What do we mean by Inclusive Arts?
Inclusive Arts takes many forms but at the heart of the work is the involvement of Disabled artists and/or engagement with Disabled young people. Typically Inclusive Arts practitioners see access issues as positive creative stimuli and not as an additional add on.
The area of work that is placed under the Inclusive Arts umbrella includes:
- Work for young Disabled audiences
- Work created by Disabled Artists for young audiences (both disabled and non-disabled young audiences)
- Work about disability from skilled writers for all audiences performed by Disabled performers.
The artists and companies involved in this area of work don’t share a global common language. Some define themselves as “inclusive”, “interactive”, “integrated” or “accessible”, others use terms like “disabled-led” or “disability arts” or talk about “unlocking authentic voices”.
We have decided to use the term “inclusive” to recognise a shared ethos. Inclusive Arts recognises the contributions of Disabled people, the value of inclusive practices, and the importance of representation with dignity, diversity and difference that enable Disabled young people, participants and artists to take part.
Inclusive Arts is driven by the desire to create high quality arts that includes all and that may have outcomes and influences which are considered ‘therapeutic’ but whose primary purpose is to enlighten, educate, entertain and excite audiences via the arts.
It is incredibly important because it ensures great arts accessibility to everyone, making theatre richer and challenging artists to re-evaluate their practice whilst providing important role models for young audiences and giving them the chance to view disability and diversity in a new light.
How does the Network operate?
IIAN supports and promotes the work of the VSA Program, of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts an international organization on arts and disability, that provide arts and education opportunities for people with disabilities and increase access to the arts for all.
IIAN is a network of inclusive performing arts practitioners affiliated with the ASSITEJ International, the International Association of Theatres for Children and Young People, and has been created in collaboration with the TYA/UK’s Accessibility/Inclusion Team and the Kennedy Center’s VSA .
At this time, the network is managed by the board of volunteers.
The IIAN Board 2022-2025
|Andrew Stanford||Northern Ireland||Co-chair|
|Lars Werner Thomsen||Denmark|
How can the wider TYA community get involved?
The International Inclusive Arts Network community wants to hear from you when:
- You see a great new inclusive theatre show
- You have a new inclusive work premiering or touring
- You want to discuss an issue or ask a question about inclusive theatre for young audiences
- People win awards for work in this area
- There’s an event happening anywhere in the world with a focus on Inclusive Arts
- You want to share information from your country or region about events supporting and developing Inclusive Arts