One of the biggest challenges facing disabled artists is the lack of audiences for their work. As part of Art and Disability, British Council Poland is committed to build audiences for the work of disabled artists, challenging perceptions of mainstream audiences and reducing barriers for disabled audience members.
We have an active programme to develop audiences for the disabled artists we present. We are also working actively to build a coalition of Polish organisations with the aim of working together on some of the key issues that affect this work.
We are currently working with the Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute, the Institute of Music and Dance, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage in Warsaw, the Silesian Theatre (the organiser of the Open the Door Festival) in Katowice and Rozbark Theatre in Bytom. We are also engaging with the Foundation Culture without Barriers, Theatre 21 and the Zachęta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw.
Our work focuses on building two key audience types:
By showcasing excellent and highly original work, we hope to lift public perceptions around the quality of work being produced and develop a demand for performances with disabled artists. By profiling disabled artists in mainstream magazines, newspapers and arts websites, we can attract a broader audience and educate people on the fantastic work being produced by disabled artists and companies.
To increase access to performances and events for disabled audience members, we lead the way in providing inclusive promotional materials (easy-read, large print, Braille), the use of sign language interpreters for artist talks and discussion events, accessible navigation around venues, relaxed performances* and more. If you would like to attend one of our events and there is something, we can do to make it more accessible to you, get in touch.
As part of Europe Beyond Access, we will be publishing a series of toolkits focussed on audience development, how to reduce barriers for disabled artists and audiences, and how to promote disabled artists’ work on an international stage.
* Relaxed performances are designed for those who would prefer a more relaxed performance environment, including those with Autism, Dementia or who are learning disabled. These performances mean that you can come and go as you please, there is no pressure to be silent throughout a show, and have a more informal atmosphere.