What do we mean by Inclusive Arts?

Published on 25 March 2022

Inclusive Arts takes many forms but at the heart of the work is the involvement of Disabled artists and/or engagement with Disabled young people.  Typically Inclusive Arts practitioners see access issues as positive creative stimuli and not as an additional add on.

The area of work that is placed under the Inclusive Arts umbrella includes:

  • Work for young disabled audiences
  • Work created by disabled Artists for young audiences (both disabled and non-disabled young audiences)
  • Work about disability from skilled writers for all audiences performed by disabled performers.
  • The artists and companies involved in this area of work don’t share a global common language.  Some define themselves as “Inclusive”, “interactive”, “integrated” or “accessible”; others use terms like “disabled-led” or “disability arts” or talk about “unlocking authentic voices”.

We have decided to use the term ‘inclusive’ to recognise a shared ethos.  Inclusive Art recognises the contributions of disabled people, the value of inclusive practices, and the importance of representation with dignity, diversity and difference that enable disabled young people, participants and artists to take part

Inclusive Art is driven by the desire to create high quality art that includes all and that may have outcomes and influences which are considered ‘therapeutic’ but whose primary purpose is to enlighten, educate, entertain and excite audiences via the art.

It is incredibly important because it ensures great art is accessible to everyone, making theatre richer and challenging artists to re-evaluate their practice whilst providing important role models for young audiences and giving them the chance to view disability and diversity in a new light.