This International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we’re shining a light on The Young Creatives Project, a collaboration with GMCDP, Archives+ and Contact.
The Young Creatives Project gives time for young disabled people to share lived experiences, research the history of disabled protest and develop creative skills.
They are working towards staging the less well-known history of the Disabled people’s movement – 102 years of history fighting for the rights of disabled people. With performances at Contact in April 2022 and contributing to an exhibition at PHM in July.
They were invited to make digital shorts for Day of Disability. These will be shared at Central Library on 3 December and PHM on 4 December.
A young filmmaker. His work reflects on a short film he created for The Royal Television Society – the first one he has made bravely about his own disability.
Sparks autistic joy in her piece focusing on the wonders in her everyday life. A meditation with visual stimming.
Young Creative Artist
The below piece acknowledges the true reality of being autistic travelling through systems that should support but rarely do.
Protests about disability rights and what needs to change.
Asks for urgent changes to the education system. Being part of this project has helped her identify a dream to make direct change by becoming an SEN TA or Teacher.
Interviewed himself about his life and lived experience of being autistic including a surprising super talent.
Molly created a poem reflecting on life at 25 being young and disabled.
Sam Holley Horseman
Sam Holley Horseman, lead on the project and a re-emerging ND/ disabled Director, Writer and Access Consultant, shares her thoughts below. Her focus is on developing new work with Deaf/ND/Disabled artists, sensory theatre and embedding creative access:
“The project has allowed the young people to access workshops with Archive+ and to delve through the history of the disabled peoples’ movement including GMCDP’s as a major national contributor. They have met and interviewed guest artists including Amy Vreeke, Jonny Cotsen. Watched accessible theatre online. Discussed what is most important to young disabled people and shared lived experiences. Mainly it has been joyous connecting, sharing and being in a space where everyone truly understands what it means to be disabled – the joys, fears, isolation and truths.
We have only met once in person. All our sessions are online. As the world returns to a new normal remember that the tech used during lockdowns gave us a new equality and access to spaces we had been pleading for, for decades.
Don’t forget this. Don’t forget us”.
Rose Sergent is Assistant Producer at Contact and committed to making the arts more accessible for everyone. In 2020 she was awarded funding to develop her practice as a producer of chronically ill/disablilty led art. She also runs Drawn Poorly – a creative zine project focussed on platforming the work of ill and disabled creatives.
Drawn Poorly has featured 68 different ill/disabled creatives through zines, performance nights and social media take overs. Drawn Poorly was one of the supported projects at Contact in 2018/19 through the Future Fires programme and was featured as part of the Edinburgh Festival central programme in 2019.
Keep up with Drawn Poorly here!
Matt Needham is the Assistant Director on this project and is a Queer, Neurodivergent Artist & Activist based in Manchester. The focus of their current work is on Gender, Sexuality and the intersectional identity and embedding creative access across Arts spaces. Matt currently works with the Charity Young Manchester as a Youth Ambassador and Starling CIO as a Neurodiversity Champion, they share their thoughts on the Young Creatives project below:
“I consider myself really lucky to be a current member of Contacts’ Young Company and to have met the amazing Sam HH through her work as a dramaturg on CYC’s recent show. As a relatively newly diagnosed ND individual, I have found the experience with this group absolutely invaluable, to hear about our shared experiences and to learn about profound moments from the Disabled Peoples’ Movement has been both a professional and personal highlight. I cannot wait for the next phase of the project and to see what this amazing group creates in the New Year!”
Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People (GMCDP) is a Disabled People’s Organisation, which means it is controlled and run by disabled people only. All Executive Council members and staff positions are only available to disabled people. This is because as an organisation we feel it is essential for disabled people to have our own voice and our own control of our organisation. GMCDP does however welcome the support and involvement of non-disabled allies, who appreciate that control of our own organisations is an essential part of disabled people achieving control over our own lives.
Archives+ has created an archive centre of excellence in the heart of Manchester. The project brings together statutory, university and voluntary organisations to provide a holistic range of archive and heritage services from one location. Archives+ raises awareness of and provides easy access to our histories for the broadest possible audiences.
The Young Creatives project is funded by Young Manchester