Kymberly Martin

Leading arts activate to speak at Sydney conference

One of the world’s leading disability arts activists, Rachel Gadsden, will be the opening plenary speaker at Australia’s leading disability arts event, the Arts Activated Conference, being held in Sydney on August 22 – 23, 2019.


Produced by Accessible Arts, the event will attract up to 200 artists, art workers, disability advocates, researchers and other experts from across the arts and disability sectors. The idea behind the conference is to make arts and culture more accessible for people with disability, or who are hearing impaired

The initial program includes 22 sessions with plenaries, panel discussions, workshops and networking functions. Topics for discussion include making programs and venues more accessible, boosting training opportunities for artists and art workers with disability and improving mainstream engagement with the work of artists with disability.

Gadsden creates solo and collaborative art through painting, performance, digital film and animation, and was the first contemporary artist appointed to Hampton Court Palace. She recently unveiled a new art work in Paris commissioned by FIFA for the 2019 Women’s World Cup. She has also completed major commissions for the UK parliaments and recent Paralympic Games.


“It is becoming an increasingly important objective to break down the barriers that prevent people with disabilities being included in the mainstream arts,” she said.

Accessible Arts chief executive, Kerry Comerford said participants will come away from the event in new and exciting ways; “intended to help them develop careers, audiences and creative practice”.

The conference, is being held at the Waterview Centre at Sydney Olympic Park and is supported by the NSW Government.

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