Crippen discovers that the pandemic has left disabled people who work in the arts and culture sector a brief window in which to act

A survey, that was recently commissioned to mark the first anniversary of the UK Disability Arts Alliance #WeShallNotBeRemoved campaign, suggest that there are significant threats to the continued participation of Deaf and disabled people in the arts and culture sector as a result of the fallout from the COVID-19 crisis.

The Alliance told Disability News Service (DNS) that the survey results suggest that the pandemic has delivered a “weighty” blow to disabled people in the arts sector and left them in a “shockingly fragile environment”.

Three-fifths of the more than 100 disabled creatives who took part said they were definitely or possibly worried that they would have to leave the industry because of a lack of work. And nearly half said they had had less work or no work at all since the pandemic began.

But the survey also showed the importance of financial support schemes during the pandemic, with 20% of respondents receiving grants from the government’s self-employment income support scheme (SEISS), with another 15% on furlough and 20% receiving emergency support grants from one of the UK’s national arts councils.

Andrew Miller, co-founder of the alliance and the campaign, said: “This survey is the first to reveal the full fragility of disabled people’s place in the cultural sector following the pandemic and highlights alarming intersectional inequalities … and suggests that many disabled creatives have little trust in the wider cultural sector to prioritise access as the country comes out of lockdown.”

Jo Verrent, convenor of the campaign and senior producer with Unlimited – an arts commissioning programme that enables new work by disabled artists to reach UK and international audiences – said: “We all knew the pandemic was impacting on disabled people in the arts sector heavily – now we can see just how weighty that blow has been.

Jo also issues a warning: “There is a brief window in which to act if we wish to stop the erasure of disabled people from the place it’s taken over 30 years for us to gain in the cultural sector. It is time now for the right people to … act on these findings and take immediate action.”

The survey and subsequent report was funded by Unlimited and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Description of cartoon for those using screen reading software

A large red ball representing disability arts and covered with the names of several organisations – Unlimited, Head2Head, Shape, etc., is being pushed by a group of disabled artists up a long yellow road with #weshallnotberemoved printed on its surface. At the end of the road is a large sign that says, ‘welcome to mainstream art’. Just behind them the yellow road is being consumed by flames which are identified as the Covid pandemic. One of the people pushing the ball is saying: “Come on folks – we just need one last push!”

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by A6er on 23/06/2021 at 11:05

    Reblogged this on Tory Britain! .


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