The Unlimited III programme led by Shape Arts and Artsadmin has been awarded a major Arts Council England (ACE) grant of £1.8m to continue commissioning, producing and supporting the work of disabled artists.

Jo Verrent will remain in place as senior producer, realising the programme’s mission of changing perceptions and embedding the work of disabled artists within the wider cultural sectors, both within the UK and internationally.

Unlimited III will run between 2016 and 2020 and there will be three application rounds, with the first one to open this October. The first round of commissioned artists will be announced in spring 2017.

Said Verrent: “We look forward to a time when equality and diversity are commonplace within the cultural sector, knowing that Unlimited will have been so instrumental in its making.”

Originally created as part of the Cultural Olympiad 2012, the first two Unlimited programmes took place between 2009 and 2016. During this period the programme has supported over 50 artists and produced 20 commissions that have toured and been exhibited internationally.

Talent development

Unlimited projects have included Aaron Williamson‘s Demonstrating the World, a live reinterpretation of YouTube ‘How-To’ videos, and Bekki Perriman‘s exploration of homeless culture through site-specific sound installation The Doorways Project. Alongside further commissions, the Unlimited III programme will see an increase in talent development and the building of international partnerships.

“Shape relishes the opportunity this continued funding and partnership with Artsadmin will bring to increase the impact disabled artists have on the creative diversity of our cultural life,” said Tony Heaton OBE, chief executive of Shape Arts.

“This vote of confidence in us demonstrates the richness Unlimited has brought to the cultural offer and recognises that an inclusive and civil society must include the unique creativity of disabled artists within it.”

1. Aaron Williamson, Demonstrating the World, 2015. Photo: Manuel Vason

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