Art For Anyone workbook launch to break down barriers to accessing events

Crate in Bilton Square

By Dan Thompson

A new resource has been designed to help local arts organisations, community groups, and venues ensure they consider the access needs of different people when planning events.

It will be launched online this week, with a series of events at Crate, Marine Studios, and online marking the publication.

‘Art For Anyone’ is a workbook, helping people look at their venue and identify some of the barriers people might experience when trying to attend events. These can be physical, such as steps or stairs, but also include things like lighting which can be difficult for people with sight problems, or sound which can be difficult for neurodivergent people.

Dan Thompson

The new workbook was created after a two-day event in June 2023, which was programmed by artist Dan Thompson at Crate studios. He was supported by Turner Contemporary’s Access Group and Marine Studios. That event included talks, a history walk led by Lynn Jackson from Margate History Walkers, and a series of one-to-one sessions for local artists with creative coach Lorna Dallas-Conte and Amanda Bodemaid from Kent Association for the Blind. Connor Sansby brought together a group of neurodivergent poets for a performance, too.

Notes from the workshops, and comments from people with different access needs who attended them, have been brought together in the workbook, which takes people through planning, running, and wrapping up an event. There are special sections on advice for artists, and on writing an ‘Access Rider’, a document used by disabled people to lay out the support they might need. Access Riders were championed by Crate artist Lizzy Rose, who died in 2022 after a long struggle with Crohn’s Disease. There’s also an Access manifesto included.

Lizzy Rose with work at Crate in 2018

On Friday 1st March from 12 noon-2pm, there will be an informal event for people who run local studios, galleries, and community spaces who want to talk about the Access Workbook. That will happen at Crate, Bilton Square, Margate.

From 3.30-4pm Connor Sansby will talk about the support Arts Council England give to disabled people who want to write a grant application. He’ll be followed by Dan Thompson from 4.30-5pm, talking about how to write an Access Rider. Both talks take place at Marine Studios, 17 Albert Terrace, Margate.

And on Saturday 2nd March, from 1-3pm, there will be a neurodiverse poetry performance at Crate’s project space. All events are free to attend.

The Art For Anyone Access Workbook will be published online on Friday. Follow Marine Studios’ social media or visit their website at www.marinestudios.co.uk for details.

16 Comments

    • The article says “neurodivergent poets”, not “neurodiverse poetry”. Poetry written by neurodivergent poets is not necessarily autobiographical.

  1. Having seen the appalling offerings from the Turner, Margate School etc, surely art has been for anyone in Thanet for well over a decade now?

  2. Ellie, I’m a little concerned lest anyone think that I, Peter Perfect, am the Margate Pete who pretended or purported to be a photographer in the 90s (or noughties) whilst claiming taxpayer funded sausage rolls. For the record, I was working all through the 90s and most of the noughties til I retired. Oh, and perhaps surprisingly, my name isn’t Peter. There is one other local Pete I can think of, but you can’t mean him because a) he’s a right wing tory boy who would rather starve than claim a sausage roll from the state, and b) he can hardly have been a Pete pretending or purporting to be a photographer when he’s actually a published author of glossy books featuring arty photos taken by his (or her) self of nuddy ladies draped over railings and balustrades around the local littoral. But I can’t remember his surname in case anyone looks him up and buys one of his/her books by mistake.

    • Too late anyway, as the limited run of 100 per book are both long sold out (and are selling for high prices when they occasionally show up on ebay). Oh, and he’s a vegan.

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