Support the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto
The manifesto asks you to make a commitment towards greater, cohesive partnerships and support for all. And the great thing is that it is laterally owned by all - pure co-production at it's best.
We need your support. We need you to commit to the manifesto and tell us why you believe it is important and how it could impact on the cultural landscape.
Supporters of the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto
Dukeries Academy – We have students with disabilities and we are an inclusive school.
We want to provide rich cultural experiences to all our students regardless of any disability they have. We are creating a cultural passport for students to help deliver wider curriculum to them in order to build resilience and close the gap between students and their life experiences.
Tom Copley London Assembly Member
Art has the power to transform lives, and the opportunity to experience, participate in and create art should be open to everyone. I really welcome the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto and support its aim of ensuring that disabled children and young people can fully enjoy the great cultural riches that London has to offer.
National Youth Theatre of Great Britain
The National Youth Theatre of Great Britain empowers young people to take centre stage in their lives and equality, quality and diversity are at the heart of our purpose. We strive to represent the diversity of Britain’s youth in all its forms and believe that all young people should have equal access to cultural and arts opportunities.
Maria Miller MP Former Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport & Former Minister for Disabled People
My ministerial roles have included Minister for Disabled People and Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport. My experience has taught me that access to arts and culture is vital for disabled children and young people. It makes an invaluable contribution to their education, health and wellbeing. The UK has a thriving and vibrant cultural sector and I firmly believe that it should be accessible to all our children and young people without exception. That is why I am happy to support the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto.
Intergenerational Music Making
At IMM we are passionate that every SEN child (and adult) should be entitled to experience and take part in unique music therapy projects whereby it brings generations together to tackle loneliness – create community cohesion plus enhance the well being of all of those involved.
Garratt Park school – a school for pupils with learning difficulties
As a Rights Respecting school we believe that being able to take part in the arts is a human right for everybody. We believe that the arts is everywhere all around us, it provides jobs for lots of people, it is a part of our school learning and enjoying the arts is good for our mental health. The arts are important and everybody should be able to take part in them.
Aymeline Bel – Teacher
Through my position as a Manager in an autism specific school, I have always believed in the power of Arts in engaging pupils in learning, in developing positive relationships with people as well as learning about emotions. I also truly think that the unique creativity of autistic people is underestimated and should be more recognised and celebrated in the society in general.
The Music Man Project UK – An award-winning, record-breaking accessible music service
We, The Music Man Project UK commit to the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto because…
- We believe in providing the best possible education service specifically for musicians with a learning disability
- We campaign for the equal rights of people with a learning disability to perform at the largest and most prestigious performance venues available
- We support PhD research into the impact of our work at the Royal College of Music
- We have witnessed the transformative effects of musical participation on our clients over 2 decades
- We celebrate the uniquely expressive potential of musicians with a learning disability to entertain, educate and inspire the wider society
Sandra Bee – Mother of an autistic gifted child
My son Genesis was assessed by his old School at age 4 showing skills of a child in Key stage 3. He then went to a School in NW9, who tried to fit him in their box. With the assessment from other School, they chose the ukulele for him, HE DIGRESS, with few chords and not his natural chosen instrument, which is the piano, (with, to compose, recreate and shine with lots of variation in sounds and KEYS!!!) Now age 6, Genesis should be able to express himself in his wired way. Music teachers should be aware of our children’s difference and create around them to then reap rainbows. He is also showing a talent for painting, mixing colors heighten his sensory needs to create natural images of trees. My son who is expressing, lively and repetitive with a smile needs nurturing so his natural being can thrive.
Access All Areas – Learning disabled and autistic theatre company
It is important that people with learning disabilities and autism have the same access to arts and culture that many people take for granted. The often invisible barriers that can come from attitudes and a lack of reasonable adjustments reinforces the isolation felt by many people. The arts, by using public money should shoulder the responsibility to be welcoming to all from artists to participants to audiences and a cohesive partnership based approach is the only way real effective change can occur.
Jack Tizard School
At Jack Tizard we have a belief that the arts have a fundamental role in the education & well being of young people with SEND. An inclusive experience of the arts for these young people allows opportunities for them to express and communicate their feelings whilst gaining experiences of the wider world.
Servane Vignes – My little sister and my aunt have a disability.
I’m a second MA visual communication student at the Royal College of Art. My final project aims to celebrate differences and break tabous aroud disability regarding my country, France, where inclusion in general and art inclusion are not established in a society where ‘normality’ rules. As an art and design student I want to share my knowledges to develop art inclusion.
Magpie Dance is the UK’s leading dance charity for people with learning disabilities. Our vision is ‘A world where a learning disability is no barrier to personal and artistic success in dance’.
