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Issue 2: Project Feature

The Accentuate Programme consists of 15 projects which seek to offer new opportunities to promote the talent and skills of disabled people within the South East. We also hope to try to approach things a bit differently and by focussing on talent and critically assessing quality, we aim to create a cultural shift in attitudes towards disability. Each edition of Accentuate News will focus on one particular Accentuate project. This time we are featuring Go Public, Accentuate’s inspiring two year programme supporting disabled and Deaf artists to work in the public realm.

Go Public delivered by Dada-South and Artpoint, will provide key opportunities for disabled and Deaf artists to increase their skills, knowledge and expertise in creating public artworks and to realise new public works. The process will be underpinned by a purposeful skills development plan of support and guidance for the successful applicants.

Disabled and Deaf artists were invited to ‘Go Public’ and submit ideas and concepts for work they would like to create within public spaces. This could include high streets, train stations, the countryside, the internet and shopping malls. An unprecedented number of artists applied for the commissions demonstrating that there are plenty of disabled and Deaf artists geared up for creating work in new places.

The application process enabled each artist to submit draft versions of their proposals before the final submission. This support system has been extremely important in encouraging applications from artists in an area that might be new to them. 83% of applicants received individual support from Artpoint and submitted draft applications prior to their final submission.

Stevie Rice, Director of Dada-South says

“It is encouraging to see so many applicants to Go Public. The level of support has been crucial in terms of access to the programme and has ensured that artists have the opportunity to submit an application that best reflects their project and their concepts. Individual tailored approaches to supporting disabled and Deaf artists makes a real difference. Getting the support mechanisms right ensures disabled and Deaf artists get essential encouragement, access support and creative expertise to best enable them to fulfill their artistic ambitions. We believe that a plethora of quality and skilled disabled and Deaf creatives will ultimately enable Accentuate to realise its ambition of creating a cultural shift.”

Artpoint, the public art agency for the South east, has been working closely with the applicants during the submission process. Kevin Wilson, Director of Artpoint says

“Go Public has enabled Artpoint to further understand the needs of disabled artists in the South East. It continues to be a very rewarding process to support disabled artists in all stages of their development.”

Watch this space over the next week when the winning commissions are announced and the artists revealed!

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