‘Heading West’ is a region-to-region response to arts and disability development in Regional NSW. It partners the successes of the Accessible Arts North Coast 'Creating Connections' program with the emerging New England Arts North West 'Enable Arts' program.
As a community driven initiative we needed input from relevant community members to help drive the project. To that end a community forum was held in Armidale that was attended by 40 community representatives, artists with disability, council staff and arts and disability advocates. The forum showcased examples of ways the region can support artists with disabilities through a dedicated arts and disabilities support network; sharing of information, resources, and opportunities; professional development for artists with disabilities and the development of arts workshop spaces and galleries.
Through work shopping a series of relevant questions on the day some priorities were acknowledged moving forward which included the need for organizational Disability and Action Plans to be implemented, the continued development of a dedicated Arts and Disability database and looking at ways that a collaborative mentoring project could be undertaken.
Accessible Arts Board Member Mark Walton attended the forum and afterwards commented on the diversity of arts and disability projects happening across the North West region and said that he thought that Armidale could definitely be a hub for more projects and opportunities for artist with disability