Disconsortia is a disabled artist-led collective based in the North East of England, currently working online. I was the founding member of the group after some conversations both nationally and regionally. The North East is often left off the cultural map despite there being so much rich and amazing work happening here and so, along with the support of the amazing team at Disability Arts Online and ARC Stockton, we focused our attentions on the region.
I have been lucky enough to work for the collective in coordinating and creative direction roles, and am now delighted to be on the new Board of Directors along with Lisette Auton and Karen Sheader, and we're very excited to work closely with a new Project Manager (curently recruiting so do read on). The members of the collective are the current members of the organisation and will design, direct and guide the ethos, identity and work of Disconsortia.
The 17 members didn’t all know each other before, (you can meet them here) are diverse in all sorts of ways and work across a range of art forms and social practice. They are the most wonderfully supportive tribe a person could ask for. We’re not in each others’ pockets, but we know we are forging a meaningful voice for disabled artists, as well as increasing and improving opportunities. We’ve done a number of things together which have made us stronger - workshops, creative discussions, a mini conference, a cabaret night, created an online digital exhibition At The Table, and navigated a global pandemic.
We are project to project funded at the moment, and are delighted to have secured funding from Arts Council England. Our big project is a regional artistic takeover, working with key partners in art and culture. We’re in the planning stages with a real buzz of excitement, and now have the opportunity to build those partnerships and consult lots of disabled artists from our region on what should be happening in an event like this. We hope it will last a year and as well as exhibitions, performances and things to take part in, we’d really like to build a regional support structure for disabled artists.
We’ve got a three to four month time frame that we’re going to be doing our development, as well as hosting networking meetings for disabled artists, a postcard art project and each current member will create a mini-micro commission. I’m over the moon to be able to deliver four disability equality masterclasses for the region’s cultural sector and also to offer train the trainers for disabled artists interested in branching out into delivering disability equality training themselves.
We need an experienced and well-organised Project Manager to lead this process – which we’ve called Towards A Takeover and are currently recruiting and you can get information here. Do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to know more.