University of Atypical hosts individual Disabled/Deaf Artists Awards in Belfast

Performance poet Alice McCullough, one of the recipients of the individual Disabled/Deaf Artists Awards managed by the University of Atypical

THE work of disabled and deaf artists and of arts venues striving to improve disabled and deaf access has been recognised at a ceremony in Belfast.

The University of Atypical, formerly known as the Arts and Disability Forum, hosted a celebration of artists' talent and venue commitment at the Atypical Gallery in Royal Avenue.

Thirteen of the north's leading disabled artists have received individual Disabled/Deaf Artists Awards (iDA) awards totalling £17,000 to develop their work. The majority of those artists were part of the celebration, with playwright Shannon Yee speaking about her experience of iDA, and poet Alice McCullough performing a poem to illustrate the effect of her award.

Strule Arts Centre was received an Excellence award, having worked closely with Omagh Access Group to enable deaf and disabled people to participate freely in the arts. Enniskillen Castle and the Millennium Forum received Arts & Disability Equality Charter plaques and the Ardhowen Theatre was presented with a certificate as evidence of its commitment to working towards charter status.

Presenting awards, Belfast Lord Mayor Deirdre Hargey said: “I'm delighted to be part of these celebrations, highlighting the fantastic work being done to advance disability arts in Belfast and beyond. It showcases our cultural diversity and highlights the importance of building inclusion within our city.”

Artists receiving the iDA grants work in a range of disciplines, including visual arts, music, multi-media, poetry, comedy, theatre and dance.

The iDA scheme is managed by the University of Atypical and funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

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