Magpie Dance commit to the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto because we:
- Are firmly committed to the rights of disabled children, young people and adults to access high quality arts and culture
- Recognise the power of arts and culture in supporting education, health and wellbeing
- Believe that all organisations have the duty to reflect all of society
- Believe that The Cultural Inclusion manifesto offers the opportunity to work strategically amongst a number of partners to ensure that we can do this to best effect
Here at Eureka! we’ve been running arts and activity clubs under our Access All Areas programme since 2012. We know from talking to disabled children and parents that their opportunities for arts are limited. We’ve run arts workshops for blind and partially sighted children, led by a blind artist which have been very popular. We’re running an augmented reality workshop soon, facilitated by a disabled artist. We want to do more art activities led by disabled artists to encourage disabled children to develop their own artistic abilities. We look forward to learning from others’ experiences and being inspired by the innovative artists and artworks out there. That’s a long quote, but you can extract anything useful!
Anita Kerwin-Nye – Lead, Every Child Should
The benefits of art, culture and access to heritage are well known. Across the country there are thousands of wonderful institutions that excel in their provision. But we know that children and young people with disability access these less than their peers. This reflects a common pattern where those that could benefit most from these rich resources are often those that access them the least and is a key theme of the Every Child Should campaign. The Cultural Inclusion Manifesto is a commitment to collaborate to improve access – indeed to make access an entitlement. This is more than physical access or support with communication – although these things are important and sadly still too often unaddressed. This is about children and young people with disabilities being both consumers and producers of art and culture and about seeing themselves, their culture and their heritage, in the work that these institutions display. It builds on the amazing work of Paul Morrow and the West London Inclusive Arts Festival.
Baroness Jones of Whitchurch – Shadow Environment Minister & Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Art, Craft & Design in Education
As a former House of Lords Spokesperson for Culture and Shadow Education Minister I am a passionate advocate for the arts and culture and, in particular, the vital role they play in the education of our children. I have witnessed first-hand on school visits the importance of access to a range of artistic and cultural experiences. It is particularly crucial for disabled children and young people who not only benefit educationally from the arts and culture but also in terms of their health and wellbeing. This is why I am happy to endorse the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto and applaud the commitment and determination of the signatories.
Serious commit to the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto. We believe arts and culture should be accessible to all. Our work aims to reflect all sectors of society, and is motivated by a mutual recognition that arts and culture has substantial implications on health and wellbeing. Working in partnership enables us to build momentum for this critical cause.
Louise O’Boyle – Associate Head of Belfast School of Art, Ulster University.
I am a passionate advocate for inclusion of all members of society in the arts, particularly our young people and those with additional needs. The Cultural Manifesto provides a framework for all to not only develop and promote activities but encourage leadership across organisations to facilitate sustainable change.
Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP
I am proud to represent a constituency with a vibrant arts and culture scene. Whether it’s performing arts, galleries, live music or theatre, Brighton is a hub of talent and creativity. I believe it is vital that disabled children and young people have the opportunity to engage with all the fantastic experiences on offer both locally and across the UK. This is why I am happy to endorse the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto and commend the signatories for their commitment to making arts and culture accessible to all.
Wigmore Hall Company
Wigmore Hall is committed to the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto because it strongly aligns with our key values; we strive to provide creative opportunities for all, and the Manifesto’s collaborative approach enables us to work in partnership with, and learn from, a diverse range of people and organisations.
English Folk Dance and Song Society
The English Folk Dance and Song Society is the national folk arts development organisation for England. We are based at Cecil Sharp House, our dedicated folk arts centre in Camden, North London. We work with education, culture and heritage partners across England to enable more people, from a wider range of backgrounds, to experience and enjoy quality folk music and dance: this positively includes disabled people. We are committed to increasing inclusive arts and culture across all areas of our programme; over the past few years we have been developing our offer of youth folk music and dance activities with disabled young people as part of our growing and flourishing youth programme.
Joanne McCartney Deputy Mayor for Education and Childcare
Every child in our city should have the best possible chance of happiness and success, including access to arts and culture. Through my regular visits to schools I have seen the transformative effect in terms of confidence, well-being and education an enriched curriculum can have on all children, especially those with special educational needs and disabilities. I am delighted to support the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto.
Tom Hillenbrand – I run art and animation workshops with various educational groups
I have worked with various groups of young people with a range of disabilities (e.g. HAFAD (Hammersmith And Fulham Action on Disability), MENCAP, Westminster Special Schools) and have gained a lot from these experiences. I enjoy sharing my knowledge of animation film-making in particular as well as assisting the participants to unlock their creativity and gaining access to creative processes that might not be available to them at home.
Half Moon Theatre
We are committed to the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto because access and inclusion underpins all of our work at Half Moon Theatre. We believe that no young people should feel excluded from participating in the arts and that it is our responsibility to break down the barriers to that participation, particularly for neurodiverse young people and young people with physical or cognitive disabilities or sensory impairments. We strive to provide inclusive working practice for artists and staff, and an accessible theatrical and participatory experience for all our audiences.
