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The Evolve Symposium

Aspex, New Theatre Royal and the Portsmouth Cultural Trust have teamed up for ‘Evolve Symposium’. ‘Evolve’ is a consortium between Aspex, New Theatre Royal and Portsmouth Cultural Trust which seeks to provide opportunities for artists and audiences with disabilities. Throughout a one-year pilot project, funded by Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, we have been developing artistic opportunities, exhibitions, workshops and residencies across the three venues.

The symposium, which will take place at New Theatre Royal on Tuesday 24 January, will discuss the use of language and labels within the arts, when working with people with SEN/D and on the autistic spectrum.

Confirmed speakers include:  Joanne Bushnell, Director of Aspex; Jo Verrent, Unlimited; Jon Adams, artist; Sara Baldwin, Funky Llama Project, New Theatre Plymouth, Dominique De-Light, Director of Creative Future, StopGap, Kate Adams, Director of Project Artworks.

Ruth Kapadia, Relationship Manager, Diversity of Arts Council England will also be discussing the Arts Council’s approach to identity and labels when working with artists and audiences with disabilities, as well as the results of the recent diversity in the arts workforce survey, relating to barriers to participation.

“One of the biggest challenges we have faced throughout this project has been around the language we use and labels that we put on both ourselves and other we work with. This has led us to question how mainstream organisations can effectively support artists, improve accessibility for audiences and embed diversity within our work without the use of labels”.
Vicky Chapter (Aspex)

The day will also comprise of two performances from Blue Apple, a disability dance company from Winchester and Drake Music, an organisation working in music, disability and technology.

Tickets for the ‘Evolve Symposium’ are now available for just £20.00 from the New Theatre Royal box office. This includes lunch provided by the theatre’s in-house café partners, Watkins and Faux.


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