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Telephone +61 (0)2 9215 9000 or Toll Free 1800 226 912
Art is for everyone. People with disability have the right to enjoy, benefit from and contribute to the arts and cultural life of Australia. Disability in the arts offers excellence and artistry, unique perspectives and lived experiences, and transformative experiences for audiences and communities. However, barriers and disparities exist for people with disability across arts practice, employment, education, training, engagement and participation. Some people with disability also face additional barriers and challenges shaped by their lived experience, cultural background, where they live, access to support and other reasons.
Australia Council disability commitments
The Australia Council aims to be disability confident and fully accessible. Our Disability Action Plan (DAP) 2017-19 sets out commitments and actions in detail across our goals of accessibility, leadership and arts practice. Our DAP also recognises diversity and includes disability across our priorities for First Nations peoples, cultural diversity, regional and remote Australia, children and young people, and older people.
Informed by our DAP, we are investing in artists with disability, profiling artistic achievements, improving access across our programs and systems, increasing representation and access support within peer assessment of funding, and building evidence for the artistic and public value of arts and disability through research and advocacy. Current DAP actions and priorities include:
- Two new three-year initiatives (2019-21) to support artists with
disability: the Arts and Disability Mentoring Initiative, and National Arts and
- Inviting and providing access for artists and arts professionals
with disability to participate as peers in the assessment of funding.
- Ongoing improvements to access across grants and services,
including information in Easy English, and an audio tour for blind and vision
impaired visitors to our building.
- Providing regular opportunities for artists with disability and from diverse backgrounds to participate in international and leadership development.
- Publishing research and advocating for artists with disability, including a new Research Summary on Arts and Disability, and Creating Pathways outlining findings about support.
Arts and Disability Mentoring Initiative 2019-21
This program is for individuals with disability undertaking an artistic collaboration involving mentoring. The proposal should lead to a major step forward in the applicant’s arts practice, and build foundations for an enduring career. The purpose is to support collaborations that fuel ambition, embolden ideas and innovation, build networks and capacity, and strengthen future works.
The Australia Council for the Arts is offering six grants of $30,000 in each Arts and Disability Mentoring Initiative round.
Applications are now closed.Learn more
National Arts and Disability Awards 2019-21
These prestigious national awards recognise outstanding and sustained contributions by Australian artists in all areas of practice – music, literature, community arts and cultural development (CACD), emerging and experimental arts (EEA), visual arts, theatre, dance or a combination of any of these areas.
We welcome nominations that demonstrate the rich intersectionality across diversity areas which Australia’s arts and disability sector is known for.
The National Arts and Disability Award (Established Artist) celebrates the achievements of an Australian artist: $50,000
The National Arts and Disability Award (Young Artist) recognises a young Australian artist demonstrating outstanding leadership: $20,000.
Nominations are now closed.Learn more
Arts to film – questioning assumptions through diversity on screen
What began as a disability workshop in the late 80s has become one of our most successful and ground breaking theatre companies.
Rawcus Ensemble: Song for a weary throat
Diversity in the arts is a cultural asset that leads to greater artistic vibrancy and innovation while breaking down barriers, empowering diverse voices and growing empathy, understanding and human connection.
Julia Hales: You know We Belong Together
This is a remarkable story about a remarkable woman – a tenacious, determined and talented writer and performance maker, who also happens to have Down syndrome.
Michael Buckley’s work is influenced by his experience of brain dysfunction. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2011 and now uses his personal circumstances as inspiration and sees it as an opportunity to collaborate with others.