Arts House launches program for deaf and disabled creatives

Arts House launches program for deaf and disabled creatives

For the next five years, the new Warehouse Residency at Arts House in North Melbourne will support deaf, disabled, neurodiverse and chronically ill artists to reach their artistic potential.

The City of Melbourne’s Arts House will fund artist fees, access and production costs for two residencies per year, and then showcase the outcomes.

This includes $25,000 towards fees and materials, an additional $4000 for access support, a three-month residency in a studio space, and mentor expertise.

“The Warehouse Residency at Arts House will challenge what it means to create and produce accessible art – it will break down the barriers for artists and audiences,” Arts House creative advisory group member Kath Duncan said.

The inaugural residents for 2022 are duo Catherine Dunn and Sam Martin, along with dancer Leisa Prowd.

Dunn and Martin began their residencies in March and are working with a group of deaf artists to explore storytelling beyond hearing-centric environments and spoken languages.

“Our deaf-led project will provide a culturally safe space to empower deaf artists to thrive in their own language,” Mr Martin said.

“We will invite deaf artists to reflect upon their relationship with signed stories and audism to present a reflective performance in a final showcase open to the public,” Ms Dunn said of the shows planned for August.

From July, Leisa Prowd will begin her residency delving into the themes of perception, voyeurism and consent from the perspective of a four-foot-tall person in a six-foot-tall world.

Prowd’s residency will culminate in a two-week season at Arts House in October.

One residency, which aims to demystify autistic art practices, is already commissioned for early 2023.

In collaboration with 16 autistic and non-autistic artists, Mishka will develop a sensory and tactile performance with large-scale brain puppets, as well as a film installation with projection mapping.

The Warehouse Residency was co-devised by Arts House and six deaf, disabled and neurodiverse artists, with support from Arts Access Victoria.

Their goal was to ensure the program embraced self-determination, flexibility and risk-taking, and enhanced inclusion and participation.

“This program will build capacity and provide support for creatives with a disability and reflects the work we are doing to promote cultural safety and a creative resurgence in our city,” Cr Jamal Hakim said.

The next expression of interest for The Warehouse Residency at Arts House will open in October 2022 •

For more information:

John Buncle

John Buncle

February 14th, 2024 - Felicity Jack
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