NASS (The National Association of Independent Schools & Non-Maintained Special Schools)
Cultural inclusion for children with SEND is not just a moral right, it’s a vital tool to inspire and support learning. Arts-based curricula are a great vehicle to harness learning and give us new ways of unlocking skills.
The Voices Foundation helps children and young people aged 0-18 to learn to sing and develop as musicians.
We want to make sure that no child is left out when it comes to learning to be a musician. It is proven that children who engage in high quality, regular musical learning from an early age gain musical, intellectual, emotional and social advantages. However, many children miss out on these benefits as they do not have access to any form of music education.
We help teachers and schools to ensure that music is an integral part of education from the early years.
The Voices Foundation wants to give every child the chance to discover their musical talent so that they are part of the next generation of musicians.
Kate Green MP
I am a strong believer in the importance of inclusive cultural institutions to give all young people the chance to enjoy and experience the arts. That’s why I’m supporting the Cultural Manifesto which works to facilitate collaboration between SEN organisations and cultural institutions to increase opportunities for young people with special educational needs to enjoy and learn through participation in these fabulous activities
The Courtauld Institute of Art
I fully support the manifesto and look forward to collaborating with new colleagues and young people as we move into a period of exciting change at The Courtauld. Following a major refurbishment over the next two years we look forward to having greatly improved access and learning facilities for everyone – Henrietta Hine (Head of Public Programmes)
Simon Taylor – HE Teacher
I teach undergraduate modules on education and inclusion and also have a background in cultural education and 25 years experience working in the arts. This manifesto highlights the need for cultural organisations to be as inclusive as possible and work in partnership to achieve this goal.
Royal Academy of Arts
We, the Royal Academy of Arts, commit to the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto because we believe that every child and young person should have the possibility to access, enjoy and inform high quality arts and culture. We believe this is a right for all and not a privilege to be afforded to some. We recognise the power and unique capacity of art and cultural institutions to support education, health and wellbeing for young people. The Cultural Inclusion Manifesto provides a timely and vital strategy for us to work in partnership with others to ensure that our cultural sector is inclusive and reflective of all members of our society.
John Lyon’s Charity
The Cultural Inclusion Manifesto is, in part, a fantastic response to a report we commissioned and published in 2016, entitled ‘Perspectives’, and its accompanying conference which brought together music hubs, arts organisations and special schools from our Beneficial Area. ‘Perspectives’ aimed to support effective arts partnerships by sharing knowledge, understanding, and working practices to ensure that children and young people with special educational needs and varied abilities are able to access the best arts opportunities, to enhance their lives and learning. John Lyon’s Charity is committed to supporting high quality, accessible arts provision for disabled young people.
Elly Chapple – Mother to an exceptional CYP who is Deafblind and would love to be included
I support the manifesto because life is bigger than a classroom and shorter than you think. Because our time here should be broad, engaging, fun and full of life. And because every person has an equal right to this, every single person.
Jean Carter – Music and Arts Advisor
I am a great believer in collaborative working and strategic partnership to effect better outcomes for our young people. It is our responsibility as educationalists and arts professionals to create appropriate and meaningful opportunities for engagement for every child no matter what their ability. We also should also provide the means for every child to celebrate and showcase their achievements. Our young people deserve this.
Museum of London – As the museum of the capital city, we are committed to representing the full diversity of London and being as accessible and inclusive as possible.
We would like to support this important initiative and to make a public commitment to being inclusive. This is particularly important to us as the present time as we develop our plans for the opening of a new Museum of London in West Smithfield in 2024.
As London’s shared place, where all the city’s stories cross and collide, we strive to achieve world-class standards in relation to equality, inclusion and access by removing barriers that divide people, for example physically, culturally, socially and intellectually. This is about much more than meeting our obligations under the Equality Act, it’s about being an exemplary museum that offers outstanding visitor experiences.
We recognise that certain groups of people with particular characteristics, eg relating to ethnicity, nationality, class, disability, health, sex, sexual orientation, age, religion or belief, have in the past and continue to experience discrimination, under-representation and marginalisation.
We are committed to, and actively champion, the principle that every individual has equal opportunity to access, feel connected to and get the most from the museum, regardless of their personal circumstances. We will ensure that our visitors and other users feel valued, respected and supported.
This runs through everything we do, eg the design of our buildings and displays, the audiences we prioritise, the choices we make about what we collect and the stories we tell, the perspectives and experiences we represent, the type of events we programme, the quality of service provided by our front-of-house staff, the stock in our shops and menus in our cafés, how we market the museum, the nature of our web and social media presence, and how we recruit and support our staff and volunteers. We recognise that consulting and working with people who face barriers to engagement and representation is essential if we are to achieve our ambitions.
