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Accessibility and Inclusivity in the Arts: Mini Symposium

Wed., Apr. 12, 2017 9:00 a.m. - Wed., Apr. 12, 2017 4:30 p.m.

Location: RC 176 & the Shu-Box Theatre

All Are Welcome!

This session is free and open to the public. Refreshment provided; ASL Interpreters on site.

Complimentary parking is in Lot 2. For those needing accessible parking, send e-mail request to Kathleen Irwin -

On April 12, the Faculty of Media, Art, and Performance at the University of Regina will host a symposium on accessibility and inclusivity in the arts. The event will bring together local artists, arts organizations, and members of the University community to disucss how institutions can respond to creative needs in d/Deaf and disability milieus.

We have arrived at an important moment in regards to the recognition of the d/Deaf and disability artists in Saskatchewan. It has been a long time coming. Following the groundbreaking work done across the country and around the world, this symposium seeks to explore the experience of disability as a cultural experience. Recognizing how the creation of art can be a way of reclaiming power, a means of describing a future that centers the lives of people with a range of abilities, the event aims to create an open, transparent and accessible environment in which many questions will be discussed, including:

what are meaningful ways that institutons can respond to the specificities of creation in the d/Deaf and disability arts milieu?

how can we shift minds and policies towards the understanding that there is a culture here that requires both protection and the opportunity to work together to build a stronger community?

how can we design creative processes for a range of bodies, minds, and experiences in order to build a dialogue that honours our authentic bodies and minds?

how can we change the ableist script that requires a 'triumph over suffering' narrative about disability and simultaneously present the lived reality of everyone?

how can we support people with different abilities to become leaders?

The symposium will open with a virtual keynote by Michelle Decognitties, founder and artistic director of Stage Left Productions. Decognitties, a multiple award-winning artist and arts advocate with 25+ years of experience, founded Stage Left Productions in 2003 to create work within a bottom-up, radical social justice praxis. Ms. Decognitties' talk, "From Inclusion to Equity" will highlight the distinct domain of "disability arts" in Canada.

The event will also feature a short performance by students from the Department of Theatre's Devising Inclusive Theatre class and Drama Education. Kathleen Irwin, class instructor, says "This is a remarkable opportunity to focus on the place of disability, disability arts and artists within our institutions, to dialogue about the exciting work done across many disciplines and to put inclusion front and centre in our thinking."

With many thanks from our partners and funders:

Participants include U of R faculty, staff, and students (THEA 315 AB, EDRA 202), Campus for All and Being Astonished! Community Partners include Dunlop Art Gallery, Common Weal, Curtain Razors, Globe Theatre, MacKenzie Art Gallery, Saskatchewan Arts Board, Listen to Dis and Deaf Crows.

This symposium is generously sponsored by the Faculty of Media, Art, and Performance; Department of Theatre, President's Office, Regina Public Interest Research Group (RPIRG), Common Weal Community Arts, Curtain Razors, Dunlop Art Gallery, Listen to Dis and Affinity Credit, Campus for All, Globe Theatre, Randy Johner and Kathleen Irwin and others.