Australia’s national forum on arts, culture and disability goes online

Australia’s leading national forum on arts, culture and disability, Meeting Place, will be held online for the first time on 15-16 September 2020. 

The forum will encompass a mix of panel discussions, keynote speakers, workshops and artistic showcases centred around the theme of ‘Creating Space’. 

AAA CEO Matthew Hall said, “This year’s theme provides an opportunity to explore the idea of creating space for disability arts, leadership and access within the broader arts community, and to discuss and present ideas for how to do this.” 

“The theme allows us to ask, who are we creating these spaces for and why? And as a disabled artist, how do I create space for myself – to advocate for myself – and others?” 

The theme also refers to the need to create digital space for d/Deaf and disabled artists and audiences. 

“Delivering Meeting Place 2020 online provides a unique opportunity to explore art and accessibility in the digital space,” said Hall. 

“Isolation and being house-bound are not new experiences for many disabled artists or disabled audiences,” added Hall. “By focusing on providing digital access to the forum this year, we aim to incorporate digital access into a hybrid format of the Meeting Place program in the future. This will bring us one step closer to achieving Universal Access.” 

The annual forum is hosted by Arts Access Australia (AAA), the national peak body responsible for advancing equity in the arts for d/Deaf and disabled Australians. 

In previous years the forum has been held in different locations across Australia and overseas, shining a spotlight on d/Deaf and disabled artists and accessibility best- practice in the local area. 

Tickets to Meeting Place 2020 will go on sale at the end of July. You can register your interest at www.meetingplaceforum.org/register. 

Meeting Place 2020 was planned to take place in Brisbane as part of the Undercover Artist Festival in September. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Undercover Artist Festival has rescheduled to a virtual showcase in December 2020. 

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