Promoting Accessibility and Inclusion in Calderdale’s Cultural sector

Monday 30th January
9 am – 12 pm
Hebden Bridge Town Hall
As part of our series of Conversation Starter Events for our Cultural Communities, CalderdaleCreates next network meeting will focus on accessibility and inclusion in our cultural spaces, practices and provision.
This will be a practical session kicking off with short presentations from colleagues who will share ways they create, innovate and embed accessibility to and inclusion within their work.

Confirmed speakers include:

Nadia Clarke & Katie Clarke from Visits Unlimited, Sam McCormick from Curious Motion, Alice Bradshaw from Arts Lab and Dwell Time, Laura Durran from Calderdale Music, The Victoria Theatre’s Pantomime Director and Sara Robinson from St Augustines together with a centre member.
After the presentations we will invite members to draw on their own experiences of best practice and work together to co-produce a helpful resource which will be made available to the network.
CalderdaleCreates aims to contribute to and support existing, dynamic discussions around a range of strategic themes of relevance to the cultural sector, audiences, participants and advocates.


Katie Clarke and Nadia Clarke
Visits Unlimited

Katie and Nadia’s presentation will be on the topic of access and inclusion for disabled people and family members. Katie is the co founder and director of Visits Unlimited, a Calderdale based social enterprise led by people with lived experience of disability. She manages the Accessible Calderdale project and also works nationally.
Nadia is an active campaigner on human rights and disability. She regularly goes to gigs, the theatre and travels extensively. Together they will share their stories of barriers faced accessing cultural provision at local level, give examples of their positive experiences and how small organisations could become more inclusive.

Pantomime Director
The Victoria Theatre

The Victoria Theatre’s Pantomime director will share their experiences of embedding access and inclusion for deaf communities and integrating signing into performances.

Sam McCormick
Curious Motion

Sam’s presentation will offer an opportunity to consider and explore key skills required by artists and organisations to provide inclusive and accessible experiences for all people. A particular focus will be given to the importance of ‘soft skills’ alongside considerations around language within the context of inclusion.
Sam is a freelance Dance Artist working within dance and health contexts, particularly with underserved groups including people seeking sanctuary, disabled people, people on low incomes, and people who have experienced trauma. She is also the founder and Artistic Director of Curious Motion, an arts and health organisation based in Elland. Her presentation will focus on her learnings and experience within her individual artistic practice.

Alice Bradshaw
Arts Lab & Dwell Time

Alice’s presentation will focus on the curatorial models for artist inclusion and accessibility of Dwell Time and Art Lab.
Dwell Time is an award winning, not-for-profit arts publication reflecting on mental wellbeing, produced and curated by Alice Bradshaw, Vanessa Haley & Lenny Szrama, founded in 2018.
Art Lab is a peer group for artists and art practitioners to discuss their work, concurrent ideas and critical thinking based at Dean Clough, Halifax, since January 2019.
Alice is an artist, curator and writer based in Elland. Alice is also a mental health first aider, former YVAN board member and former YVAN Equity, Diversity and Wellbeing Working Group Chair.

Laura Durran
Calderdale Music

Calderdale Music will share their journey to inclusive practice. Laura Durrans, Inclusion Officer, will outline the highlights and key areas of focus in their Inclusion strategy. Calderdale Music prioritises creating strategies which have an impact on the ground, and will share some examples of making a difference to young people’s lives in Calderdale and their visions for the future.

Sara Robinson
St Augustines

Sara Robinson and a community member from St Augustine’s Centre will talk about the challenges and joys of engaging people seeking asylum in their work. Some of the activities offered are creative: music, writing, visual art.
They will share methods they use that they feel work best, though they are clear that they are still learning! Methods that will be applicable to anyone wanting to work with people who speak little or no English and who may be new to the UK.