Revealing Culture - HeadOn

Visual disabled artist Tanya Raabe has been awarded a Grant for the Arts to create 'Revealing Culture:HeadOn', a research/artwork portraying identity, disability culture and the Nude. Tanya will be delving into public art collections on display in Tate Liverpool and Tate Modern to devise a visionary portrait of disability culture, while creating ten new portraits of disabled cultural figures, past present and future. The sittings for these portraits are open to the public to watch and question both the artist and the sitter the project.


Live portraits take place at Tate Modern through the first half of 2010 featuring a range of prominent figures within the disability world. Sophie Morgan, Fashion Model and runner up in the, television reality show 'The Missing Model' will pose on the 29 January. Deborah Wilkinson, creative producer of Reality Productions, will come to Tate Modern on 15 February. The final sitter will be Baroness Campbell, of Surbiton, D.B.E who is an active Crossbench Peer in the House of Lords and has developed a changing disability culture in terms of Human Rights and Independent Living, campaigning for 'Living with Dignity' and the right to live as we choose.

Additional Sitters include: Sir Bert Massie CBE former chair of the Disability Rights Commission, has been appointed as the new Commissioner for the Compact, the agreement that strives to develop links between public, voluntary and community organizations. Dr Sonali Shah, social scientist, Leeds University, Deborah Wilkinson, creative producer of Reality Productions; Michele Taylor, Arts Consultant; Garry Robson Artistic Director of Fittings Multimedia Arts Sir William Laurence: is the Great Great Grandfather of Sergeant Surgeon to Queen Victoria and Granted a Baronetcy in 1867 of Ealing Park.; The peoples choice!: this will be a portrait chosen by the public using social networks, BBC Ouch!, Facebook, Flicker.

For further information please visit or the blog at

Another Blow To Disabled Artists

A little over a year since the Scottish Arts Council (SAC) announced its plan to consolidate and develop Disability Arts in Scotland with its excellent "Ignite" one off funding programme, yet before the programme has actually finished we learn that the SAC Equalities Department is being dissolved and that the Arts and Disability Post (Robert Gale's job) is to be lost.


We all suspected that as a result of recent financial turmoil equality would take a hit, but this is nothing short of nuclear.

This decision by SAC, made without consultation, to close this department and let Robert go, sends on a big clear signal to arts and cultural organisations in Scotland and beyond.

It's going to be difficult for the Council to make an influential argument for inclusion, disability arts and equality in general, if it's seen to be turning its back on these issues.

And it's going to be easier for those arts organisations that deny how important being equal and inclusive is, to argue that they have neither the capacity nor the resources to become so.

We just hope that disabled people and disabled artists won't miss out because of this step, and that it won't leave a gaping hole in Scottish culture where there could and should have been a mountain.

Community RePaint

Last year 380 million litres of paint (retail and trade) were sold in the UK. Of this, it is estimated that approximately 53 million litres are unused, stored in homes or garages or just thrown away. Thats enough paint to fill 21 Olympic-sized swimming pools!


Community RePaint provides a solution to this problem by providing an outlet for unwanted reusable paint while helping local communities and individuals.

In 2007 the Community RePaint national network redistributed over 250,000 litres of paint to community groups, charities, voluntary organisations and people in social need.

If you need paint for a redecoration or art project then the postcode locator to find your nearest Community RePaint project.

Basic legal advice by web and email

A new web-based system has been created to provide brief legal information in response to straightforward legal queries, to assist not for profit organisations and individuals who cannot afford to pay for solicitors privately.


Initial Electronic Advice is run by LawWorks (the operating name for the Solicitors Pro Bono Group) in partnership with advice agencies and voluntary sector umbrella bodies.

Free information source and online community for the nonprofit sector

KnowHow NonProfit is a free information source and online community for the nonprofit sector.


