The Art of Access: 2013

The Art of Access seminar explored approaches and best practice of museums and galleries in developing accessible, creative arts programmes to engage audiences with additional support needs. Using current case studies, we shared and discuss programme approaches, challenges and solutions including the new development of a creative art studio at the National Portrait Gallery for artists with learning disabilities and Pallant House Gallery’s long-established and ground-breaking Outside In and Partners in Art which provides opportunities for artists who see themselves as facing a barrier to the art world. The seminar was an active skills-sharing session for anyone working to engage and reach new audiences and increase access to the cultural and charitable sector.

25 March 2013, 11am – 17pm, Ondaatje Wing Theatre.
Seminar schedule

11.00 Coffee and registration (Location: Education Studio, Level -2)
11.30 Welcome by Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery (Location: Ondaatje Wing Theatre, Level -2)
11.35 Welcome and housekeeping, Lucy Ribeiro, Learning and Access Manager, National Portrait Gallery and Marc Steene, Head of Learning and Community/Deputy Director, Pallant House Gallery
11.40 Introduction to the National Portrait Gallery’s Access Programme and new Creative Spaces project, Lucy Ribeiro, Learning and Access Manager, National Portrait Gallery, Laurence Swan, Fundraising and Office Manager, Westminster Society for People with Learning Disabilities, Mhairi Leaver, Programme Co-ordinator – Youth Services and Employment, Shape
11.55 Introduction to the Pallant House Gallery’s Learning Programme and Outside In project, Marc Steene, Head of Learning and Community/Deputy Director and Sandra Peaty Community Programme Coordinator
12.15 Activity session 1: Break groups to discuss the following questions:

Why include participatory practice?
How to develop integrated programmes and projects that meet the needs of a diverse audience
What are the benefits and challenges of working with a diverse audience, for the individual and the organisation?
What is the future/legacy of developing engagement projects of this kind for the individual and the organisation?

12.35 Feedback: 3-4 minutes – points from each group
13.00 LUNCH BREAK – lunch not provided
13.15 Optional lunchtime activity for delegates (45 minutes)
During the break there will be an additional practical activity session led by artists trained through the Outside In: Step Up programme. (Maximum 24 places available, pre-booking essential)
14.15 Panel discussion, including points raised during the break-out activity with Lucy Ribeiro, Learning and Access Manager at the National Portrait Gallery, Marc Steene Head of Learning and Community/Deputy Director of Pallant House Gallery, Sandra Peaty Community Programme Coordinator at Pallant House Gallery, Tony Heaton CEO of Shape, Beth Elliott Director, Bethlem Gallery, Artists First, Sheryll Catto Co-Director, Action Space
15.15 Break – refreshments in the Education Studio (Level -2)
15.35 Activity 2: Delegates to return to groups -discuss and develop a forward plan.
16.30 Postcard – Next steps
16.50 Closing remarks and opportunity for delegates to visit the George Catlin: American Indian Portraits exhibition

This event was produced in partnership with Pallant House. Pallant House Gallery holds one of the best collections of British 20th Century art in the world including works by Peter Blake, Walter Sickert, Lucian Freud, Richard Hamilton and Henry Moore. The innovative work carried out in the Learning and Community Programme at the Gallery has been recognised by numerous awards and includes the pioneering Outside In and Partners in Art programmes.


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