, including the possibility of introducing a version of The Good Host to other arts communities.
Considering Inside Out Theatre’s work in Calgary with the Good Host program and British Council/Tangled Art + Disability’s Access Activator program, we hope to share what we’ve learned and in turn, learn from one another!
We want to bring these various conversation threads together by welcoming our current and future friends to our home base in Calgary.
British Council, Tangled Art + Disability and the Access Activators:
In 2016, the British Council in partnership with Tangled Art+Disability and with the support of Canada Council for the Arts invited artists and cultural organizers invested in advocating for accessible arts to be trained by UK’s Include Arts. Now certified trainers, the team of Access Activators brought their knowledge and energy to support organizations across Canada to integrate Relaxed Performance into their programming. Since 2015, approximately 200 people in Canada have been trained with this Relaxed Performance training model.
What We’re Planning:
The Good Host National Assembly as part of the National Access Arts Assembly will be held Wednesday, August 21st, Thursday, August 22nd, and Friday, August 23rd at Inside Out Theatre in Calgary, AB
We are purposefully keeping the gathering small, with no more than 40 participants, to ensure there is space and time for everyone to actively participate.
While the detailed program is still being developed, the program in general will include whole group and breakout sessions geared towards:
Examining the Good Host program initiative in regards to coordination and development.
Building a shared understanding and appreciation for accessibility work currently happening in Canada.
Recognizing current, common gaps and needs in our sector.
Prioritizing Deaf and disabled leadership in accessibility programs, and cementing the connection between accessibility efforts and the wider Deaf, disability and MAD arts sector.
Discipline specific (i.e. Relaxed Performances) and Regional specific breakout groups.
Plus, we want everyone to have the chance to enjoy Calgary in the summer with;
A welcoming picnic
An evening cocktail hour
Daily field reports from local Rapontuers
A closing Inside Out house party with members of the Calgary theatre community
… and more
ASL Interpreters and Audio Describers will be present for the gathering. Inside Out is wheelchair accessible, and we will have a designated chill room for anyone who needs a break.
Prior to the gathering, all attendees will be asked to fill out a survey that provides an opportunity to share any requests or considerations you’d like us to have.
Travel & Accommodation:
Here in Calgary we offer the Good Host as a pay-what-you-can program for our partners, recognizing that everyone (and every organization) is coming from a unique place and that often those folks most vital to these conversations have the least financial flexibility.
Keeping in that spirit, we’re providing Travel and Accommodation subsidies for everyone, complimentary meals over the three days, and no registration or participation fee.
If however, you or your organization has the budget for such costs and are able to cover travel and accommodation, this is gratefully accepted. Likewise, if your organization would like to contribute to the cost of the Assembly in any way, please let me know, as that’s a conversation I’m more than happy to have.
Inside Out Theatre is a Deaf and disability theatre company in sunny Calgary Alberta equally invested in artistic excellence, community development, and deepening our cultures’ accessibility.
We offer community-based drama programs to Calgarians with disabilities that foster a love of theatre, the joy of community, and the rewards of self-expression.
We produce and present plays created by artists with disabilities and their allies that insist on and celebrate their place in the public sphere.
And we work to improve theatre’s accessibility for audience members and to ensure their equity and dignity in attending performing arts in Calgary.
Tangled Art + Disability is a registered charitable organization dedicated to
Tangled Art + Disability is a registered charitable organization dedicated dedicated to connecting professional and emerging artists, the arts community, and a diverse public through creative passion and artistic excellence. Our mandate is to support disability-identified artists, to cultivate disability arts in Canada, and to enhance access to the arts for artists and audiences of all abilities. We do this by:
Developing, showcasing, promoting, and employing artists with disabilities;
Fostering partnerships and collaborations that increase opportunities for artists with disabilities;
Publicly showcasing the rich diversity of talent from the disability arts community. http://tangledarts.org/
The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 75 million people directly and 758 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. We make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government. www.britishcouncil.org