Time to Act: How lack of knowledge in the cultural sector creates barriers for disabled artists and audiences” is a major new study spanning 40 countries into the barriers that disabled people experience when accessing the arts. This research is carried out by the European mobility network On the Move.
How many programmers are actively seeking work by disabled artists? Do cultural venues have adequate engagement strategies to reach disabled people in their communities?
These are some of the questions that the Time to Act study has posed in order to assess the knowledge (or lack of knowledge) amongst European performing arts managers.
Preliminary findings of the report were published in April 2021.
For the very first time this research has generated trans-national statistics to prove that knowledge gaps amongst European performing arts professionals actively prevent disabled audiences, artists and arts professionals from having equal access to the arts. Statistics like this:
• 52% of performing arts professionals rated their knowledge of work by disabled artists as either poor or very poor.
• 87% of venues and festivals don't involve disabled people in selection panels or in the commissioning process.
• 81% of venues and festivals don't have an accessible website
To mark the launch of the report, a webinar was organised by the British and on the Move bringing together arts professionals, representatives of cultural ministries, arts councils and policymakers from across Europe. Panellists included:
- Mindy Drapsa – Artistic Director: Riksteatern Crea (SWE)
- Tanja Erhart – Dance Artist and curator (AUT/UK)
- Anna Consolati – General Manager: Oriente Occidente Dance Festival (IT)
- Lisette Reuter – Creative Producer: Unlabel / Project Director: ImPArt (DE)
The study is part of the large-scale Arts and Disability project, Europe Beyond Access. Co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, this initiative aims to support disabled artists to break the glass ceilings of the contemporary theatre and dance sectors.