We will embed inclusive design in the way we create our buildings, facilities, galleries and exhibitions. This is based on the principle that excellent design is defined by being inclusive. Guided by an understanding of, and respect for, the diversity of our visitors, inclusive design will enable us to include and provide an equitable experience for as many people as possible.
Cultural inclusion is at the heart of everything we aim to do at The@trical. As SEN theatre specialists we want all young people with learning difficulties to be able to access the theatre and arts with the same level of freedom and flexibility that is afforded to their mainstream counterparts. Research proves that the arts is the perfect medium via which students can express emotions, communicate, engage, play and seek an understanding for the complex world in which they live. Inclusion is not just a right but a necessity for the work we do and we seek to give everyone an artistic platform through which they can achieve their goals.
Turtle Key Arts – Arts Charity seeking access for all in the arts
We are signing up to the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto as we believe that access to the arts helps to improve the quality of life by bringing people together, offering creative opportunities, social inter-action, confidence and self-esteem.
As creative producers we enable each project to reach its full artistic potential and ensure that participation and education is embedded at the heart of everything we do.
We have played a committed role in advancing participation in the arts by disabled, disadvantaged and socially excluded people, and are widely recognised as a leader in this field, often charting new territories, such as Turtle Song for people with Dementia, Key Words for young people with Dyslexia and Turtle Opera, The Key Club, and Musical Portraits for young people on the Autism Spectrum.
“Turtle Key Arts promote many initiatives and implement a series of measures to engage with the most vulnerable and disadvantaged parts of society”. – Everything Theatre
Turtle Key Arts was formed in 1989 as a unique and ground-breaking accessible space; and accessibility for all continues to be a key philosophy of the company.
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Resound
Learning is and should be at the heart of everything arts organisations do. A systemic, cross-sectional approach to broadening access to, diversity and representation within the arts is integral to making learning (= cultural) opportunities possible and everything we do more inclusive.
Old Royal Naval College
We, the Old Royal Naval College, commit to the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto because we firmly believe that access to high quality arts and culture by disabled children and young people is a right and not a privilege, and that museums, galleries and cultural organisations have an important role to play in ensuring this happens. We also believe in the power of cultural organisations to support education, health and wellbeing. Working, and learning, together is key to this and we welcome the opportunities to build partnerships to ensure that we continue to work towards being inclusive and accessible to all.
Disabled young people have a right under the declaration of Human rights to access culture and leisure article 37? But I believe the cultural sector offers flexible and new opportunities for disabled people to flourish given the right framework often using the social model of disability is in place. Culture and heritage is for everyone so it needs to do this and provide open access.
Claire Penketh – Head of Department for disability & Education at Liverpool hope university and core member of the centre for culture and disability studies (CCDS)
As a department we are committed to working with and on behalf of disabled people. We employ disability studies and specifically cultural disability studies to support and further understandings of the role that disabled people play in enhancing our understanding of the relationship between culture and disability. We aim to go beyond ideas that promote support, extending thinking to promote a profound appreciation of difference.
Sarah Westacott – I am the mother if a son with disabilities, a speaker and chair of trusts for a charity sipporting children with disabilities.
Inclusion on every level is vital in giving these children: experiences that their mainstream peers access without question, improving their learning and life potential and in giving these children a voice.
The Cultural Inclusion Manifesto closely aligns with Aurora Orchestra’s core belief that high quality arts and culture should be made available to everyone. We are committed to providing a programme of work that reaches young people with disabilities in a meaningful way, and have formed long-term partnerships with music hubs and SEN schools in order to develop and deliver this. Aurora Orchestra firmly believe that music has the power to change your life, whoever you are.
Caroline Pidgeon Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member
The arts and culture should be for everyone, including children and young people with Special Educational Needs. Yet for far too long access to the arts and culture for children and young people with disabilities has been overlooked and neglected.
The manifesto is an excellent initiative and the first stage of making real change. I endorse what it sets out to achieve in supporting and delivering inclusive practice throughout every area of London’s arts and cultural provision.
Collaboration, openness and creative thinking are at the heart of Expressions. It is a year-long programme of creative arts events that culminates in a spectacular exhibition that is open to the public. The focus for Expressions has always been to make the arts accessible, interactive and a source of wellbeing. The programme encompasses all forms of art – film, ceramics, textiles, food, photography, performance and spoken word to name just a few.
The people we support are involved in every aspect of Expressions, from creating the art to organising the show. We also work with professional artists and local organisations to give them invaluable access to the art world and help to get their work exhibition-ready.
Those who participate in Expressions learn new skills which have a positive effect on their mental health and wellbeing. They get a sense of achievement, identity and pride from overseeing their project from beginning to end, which in turn could give them the confidence to achieve other goals and milestones in their lives.
Expressions shows that the journey of making art is as important as the final piece.
