Inclusive Disability Arts

We are thrilled to have Arts Council Funding for inclusive arts in Oxford.

We are working on delivering 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 aims to address the lack of training and career opportunities for disabled artists in Oxfordshire and sees Cowley Road Works working in a major new partnership with the Ark T centre in Cowley.  The work will support access, development, training and performance in visual and carnival art, performance and dance.

Our ROCKET carnival arts training scheme has been launched to provide training for a group of 10 young aspiring artists and help develop their ability and skills as carnival practitioners. These young artists are being supported as they are training and are working on five commissions and tour performances starting with the Cowley Road Carnival and then to other major national arts festivals including Gloucester Carnival.

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 in the autumn and collaborating with Oxford’s Christmas Light Festival .

Arts in Oxfordshire. 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 have:

  • 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,

Inclusive photograph by William Mankelow www.shotatanangle.com.uk

Attitude is Everything have awarded Cowley Road Carnival a bronze award for ensuring that the event is as accessible as possible for disabled and Deaf audiences and performers.

Street Art

In 2017 and 2018 we partnered with Oxford Street Art Collective  and artist Mani, Cowley Road Works have been delivering new street art projects to brighten and enlighten the Cowley Road. Jonny and the Oxford Street Art Collective have created two, celebrating the iconic Radcliffe Camera and another celebrating science in Oxford,

Mani, who produced a piece featuring Horns of Plenty just prior to Carnival 2017 has just completed another featuring a poem by Steve Larkin on the corner of Randolph Street. .

Radcliffe camera street art by Oxford Street Art Collective photograph by Laura Greene