I went to Strumarama. It is a live music show. The performers have emotional and mental health issues. They have all taken part in song writing classes. The classes are run in South Melbourne, Heidelberg and Drouin. The show is put together by Wild@heART Community Arts. The performers sang about love, hurt and their own mental health. Many people went to the show. The audience and the singers had fun. The next Strumarama show is in December.
It can sometimes take a lot of planning to find where you can go out when you have a disability. But a new tool will now make this planning easier. It is a free app called Out & About. It can be used on an iPhone or iPad. Out & About finds accessible venues and events in Melbourne for people with a disability. It lists accessible places such as parks, beaches, restaurants and cafes. You can review and rate the accessibility of the places you visit. You can also add accessible venues. The app is by Villa Maria.
Beyond tolerance: Disability, Advocacy and the Arts
Earlier this year, former Minister for the Arts Simon Crean annoyed disability advocates by encouraging a culture of tolerance towards artists with disabilities. As a result, Arts Access Victoria organised a forum to discuss moving beyond tolerance. Artists and representatives from arts organisations attended the forum. Many ideas were raised. These included issues of access, opportunity and funding. Several speakers thought more diverse representation on funding bodies would cause cultural change. The forum did not solve any problems. But the people who attended it will still find ways to make art accessible and meaningful.
Ever been to a writer's festival launch where there was a Deaf MC and Deaf guest speakers? This year the organisers of the Emerging Writer's Festival actually made it happen for the very first time. There was a Deaf writer who contributed an article to The Emerging Writer book which was launched during the event.
The annual CyclePower tour is on again. The ride provides funds for sport and recreation for those with disabilities. It is a daring challenge. Some people use hand-cycles. Peter Hyden says he knows it's not going to be a skip around the park. But he is looking forward to learning from others. Alex Grime is also participating for the first time. She is looking forward to the physical challenge. There are many benefits to be gained. The CyclePower tour showcases what can be achieved despite disability.