SPAEDA – Arts education development charity aimed at reducing barriers and increasing participation for CYP through Training, Model Projects and Advocacy. We aim to raise aspirations and widen opportunities for children and young people and those who work with them.
We have signed up to the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto because we’re passionate about the difference the arts make to the lives of the children and young people. The arts inspire and engage, raise confidence and aspiration. We believe that all children are entitled to a creative education and access to culture. We are an arts education development charity aimed at reducing barriers and increasing participation for CYP through Training, Model Projects and Advocacy. we aim to raise aspirations and widen opportunities for children and young people and those who work with them.
Baroness Nye Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Art, Craft & Design in Education
I am a fervent supporter of the arts and the vital role it plays in the education of our children and young people. Nowhere is this more evident than in the transformative impact that access to high quality cultural experiences has on pupils and students with special educational needs. It is crucial that our artistic and cultural institutions reflect the needs of all members of our society and I enthusiastically endorse the Cultural Manifesto and the commitment of its signatories to making this happen.
BBC Ten Pieces – The BBC is committed to being inclusive and accessible to disabled people. Disabled people are a diverse group with differing requirements, some of which aren’t always apparent. For our disabled audiences, accessibility can be central to receiving a quality service and therefore it is essential that all our services take this into account.
BBC Ten Pieces is working hard to make its resources more inclusive and accessible.
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
We, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, commit to the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto because we firmly believe in the rights of all people to access high quality arts and culture, including children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. We believe in the power of music to transform lives through achieving artistic, social and personal outcomes, and believe in the need for equal access to these inspiring experiences for all.
Neil Coyle MP
I am a passionate advocate for the rights of disabled people and have spent my entire career campaigning to secure equality in all areas of disabled people’s lives. Engagement with arts and culture can and should have a transformative impact on disabled children and young people. Arts and culture should make as huge a contribution to disabled children’s education as other young people, and offers additional opportunities to enhances health and wellbeing as well as enrich lives. It is vital that all young people, and especially more disadvantaged disabled children, have full access to the wealth of artistic and cultural opportunities available both locally and nationally across the UK. I am happy to endorse the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto and applaud the signatories for their commitment to ensuring that this happens.
The Wallace Collection
Our national collections belong to everyone, regardless of their circumstances or background. An essential part of our learning provision is to provide all visitors to the Wallace Collection with the tools to develop a greater understanding and enjoyment of art and to inspire young people, particularly those with SEN, to achieve their creative potential. That is why we are a proud supporter of the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto.
Opera Holland Park
Inclusion is at the heart of Opera Holland Park and is actively promoted within our education and outreach programme, Inspire.
At Opera Holland Park, we are firmly committed to the rights of disabled young children and young people to access high-quality arts and culture and we recognise the power of arts and culture in supporting education, health and wellbeing.
All organisations have the duty to reflect all of society and the Cultural Inclusion manifesto offers the opportunity to work strategically amongst a number of partners to ensure that we can do this to the best effect.
It is not the quality of the performance but the journey each individual has been through to reach their final performance. The tears of proudness when a inspirational young person overcomes all prejudice and in spite of it all takes their rightful place on stage is the reason I have signed up to the manifesto.
Artis Foundation – Performing arts sessions for all, in the timetable, not as afterschool opt-in/charged for clubs
Artis supports the manifesto because we believe passionately in transforming ALL lives through the performing arts – we embed our Specialist arts sessions into the normal school day to ensure that high quality arts experiences are for all children, not just those who want to /can stay on after school.
Sir David Amess MP -Member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Learning Disability
“I am an ardent believer in the rights of disabled children and young people to access all the educational opportunities afforded to their non-disabled peers. This includes their engagement with a range of artistic and cultural experiences which enrich their lives and make an invaluable contribution to their health and wellbeing. I have seen this for myself in the wonderful and inspirational work done by the Music Man Project in my constituency. Their recent concert at the London Palladium showed the transformative power of music and both the Prime Minister and myself are impressed by the excellent service they provide to children and young people across the UK. This is why I am delighted to lend my support to this fantastic new initiative and look forward to seeing it deliver real and lasting change.”
Kuloko Learning Ltd – We audit accessibility for organisations seeking funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and make recommendations for improving accessibility.
We want heritage and culture to be able to be accessed and enjoyed by people of all backgrounds and abilities. We think that physical, financial, intellectual and organisational barriers to inclusion can and should be overcome by thoughtful planning and partnership working and cultural inclusion should be at the forefront of every organisation’s forward planning.
Mousetrap Theatre Projects
We commit to the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto because we believe that all young people should have the opportunity to attend outstanding theatre, irrespective of their cultural, social or economic background, or level of SEND. Our mission is to increase young people’s access to the best of theatre in London – and our work with young people with disabilities is central to that goal.
