We were delighted to hold the inaugural Cultural Inclusion Conference on 18 October. Over 100 delegates from across education, arts and cultural organisations and disability bodies came together to explore access to arts and culture for people with young people with disabilities. It was a powerful and thought provoking event.
With a choice of twelve practical workshops, provocative key notes and opportunities to work together on solutions, this was a chance to both learn from others and to be at the front of developing a National Cultural Inclusion Strategy. See the programme for the conference here.
The key note from Stephen Unwin was hard hitting, difficult to hear and for many attendees at the very core of why cultural inclusion matters so much. Stephen has launched 10 things that he would like to see in any drama that portrays learning disabilities and we are supporting a call for funders to consider more commissions in this field.
Andrew Miller, UK Government’s Disability Champion for Arts & Culture, gave an impassioned speech on need for practical approaches to see people with disabilities have better access to the creative industries. This is one of the areas that we want to consider as part of our next steps with great support from delegates.
Adam Boddison, CEO of NASEN, talked about the practical benefits of collaboration and networking and particularly how cultural and heritage institutions can work with and sharing learning from inclusion practice in schools. Following requests over the last months and feedback from delegates at the event NASEN have opened a new membership offer for cultural organisations.
And Cultural Manifesto author Paul Morrow opened the event with a background on where we came from, the rapid progress we made and where we might go next. See Paul's speech here. On the day of the Conference we passed our 100th signatory with 2 of the Deputy Mayors for London adding their support.
The conference had a wealth of wonderful practice that we will be sharing over the months ahead. Our thanks to the presenters and workshop leaders who all gave their time freely. It also prompted a passionate level of discussion. Over the weeks ahead we will update on next steps ahead of our parliamentary reception in January where we will be launching our Cultural Inclusion Plan.
Many thanks to Lyric Hammersmith, nasen, GEM, A New Direction, all the presenters, schools, the helpers on the day, the delegates and the Every Child Should team working behind the scenes.
Lead Every Child Should (who is incubating the Manifesto)