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Arts Activated 2019 Conference Puts Arts & Disability Centre Stage

Making arts, culture and events more accessible for the 20% of Australians who live with disability or who are Deaf is the focus of the Arts Activated 2019 Conference which will take place at Sydney Olympic Park next week.

Produced by Accessible Arts – NSW’s peak arts and disability organisation – the conference will take place at the Waterview centre in Bicentennial Park from 22 – 23 August 2019 and will attract up to 200 artists, arts workers, disability advocates, researchers, policymakers and other experts from across the arts, cultural and disability sectors. Find out more at:

70 speakers and presenters from across Australia and overseas will take part in more than 20 sessions and events covering a diverse range of topics designed to accelerate action that will increase cultural opportunities for both artists and audiences with disability.

Leading UK artist and disability arts advocate Rachel Gadsden and The Smithsonian Institution’s Director of Accessibility Programs Beth Ziebarth will be the keynote speakers over the two days of the biennial conference which also features a cultural program of film screenings, music performances and an onsite art project.

Some of the topics to be considered include: authentic casting and representation; increasing participation in arts, culture and events by making programming and venues more accessible; boosting mainstream training opportunities for artists and arts workers with disability; reshaping the disability arts narrative; technology and design trends for universal access; and improving mainstream engagement with the work of artists with disability.

The conference is being supported by the NSW Government – via Create NSW and Destination NSW – as well as a range of local government, corporate, community and media partners.

Accessible Arts Chairperson Sharman Pretty: “People with disability make an enormous contribution to arts and culture in Australia as artists, arts workers and audience. However, this is not yet appropriately reflected in the provision of opportunity and equity, and it’s time for this to change. The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Making It Happen Today’ with the focus on fast tracking enhanced opportunities for professional and aspiring artists as well as greater accessibility across the arts, cultural and event sectors.”

Accessible Arts CEO Kerry Comerford: “The conference provides a really valuable opportunity for artists with disability to share their knowledge and experience as well as connect with other artists and arts workers from NSW, across Australia and overseas. It’s also a unique platform for people working in the arts, cultural and event sectors to share their approaches to accessibility and better understand how to increase participation in their programs, performances, exhibitions and events. We’re excited to be offering a diverse, engaging and entertaining program that will help participants develop careers, audiences and creative practice.”

To register or find out more, go to:

Social Media Assets

  • Images: Arts Activated 2019 Media Images (captions in Comments section of each image file)
  • Facebook Post: Arts Activated 2019 Conference (Sydney 22-23 Aug) is putting arts and disability centre stage. There’ll be 200 delegates, 70 local and international speakers, 20 sessions and events, and a great cultural program. Starts Thu 22 Aug at Sydney Olympic Park. Be part of making arts and culture more accessible for people with disability. #artsactivated2019 #accessiblearts #disabilityarts #arts #inclusion
  • Twitter Post: Arts Activated 2019 Conference (Sydney 22-23 Aug) putting arts & disability centre stage. 200 delegates, 70 local & international speakers, 20 sessions & events, & great cultural program. Starts Thu 22 Aug at Sydney Olympic Park. Be part of making arts & culture more accessible for people with disability.


To obtain a media pass or interview our keynote speakers, please contact:

 Michael Badorrek | Marketing Manager | +61 0431 594 007 |