As Mousetrap Theatre Projects we achieve measurable impact, but we recognise that more needs to be done to readdress the inequality – and that collaboration is key to creating a sector that is truly diverse, accessible and fair. In committing to this Manifesto we demonstrate our solidarity and desire to work with a wider network of like-minded organisations and partners to drive forward the much-needed cultural change.
Caroline Russell Green London Assembly Member, Chair of the Economy Committee/ Green Group lead for the Economy
It is important that differently-abled people of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to curate, enjoy and take part in culture and the arts across London. The Cultural Inclusion manifesto offers a solution and welcome ambition to enable inclusive practices. I am pleased to see that the manifesto has the support of so many organisations across London and there is a great willingness to make the needs of differently-abled children and young people a priority
Highshore School – Secondary school and sixth form for young people with complex learning disabilities based in Camberwell.
Highshore’s core values are independence, self –help and communication. A working environment is a great way for students to practice these skills so upon leaving school and seeking employment students are best equipped to make decisions about their future choices and employment prospects.
Our goal is to provide sustainable work placements with our business partners hopefully leading to pathways into paid employment.
Sharon Hodgson MP – Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Groups on Art, Craft and Design in Education, Dyslexia and SpLD.
“I am passionate about the rights of disabled children and young people as well as a great believer in the power of arts and culture to make a real difference to their education, health and wellbeing. The Cultural Manifesto is an excellent initiative which offers strategic leadership across the sector by supporting and promoting the excellent inclusive practice that exists and encouraging others to put the needs of young people at the heart of their work.”
Rachel Moss – Work in arts education / Setting up internships
Arts & culture should be accessible to all within and beyond our cultural institutions. We can all do more to contribute towards good practice, to welcome and to be inclusive to a wide range of audiences, and to think about diversifying our cultural workforce too.
Rt Hon Ed Vaizey MP – Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing & Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Art, Craft & Design in Education
As a former Minister for the Arts I am a passionate believer that the Arts can and should be used to transform the lives of young people. Our great cultural institutions in this country offer an enriching life experience to all those who visit and it is essential that all visitors are treated equally regardless of background, upbringing or disability.
I am delighted to add my support to the cultural manifesto and its excellent aims to develop strategic partnerships between SEN organisations and cultural institutions to ensure that enriching cultural experiences are available to all young people in the future.
Ann Chaplin – I work in the arts and am a parent of a child with a learning disability
I have worked in the arts and cultural sector for nearly 20 years and have been a SEN parent for nearly 6 of these years. It breaks my heart that my son cannot access the arts in the way that the audiences I promote to can and take for granted. I want a future where access really is for all
Stopgap Dance Company
Stopgap Dance Company has over two decades of experience in training and creating exceptional dance production with disabled and non-disabled dancers, and we have extensive experience in seeing the impact dance can have on disabled children and young people. If disabled people are given the opportunity and the support to pursue artistic excellence, we know that they can achieve it just as non-disabled peers can. Disabled people are currently not given exposure to excellent artistic work nor to training because of access issues. Stopgap is working to dismantle this and we have seen that training and working environment can both be inclusive and rigorous. We would love to see more organisations believing in this too.
Inclusion is the inspiration for everything that Oily Cart does. We make multi-sensory theatrical experiences that open up a world of delight for young people with complex needs, on the autism spectrum and/or who are deaf/blind. We are one of the very few companies that makes it possible for these children and young people to experience arts with their families and carers.
Baroness Hollins – Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Learning Disability
I am a passionate advocate for the rights of disabled people and firmly believe they should have full access to a wide range of artistic and cultural experiences. I have witnessed both personally and professionally the transformative impact that inclusion can have on people with disabilities in all areas of their lives. I am enormously impressed by the fantastic work done by Access all Areas and proud of Beyond Words for supporting learning disabled artists and co-creators and removing barriers that prevent their voice from being heard. I am happy to endorse the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto and its aim of ensuring that all disabled children and young people can access opportunities such as these and contribute to the richness of artistic and cultural life in the UK.
Abigail Sudbury – I lead projects for people with SEN, PMLD and dementia
[I signed up to the manifesto] because I believe opera and music need to reach out more, be more accessible, and use resources in a way that enables people to access the arts both artistically, creatively and a s an audience member.
Step Change Studios – Inclusive Dance Provider
Step Change Studios was established to address the gap in dance provision for disabled people, in particular inclusive dance. We are committed to leading by example, provide opportunities for all ages and abilities to participate in dance and to work with partners who share our values in enabling diversity in the arts and recognise and advance the benefits of the arts on quality of life.
Royal College of Music London
As one of the world’s leading conservatoires and as Europe’s top Performing Arts institution, we are committed to the rights of disabled young children and young people to access high quality arts and culture. The RCM recognises the power of arts and culture in supporting education, health and wellbeing. We are therefore committed to the Cultural Education Manifesto.
