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> > > Heritage Lottery Fund announces support for Shape and the National Disability Arts Collection and Archive

12 February 2013

Different parts of old-style wheelchairs are mounted upon a wall to form the shape of Great Britain. The wheels and other parts create the map out of solid objects and the spaces they enclose.

Great Britain from a Wheelchair 1994 © Tony Heaton

It was announced last week that as lead partner of the Arts and Disability Consortium, Shape has received initial support for a £962,000 bid from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the National Disability Arts Collection and Archive.

Bringing together a number of disability led arts organisations, universities, galleries and museums from across the UK, the project aims to preserve, digitise, and make public the significant works of art and items that have been important to the Disability Arts Movement. The archive will help to capture an understanding of the historical influence of Disability Arts and the social struggles of the movement in changing attitudes towards disabled people.

Development funding of £99,600 has been awarded to help Shape progress their plans to apply for the full grant at a later date.

Carole Souter, Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said:

"We're delighted to be giving initial support for Shape's ambitious and thoughtful plans to tell the story of disability arts - a story that has never been properly told before now. This is particularly timely after last September's inspiring Paralympics and we hope that as the project develops it will tap into and build on the legacy of London 2012."

The project aims to work with and mentor disabled and non-disabled volunteers to collect, preserve and catalogue artefacts. It will capture oral histories of key protagonists, and establish and promote an on-line digital Archive to engage with communities all over the UK. This will be complemented by a series of exhibitions, events and an education programme to reach communities all over the UK.

Tony Heaton, Chief Executive of Shape said:

"This is the first disability-led collection and archive in the world and will be truly unique, for the first time the achievements of disabled artists will be properly documented and our rich history will be told…"


Ju Gosling aka ju90

20 February 2013

Good to see this project is back on track at last, after being unable to obtain match funding when the Arts Council was funding it. I just hope the fact that the 'other half' of the Lottery has now taken over doesn't mean that our unique culture is being respected as heritage, but no longer as 'art'. You can read about some of the project's history in the Holton Lee Blog I kept while artist-in-residence at NDACA at Holton Lee.

Colin Hambrook [ED]

20 February 2013

Largely the archive presently consists of material and artwork donated to it over the last ten years or so. The collection and archive was built up at Holton Lee in Dorset over many years.

Chris this award will offer an opportunity to further document the legacy of the Disability Arts movement for future generations of disabled people.

Chris Tally Evans

16 February 2013

further to Johnny's, what representation is there of Welsh disability art? Am I in the archive? There's a whole story of how Welsh disability art has links with and differs from that in the rest of the country. As the person who compered the first ever Welsh Disability Arts Cabaret and edited Wales' only Disability Arts Magazine, I think our story needs to be told too


14 February 2013

Johnny - your story would be an important part of the legacy of disability arts. I'm not certain what work of yours in in the collection, but think there are copies of Choices and Rights, Easy Money, Pride and Not Dead Yet. I could ask

Johnny Crescendo

13 February 2013

Am I in the archive any gigs involved also compiling at the mo the complete Johnny Crescendo?

richard downes

12 February 2013

Fantastic news. I remember DAO supporting the application for this by asking for comments from its readers. To each and every one us.... well done

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