Disabled led arts festival set to launch in Birmingham

June 1, 2018

Sensibility Festival, which will run from Friday 18 to Sunday 20 May, is co-produced by people with sensory impairments

The festival, which will be held across Midlands Arts Centre (MAC) and TouchBase Pears, aims to make arts more accessible for disabled people

A unique arts festival, co-produced by people with complex disabilities, and developed by the national disability charity, Sense, and Midlands Arts Centre (MAC), is set to take place in Birmingham from Friday 18 to Sunday 20 May.

The Sensibility Festival, which will be held across two venues: Midlands Arts Centre (MAC) and TouchBase Pears in Selly Oak, invites the public to explore, play and experiment in a setting that has been curated by local artists and participants with multi-sensory impairments.

The programme includes sensory experiences, guided tours, and interactive accessible activities. The centrepiece of the festival is the Sensory Labyrinth, a large scale interactive arts installation designed to be touched, eaten, smelt, moved and felt.

Stephanie Tyrrell, National Art Manger at Sense, said:

“This will be a festival of art created by people with sensory impairments:  Art you can smell, touch, taste, feel and hear. It will explore how deaf blind artists use their senses to create art. It will show how we can explore art and creativity through the senses, how we can feel sounds, touch colours, smell memories and taste sounds The work produced will enhance creative opportunities for people with sensory impairments, which will in turn enrich current arts practices.”

The programme is co-directed by Graeae Theatre Company and Stephanie Singer (BitterSuite). Four artists, Justin Wiggan, Saranjit Birdi, Lyn Cox and Becca Thomas (InterAction), have led the creation of new work with 60 creative collaborators with sensory impairments.

The artists’ work explores dynamic ways to develop accessible and multisensory arts practice. The festival hopes to challenges conventions of established art making methods and provide experimental art opportunities that nurture and inspire creative practices.

The Sensibility Festival will take place Friday 18 May - Sunday 20 May 2018 at MAC and Touchbase Pears, Selly Oak. For event times and more information visit: www.touchbasepears.org.uk and www.macbirmingham.co.uk

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