The College is committed to an agenda that champions equality and diversity. As a leading British conservatoire, it aims to provide musical education and professional training at the highest international level to meet the aspirations of as many as possible of those who it deems to have the ability and motivation to benefit. Students are recruited on the basis of their musical merits, abilities and potential. The Royal College of Music aims to ensure that no student, member of staff or visitor to performances and other events is subjected to unfair discrimination, direct or indirect, arising from disability.
Drawing on the vision of Prince Albert for the advancement of the Arts and Sciences, the College’s strategic plan sets out a vision for providing access to an inspirational learning experience for the widest possible range of students. The RCM’s Access Agreement takes this vision forward. The College believes the area for most effective investment is outreach activity delivered by RCM Sparks, the RCM’s ground-breaking Learning and Participation programme which works closely with the Tri-borough Music Hub to widen access and inclusion. We believe that all organisations have the duty to reflect all of society.
Justine Simons OBE Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries
Culture is in London’s DNA. It has the power to transform communities and to bring people closer together. That’s why the Mayor and I want all Londoners to have access to our city’s cultural destinations. The Cultural Inclusion Manifesto is a wonderful initiative that will help improve access to arts and culture for disabled children and young people.
GEM (Group for Education in Museums)
GEM’s mission is to champion excellence in heritage learning to improve the education, health and well-being of the public. We believe that learning through heritage is enriching and transformative and want to make it accessible, relevant and enjoyable for all. To do this we must support initiatives that cultivate best practice and positive, sustainable relationships between heritage organisations and people facing barriers to inclusion.
Camden Arts Centre
Camden Arts Centre is committed in its aim to improve access to the arts for people with specialist needs. We do this through an inclusive, accessible and flexible practice and approach to working with schools, young people and artists. Our programme reflects this aim through our innovative SEN schools and youth programmes, our partnership with Action Space and on the importance we place on ensuring employment opportunities and progression routes for the young people and artists we work with. The Cultural Inclusion Manifesto sets out a series of beliefs that we stand by. This is important work. We know how transforming the arts can be; it fosters enjoyment, enthusiasm and engagement and brings people together. Signing the manifesto demonstrates our commitment to the pledges stated and in being part of a passionate and supportive group of individuals and organisations working towards sustained change.
Live Music Now
Live Music Now is committed to supporting the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto. We see the transformational power of music in our work every day in schools, hospitals and communities throughout the UK. We believe that everyone should have access to outstanding music and cultural opportunities, whether as an engaged audience member or an active and creative participant.
Language of Dance Trust – We provide inclusive dance activities for children and young people
The Language of Dance Trust believes that everyone can dance and should have the right to accessible high quality dance provision.
We aim to make dance and accreditation in dance accessible to people of all ages and abilities. Our customised accredited Level 1 Award in Language of Dance Movement Exploration is delivered in schools and community groups.
Federation of Westminster Special Schools
The Federation of Westminster Special Schools understands the potency of cultural engagement for young people with special educational needs and disabilities. Through our many partnerships, our young people can be seen, valued and included; their voices and stories are told and become part of our culture.
The ability to express and communicate, to develop autonomy and a sense of self is central to our mission as a Federation and this is greatly supported by arts and culture.
The creative arts empower young people; it supports their mental health and wellbeing and is an essential part of their education. We have developed and built a sense of community and celebration through the creative arts and have actively shared our experiences and achievements in collaboration with friends, parents and supporters. With our cultural partners we have promoted inclusion to a wider audience.
It is with great pride that I commit both schools to the manifesto with the knowledge of our involvement in its creation.
Andy Balmer – Executive Head
Hubbub Theatre Company
The world we live in is diverse and full of people with differences. I believe art is a reflection of the world we live in and therefore need to be representative of all. People with disabilities, particularly learning disabilities, are under-represented and this needs to change. Inclusion needs to start at the beginning for all children…. the arts are also a tool for learning, development and well-being and access should be for ALL.
Marsha De Cordova MP Shadow Minister for Disabled People
As a disabled woman and Shadow Minister for Disabled People, I was proud to stand for election on a manifesto for disabled people that declared “Nothing about you, without you”. This also means full access to cultural life for disabled people – not just as spectators, but as active participants. The Cultural Manifesto is another step towards making this a reality for younger disabled people and allowing them to fulfil their full potential.
Len Duvall London Assembly Member for Greenwich and Lewisham
The Cultural Inclusion Manifesto is an excellent initiative and one which I support wholeheartedly. It is vital that disabled children and young people’s rights to access & experience art and culture are upheld and encouraged. Arts and culture not only help enrich lives, but offer a powerful tool for the education, health and wellbeing of all children and young people.
artsdepot – artsdepot is positive about disability and aims to be inclusive and welcome. Our Equalities & Diversity Policy & Action Plan sets out our aims and objectives to achieve a working culture and creative offer that reaches out to people with disabilities removing barriers to participation.
artsdepot believes that access to culture and creativity should be a human right and that cultural organisations can be leaders in ensuring access barriers are removed, and also in reaching out to diverse groups including people with disabilities and supporting their engagement with high quality arts activities. artsdepot has signed up to the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto pledges to inspire and drive progress towards a more inclusive society where every young person has access to arts and culture.
