On 29 March 2016, the Disabled People’s Association (DPA) attended the Arts and Disability Forum 2016 at the National Gallery Singapore, an event organised by the National Arts Council, British Council Singapore and Singapore International Foundation. The event aimed to raise awareness on how arts and culture can shape an inclusive society. The three-day Forum brought together individual artists, practitioners and various professionals from the social service sector and arts and culture organisations.
UK and Singapore art practitioners shared their experiences and perspectives on how art can create social change by challenging society’s deepest assumptions about disability. Afterwards, participants were separated into breakout groups to exchange ideas on equality, access and inclusive practice in the Arts, Culture and Heritage Sector, and the potential for arts and the disability sector in Singapore through case studies.
In Singapore, there are limited opportunities for persons with disabilities to pursue a career in fine arts – whether due to the lack of available training programmes and organisations willing and able to support them. And art produced by persons with disabilities are primarily marketed as items you purchase for charity rather than on their own merit. While well-intentioned, these initiatives do not help to dispel the negative stereotype of persons with disabilities as objects of charity.
Thus DPA was thoroughly pleased to take part in this symposium to discuss how the arts and disability field can work together to co-create art and change people’s perceptions about artists with disabilities. DPA hopes that there will be more opportunities for persons with disabilities to have access to and excel in the arts.
More about the Forum: https://www.artsanddisability2016.sg/