Unlimited is a small scheme with big ambition: we want to make the very best work by disabled artists available to audiences across the UK and beyond, transforming the cultural landscape for disabled artists and the whole arts infrastructure for the better.
We know we can’t do this on our own – and we don’t want to.
The only way to achieve the long-term legacy that we wish for is to form strategic alliances to help us not only deliver the programme over the next few years, but to ensure that the artists, participants, audiences and all those involved have an improved experience for generations to come.
And the best way we’ve thought of to deliver that is to create a network of ‘Unlimited Allies’ – to help us, help disabled artists and help the sector as a whole.
So what does being an Unlimited Ally mean? It could mean different things to different organisations…
For some, it might simply be that they take some of the Unlimited work and showcase it as part of their standard programme. For another, it might mean that we work together to create mini events or festivals, or fit in new strands to events they are already programming – with work being shown and workshops, talks and residencies clustering around them.
We are hoping to gain additional funding to help us do more with venues – linking them to emerging local disabled artists, activitists and enthusiasts to help look at access and outreach in a more focused sense. It might simply mean that an organisation helps us get the message out, or keeps their doors open for disabled artists as they develop new work.
Support, guidance, advice
We are looking for allies across the sector – it might be that you are a training provider who would welcome disabled applicants to your courses and want to align with us to mutually widen reach. You might be able to help us recruit to our traineeship for example. Or you are a producing company and can offer support, guidance and advice to emerging or less experienced individuals or companies – we have lots of disabled artists asking about possible producers for pieces.
We’ve not ironed out all the knots yet; we’ve haven’t got a perfect Unlimited Allies package in place. We’d rather develop it hand in hand with you so that it’s mutually useful and supportive. But we know we want to start talking to organisations sooner rather than later – it’s a busy time for many, with National Portfolio Organisation applications in process at the moment – but we want to build on this rather than miss the opportunity. Many organisations are thinking deeply about how they can move forwards on their commitment to diversity in very practical terms. For some, this kind of alignment might work.
Basically, we want encourage arts organisations in England and Scotland to stop and think for a moment. Could you be an Unlimited Ally? What could we offer you? What could you offer us?
Think on, and get in touch if you think it’s worth us talking.
You can email joverrent (at) weareunlimited.org.uk to start a conversation about being an Unlimited Ally. weareunlimited.org.uk