ActionSpace was launched in the 1960s and established as an independent charity in 1984. Our aim is to support the creative and professional development of artists with learning disabilities and to create innovative, exceptional and unique projects that provide London’s learning disabled community with opportunities to engage with the visual arts. We are an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation.
We have two dedicated art studios, one in South London at Studio Voltaire in Clapham and one in central London at Cockpit Arts in Holborn. We run a programme of weekly Studio Projects where beginning, emerging and established artists with learning disabilities are able to develop their practices using our professional facilities, equipment and materials. The studio sessions are facilitated by ActionSpace’s specialist artist tutors, who provide support, guidance and mentoring on a 1:1 basis. Our exhibition and events programme and the Action Space website provide our studio artists with opportunities to showcase and sell their work.
In addition to being a catalyst for artists with learning disabilities, we also recognise that the arts play an important role in enriching lives, reducing isolation, nurturing self-esteem and encouraging inclusion. ActionSpace’s Outreach Programme is designed to suit the different needs and interests of London’s learning disabled community; from young people in transition from school to adult life to people with profound learning disabilities and complex needs. We work with partners across London to deliver projects that stimulate, inspire and transform the participants’ lives.
ActionSpace aims to be a conduit between the learning disability community and contemporary arts world. We have a network of contacts in both sectors and are constantly seeking out new partners in order to secure opportunities for our artists to showcase their work and for people with learning disabilities to take part in ground-breaking creative projects. Over the past few years we have worked with prestigious contemporary arts organisations such as the Royal Academy, Camden Arts Centre, the Museum of Everything and the award winning Outside In arts agency. We will continue to work with these organisations and develop links with others to share and develop the similar ethos and commitment of helping artists with learning disabilities break the glass ceiling they are currently constrained by.