Elise Robinson – Drama teacher at Autism Specific school
As a theatre practitioner working with young people with ASD at Queensmill School, I whole heartedly support the manifesto’s drive towards meaningful inclusion. I share their belief in building relationships between schools, arts venues and families to help fight social exclusion and empower the creative potential of young people.
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra – Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Inclusion is a high priority for the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. We have embarked on a cultural change to adopt the social model of disability in everything that we do. We have created BSO Resound, the worlds-first disabled-led professional ensemble in a symphony orchestra, which has enriched our organisation enormously.
We have learnt that Inclusion is not a project but a way of being. We would want to support and encourage others to do the same.
Inclusion is central to what we do. We believe that no one, no matter how complex their disabilities, should be left out.
We believe that access to arts, culture and creativity is part of living a full and rich life. We value its role in bringing people together, making sense of the world and self expression.
We know that people with complex disabilities do not currently have equal access to culture. Through our arts programme we provide inclusive person-led creative opportunities and collaborate & advise on inclusion. We are supporting this manifesto so that we can help work strategically on making inclusion a reality for all.
leweslight community interest company – we deliver a community festival aiming to be fully inclusive
Our organisation delivers an annual arts festival and associated events working with the medium of light. We investigate culture and community through explorations with public spaces, landscape, architecture and the environment. Our event is free for all and open to all. We aim to be as inclusive and accessible as we can. As part of the festival we work with students young people and educational institutions to provide learning experiences and work experience as part of the delivery of the event. We recognise the power of multi-sensory experiences for all, but especially for those with some disabilities, learning difficulties and sensory impairment, we endeavour to create work that is in particular inclusive for these groups. We work with educators and a special needs school to facilitate the inclusion of children with special needs in the development of our work to provide an opportunity for them to take part in the process of creating an installation as well as enjoying and learning from the event as visitors. We feel our aspirations align with the Manifesto and wish to support this important initiative.
The National Society for Education in Art and Design (NSEAD)
The National Society for Education in Art and Design is committed to the UNESCO Convention of the rights of a child which states that all children should have the right to: ‘join in a wide range of cultural, artistic and recreational activities’. The Cultural Inclusion Manifesto upholds this principle, aiming as it does, for better and more opportunities for children and young people with disabilities to engage with arts and culture. NSEAD is very pleased to support, endorse and share far and wide this important initiative and manifesto.
Jessica Drader – I run and produce engagement programmes for children and young people of all ages and abilities.
I believe passionately in the need 'to place the young person at the centre of the experience, valu[ing] their input and empower[ing] them to participate in order to ensure maximum engagement'. We need to harness the power of creativity and the arts to address the gaps for disadvantaged and socially excluded people. The Cultural Inclusion Manifesto encapsulates the way in which we must work with EVERYONE!
Royal Albert Hall
We, the Royal Albert Hall, commit to the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto because we fundamentally believe that all children and young people should have the right to access high quality arts and culture. Currently there is not equal access for children and young people with disabilities, and we are committed to working with partner organisations to address this across the arts sector. We recognise the power of arts and culture in supporting education, health and wellbeing for all young people. We believe that cultural organisations have the duty to reflect all of society, and we feel that the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto offers the opportunity to work strategically amongst a number of partners to ensure that we can do this to best effect
Andrew Dismore – London Assembly Member for Barnett and Camden
Throughout my career as a Councillor, MP and now London Assembly Member I have been an enthusiastic advocate for the rights of disabled people. I am immensely proud of the work that Action Space do in my constituency to engage and encourage artists with learning disabilities in collaboration with the Camden Arts Centre. The Cultural Inclusion Manifesto is an innovative initiative which seeks to ensure that opportunities such as these are available to all disabled children and young people across the UK and I wish them every success.
Jennifer Dyer – General Manager, Corali Dance Company.
I have signed up to the manifesto because I believe that EVERY young person should have the opportunity to experience art and culture – whether that is to create art or to experience art created by others. Art and culture is vital to life! Children and young people with disabilities have as much of a right to access art and culture as their non-disabled peers but it’s much harder for them to do so. At the same time, it’s absolutely essential that their voices are part of our cultural landscape. This manifesto is a fantastic opportunity to address these issues and make some positive change.
Council for Learning Outside the Classroom
The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom believes that it is an entitlement for all children and young people to experience learning in a range of spaces and places, which is especially important for children with disabilities. We accredit hundreds of arts and cultural venues for their high quality educational content to make it easier for schools to connect with arts and cultural organisations and pledge to working closer with partners to make more of these experiences possible.