Launching Artreach programme for Stirling adults with learning disabilities

Artreach is a new cross artform programme for Stirling-based adults with learning disabilities and offering participants the chance to explore the arts based on their experience, talent and access requirements.

For years Artlink Central have been delivering drama and music to asmall group of adults with learning disabilities for years, but now they have secured funding to spread access to the arts across urban and rural areas and have the benefit of offering visual arts for the first time.

The new artist team are:

  • Artistic Programmer - Sarah Pearson
  • Artreach Development Artist (Music) - Claire Docherty
  • Artreach Development Artist (Visual arts) - Sharon Quigley
  • Artreach Development Artist (Drama) - Kat Wilson    

Over ten months these artists will developpractice in this area, whether in supporting an individual with complex needs to express themselves or supporting emerging artists to present and create their work for wider audiences.

The artists will take a strong cross-art form approach to working and the project will culminate in a festival, showcasing the work created through Artreach.The artists have spent the last 3 weeks meeting groups andindividuals throughout Stirling district, and by the 2nd of July, theywill have delivered 4 taster sessions in Stirling and Callander to over100 people with learning disabilities, a massive success for a project in its infancy.

All the participants of these practical, creative days are being asked what their arts experience is and what they would like to experience and learn throughout the programme. The information gathered will be critical for the programming of the Artreach delivery up to March 2011.

This pilot programme is funded by Stirling Community Planning Partnership and the Gordon Fraser Charitable Trust. The Artreach community based workshops will be starting in the near future in Stirling and district.

Director of Artlink Central, Kevin Harrison, says:

“Artreach is a critical success for us in engaging in community planning and in working in partnership to meet the needs of the communities we serve. There has been unparalleled interest in this project which is down to the dedication and focus of the artistic team behind this. This is an opportunity for us to build a really strong profile for the creative talents of Stirling citizens with learning disabilities, many of whom are isolated and who may feel increasing barriers with government cuts.We hope this programme will culminate in celebrating the culturalcontributions of this community and demonstrate the talents of disabled artists.”

If you wish to learn more about this project please don’t hesitate to get in contact witha member of our Artreach team by return email or by telephone 01780 450971