New commissioning grants unveiled for disabled artists

A new strand of UK government funding aims to support deaf and disabled artists in creating new work.

In partnership with the British Council, Creative Scotland, the Southbank Centre and the Big Lottery Fund, Arts Council England will invest GBP1.5m (€1.7m) in a new programme which will fund commissioned work by deaf and disabled artists.

ACE is seeking an organisation to deliver the scheme, called Unlimited II, between 2013 and 2016.

The programme aims to build on the success of the London 2012 Festival, which commissioned 29 ambitious pieces by deaf and disabled artists to mark the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

ACE plans to commission experimental, innovative works from established artists with a view to boosting audience numbers and diversity for works by disabled creators.

This week the council also announced new funding for libraries to support local enterprise and entrepreneurship.

ACE chief executive Alan Davey said: ‘The funds announced today are so important because they can help artists, arts and cultural organisations to demonstrate what arts and culture can really do for this country. From supporting Deaf and disabled artists to make truly innovative art that challenges the public’s perception of disability, to demonstrating how public libraries can play a huge role in supporting their local economies, the arts are truly transformative.’

Also unveiled this week was Cultural Destinations, a new partnership with the national tourist board, Visit England, to increase engagement from tourists.

Running between 2014 and 2017, the GBP3m investment will enable creative groups to work with organisations responsible for developing tourism in local areas.