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Arts Activated 2021 Expression Of Interest For Presentation/Participation

Arts Activated 2021 | August 9, 16 & 23

Arts Activated 2021 is Australia’s leading forum for increasing access to arts, culture and events for artists and audiences with disability or who are d/Deaf.

Due to the impact of the COVID pandemic, this year’s conference will be a mostly virtual event with some live components spread over three Mondays in August.

And also because of COVID, the theme of this year’s event will be ‘Building Back For Everyone’ with a focus on how the post-COVID response of creative industries can help advance access and inclusion for arts practitioners and audiences with disability.

We invite artists, arts, workers and other people working at the intersection of arts, culture and disability to contribute to this important event by submitting an expression of interest to participate as a speaker, presenter or panellist for one of our 10 virtual conference sessions.

If you’re in Sydney, you’ll be able to join the team at our live broadcast studio at Western Sydney University’s Parramatta campus. If you’re outside Sydney, you’ll be able to join via Zoom.



As the Australian arts and cultural sector starts to recover from the devastating impact of the COVID pandemic, there has never been a more appropriate time for the industry to improve how it engages with people with disability or who are d/Deaf.

The pandemic has not only demonstrated that rapid change is possible but the response has also improved our society’s understanding of and commitment to the values of diversity, access and inclusion.

‘Building back better’ has become the mantra for the post-COVID recovery, but what does ‘better’ mean in relation to arts, culture and disability? What are the lessons we can learn from the COVID response so far? And how do we work together to ensure the interests and aspirations of arts practitioners and audiences with disability are part of the recovery process moving forward?

Arts Activated 2021 aims to provide a forum for people across the arts, culture, disability, education and government sectors to discuss these issues and provide insight into how we can deliver equity and excellence by building back for everyone.

The key themes for Arts Activated 2021 are:

Building Better Creativity

  • How has the COVID-pandemic affected the creative practice of artists with disability and what short, medium and long-term impacts will this have?
  • What does the increased consumption of arts and entertainment content during the pandemic mean for finding new audiences for the work of artists with disability?
  • How can the arts and cultural sector better champion the creativity of artists with disability?

Building Better Opportunities

  • How can we create more professional opportunities for arts practitioners with disability in a post-COVID world?
  • Have past initiatives been successful? If not, why not? Do we need more targeted approaches?
  • Does the shift to working from home offer more options in terms of work/training?
  • How do we reduce the barriers that artists and arts workers with disability experience in relation to getting employment/training?

Building Better Participation

  • What does the post-COVID future look like in terms of providing programming and services for audiences/visitors with disability?
  • How will changes to health and safety affect the participation of audiences/visitors with disability?
  • How can we use the experience of COVID to encourage venues to be more responsive to the access requirements of audiences with disability?

Building Better Representation & Appreciation

  • What opportunities and challenges does a post-COVID world present for how people with disability are represented in media and the performing arts?
  • How can the diversity of people with disability be better represented in the arts and disability sector specifically as well as creative industries more broadly?
  • How can we better communicate the aesthetic value of work created by artists with disability?
  • How can venues and arts companies improve how they program and promote the work of artists with disability?

Building Better Use of Technology/Design

  • COVID has turbo-charged the use of digital and online technologies. What does this mean for how arts practitioners with disability work and audiences with disability participate? What are the access implications?
  • How can access to digital programming and services be provided to people with disability who don’t have access to digital technologies?
  • What will the legacy of COVID mean for the design of venues? Will they need to become more accessible?

Building Better Advocacy

  • What lessons has COVID taught us in relation to advocating for better outcomes for people with disability?
  • What kind of new structures/approaches need to be put in place to improve how the interests of people with disability are responded to in the arts and cultural sector?
  • How can government and industry improve how they identify and support arts and disability advocates and their allies?


Submit An Expression Of Interest

We invite people interested in sharing ideas, approaches or work which connect with any of the themes outlined above.

There are lots of ways to contribute:

  • Share your ideas
  • Talk about your work/projects/practice
  • Profile your services
  • Make a presentation
  • Join a panel
  • Run an entire session

The deadline for submissions is Monday 10 May 2021.

To express your interest, please fill out the form below.

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