The website contains sections on:

the basics
you and your team
your organisation
funding and income
campaigns and awareness
working together for change

Each section has a wealth of information and resources with links to other tools. 'The basics' section has a free online self-assessment tool, Tools for Success, to work out whether your organisation has got the basics in place to be sustainable. Take the test and receive a report. (You will need to register with KnowHow NonProfit to access the self-assessment tool)

The Art Lovers Guide

A new art guide showing how people with a learning disability can be involved and welcomed into arts has been launched for galleries, museums and art organisations.


The new guide to visual art, written by people with a learning disability, was created by Mencap with the support of Tate Liverpool and Nokia.

The Art Lovers' Guide offers practical advice to artists and organisations alike and contains the work and views of 10 artists with a learning disability. It was led by the artists of Mencap's 'In the Frame' project, who meet at Tate Liverpool to explore their ideas and different ways of being involved in the gallery. As well as producing the guide, the group has run a public exhibition at Tate Liverpool, entitled 'In My Liverpool Home'. They have also run a conference, workshops, have trained and worked as gallery assistants, and have piloted innovative ways of exploring the gallery.

As artist Terry Kelly, who has a learning disability, explains, art is one area of life where he is in control: "When I'm doing art, I'm doing it. Whatever idea I have, I have. I'm full of information myself. I want to worry about it. I want it to be my ideas."

Cathriona Bourke, Youth and Community Curator at Tate Liverpool added: "We've become increasingly aware of an appetite among art lovers with a learning disability to become more involved in the life of Tate Liverpool. The In the Frame project group has worked alongside art handlers to install their own exhibition, and have worked with our Information Assistants to discuss their work with visitors. "They've highlighted new ways of working that didn't exist before and have extended Tate's understanding of peer-led learning, consultation and mentoring. Their engagement has made the environment more inviting and accessible to other people with disabilities and, judging by visitor comments, has made it a more appealing place for the local, national and international audience at Tate Liverpool."

The booklet can be downloaded for free from Mencap's art website,, or printed copies are available at GBP 5 each (P&P inc) by sending a cheque (made payable to Mencap), to The Art Lover's Guide, Mencap, Burrell Road , Haywards Heath , West Sussex RH16 1TW .

New Shropshire & Telford Arts Partnership (STAP) Website

The new STAP website is now up and running. The old website hasn't been functioning effectively for some time, apologies if this has caused any inconvenience.

Website address for new site is:
The website includes information on funding, some Arts Development projects, useful websites and past STAP e-newsletters. Further information will continue to be added as the site develops.
We are hoping that within the next couple of weeks you will be able to add your own events to the site. We will keep you updated on this.

Browsealoud has arrived on the DASH website

Browsealoud is a speech to text programme. Which enables your computer to read out websites that have Browsealoud enabled.


All you need to do is download the programme from

If you require further help take a look at the word document below.

We hope that you will give Browsealoud a try and let us know what how your experience of the site has changed, and hopefully improved.

There are hundreds of websites that have Browsealoud enabled so you can surf away to your hearts content.

Please email me with your comments

BlindArt Forum

BlindArt unveils an exciting new feature on its website to make your art-world bigger and better connected Post events, exhibitions, web-links and CHAT


This month sees the launch of an interactive Forum on BlindArt website where people can read, write about and discuss issues relating to art, visual impairment and disability. The Forum will help raise public awareness of inclusive events and the issues surrounding inclusive arts.

The BlindArt Forum aims are:

  • To create a promotional tool for artists to show their works
  • To provide a space for art organizations to promote their events
  • To establish an interactive resource for the visually impaired community on creating and accessing art

Posting on BlindArt Forum will reach a wide public from all over the world. BlindArt's website receives an average of 20,000 visitors and 105,000 hits per month. The vast majority of visitors are from Europe and North America, followed by Asia, and a handful of visitors each month from Oceania, Africa and South America.

BlindArt Forum is set to become the on-line interactive social network for the public providing an accessible resource archive on inclusive arts, and a place to express views and experiences and discuss and engage in debate with others.

BlindArt Forum

If you require assistance on posting images or attaching files please contact or call Purwita Susanto on 020 7245 9977