Access Forum

Date: Wednesday 2nd March, 6-7pm
Where: Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff: Media Point Room

I've been at NTW for 2 years now, and have become increasingly involved in the access performances we plan and programme, out of personal interest as well as being part of communications with our audience.
Our Christmas show, The Insatiable, Inflatable Candylion is the most recent show we programmed, offering captioning, audio description and our first ever Relaxed Performance. These all went really well, and were used by more people than we expected, but we want to do more.

We took a trip to Birmingham Hippodrome to get some ideas for Candylion, following their brilliant work on relaxed performances. Spending the day with them, we learnt how their approach to access is not only organisation wide, but also community wide, and they reach out to so many different people, professionals, organisations and groups in order to make their programme of work accessible to as many people as possible.

So, to try and do things better and talk to more people, Jacob Gough (Production Manager), Fiona Curtis (Production Co-Ordinator) and I are setting up an Access Forum - a quarterly meet up for anyone with an interest in making the arts in general more accessible to more people​. 

An Access Forum is something the Hippodrome do on a quarterly basis, and it draws in many arts and non-arts based professional, freelancers, audience members and organisations. They had some lovely families on their Forum who came from a perspective of someone who doesn't work in the arts or have arts knowledge in particular, and they found that really helpful when programming their access performances. They also had someone from the Guide dog Association, who was really interesting and helpful, and could contribute ideas none of us arts professionals would even think of.

We're really keen to get some joined up thinking in the arts in Wales about access, share best practise and help each other to develop much better programmes of work for everyone, as well as finding ways to reach more people. This isn't an NTW led thing necessarily, NTW are supporting and facilitating and offering the framework, but we want this to be considered like a What Next? sort of event, and hopefully get them going all over Wales - This is just a starting point.

It's something we're personally really interested in, and are sure there are plenty of people who would like to come along and talk about access and what we can all do. 
 

It is open to anyone, and we welcome as many people from as many different walks of life as possible. We'll pull together an agenda and share nearer the time.
Come along, and share your thoughts!
Date: Wednesday 2nd March, 6-7pm
Where: Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff: Media Point Room
If you're interested and would like to come along, please email rhianlewis@nationaltheatrewales.org

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