We were thrilled to receive Arts Council Funding for inclusive arts in Oxford.
We delivered an extensive programme of opportunities for arts training, participation and performance for disabled young people in Oxford using the Cowley Road Carnival as the key catalyst and platform.
The work addressed the lack of training and career opportunities for disabled artists in Oxfordshire and has seen – and will continue to see – Cowley Road Works working in a major new partnership with the Ark T centre in Cowley. The work supports access, development, training and performance in visual and carnival art, performance and dance.
Our ROCKET carnival arts training scheme provided training for a group of 10 young aspiring artists and help develop their ability and skills as carnival practitioners. These young artists have been supported as they worked on commissioned projects and tour performances starting with the Cowley Road Carnival and then to other major national arts festivals.
The ARK T Centre’s ROARsomes disability arts leadership programme was extended to produce the Planet Inclusive zone at Carnival 2019 in addition to curating a visual carnival arts exhibition at the ROAR festival that autumn and collaborating with Oxford’s Christmas Light Festival .
Through collaboration with a network of other organisations of all sizes and disciplines we are not only increasing the opportunities and visibility of disabled creative people at public festivals and events we are also helping them to develop into the arts leaders of the future.
This network, the ROAR Partnership is the driving force for the Disability Arts agenda in Oxfordshire and is chaired by Cowley Road Works and The Ark T Centre.
In 2019 we:
- Supported costume and movement workshops for two SEN school groups – Mabel Prichard school and Virtual School for Looked after Children leading to their participation in the Cosmic Cowley Road Carnival procession on 7 July.
- Funded thirty young female BAME musicians with the Young Women’s Music Project ‘Team Drum’ (an Oxford-based all-female drum troupe) to work with local designers and make costumes, write and learn five new processional songs for performances at Carnival and other regional festivals.
- Commissioned an inclusive dance performance from two local dance companies, Body Politic and Parasol Dance who will be performing in the Disco area with the Arcadia bug sound system on Carnival Day.
This project builds on the foundations of another ACE funded project in 2018 that was designed to drive and amplify the representation and participation of disabled people in the arts in Oxfordshire,
In 2017 and 2018 we partnered with Oxford Street Art Collective and artist Mani, to create some beautiful street art which celebrates iconic Oxford scenes along the Cowley Road.
Mani, who produced a piece featuring Horns of Plenty (sponsored by Horns of Plenty not by CRW) just prior to Carnival 2017 also completed another featuring a poem by Steve Larkin on the corner of Randolph Street.
The Radcliffe Camera and Science in Oxford
Jonny and the Oxford Street Art Collective have created two, celebrating Oxford’s most evocative and famous landmark, the Radcliffe Camera, and another celebrating science in Oxford,
The Radcliffe Camera, Oxford’s most famous landmark was painted over the Carnival weekend by the Oxford Street Art Collective in 2017.