Arts House program supports Deaf and Disabled creatives

The City of Melbourne’s Arts House has launched a five-year disability-led residency and commissioning program, giving Deaf, Disabled and neurodiverse artists support in reaching their artistic potential.

For the next five years, Arts House will fund artist fees, as well as access and production costs to support two residencies and presentations each year for Deaf, Disabled, neurodiverse and chronically ill artists, curators, collectives and their collaborating allies.

The inaugural residents are Catherine Dunn and Sam Martin, Leisa Prowd and Mishka.

Catherine Dunn and Sam Martin will work with a group of Deaf artists to create a culturally safe space to explore storytelling beyond hearing-centric environments and spoken languages. Arts House will present performances by these artists in August.

Leisa Prowd is less than 4 foot tall in a 6 foot world. From July, she will delve into the themes of perception, voyeurism and consent by exploring her relationship with her own body in a world not designed for it. The residency will culminate in a two-week season at Arts House in October.

Mishka’s residency aims to demystify autistic art practices. From March to May 2023, sixteen autistic and non-autistic artists will examine stim vocabularies to develop a sensory and tactile performance with large-scale brain puppets, as well as a film installation with projection mapping.

The Warehouse Residency was co-devised by Arts House and six Deaf, Disabled and neurodiverse artists, with support from Arts Access Victoria, to ensure the program embraces self-determination, flexibility and risk taking, and enhances inclusion and participation

The Warehouse Residency program supports the City of Melbourne’s vision to make Melbourne the world’s most accessible and inclusive city where all people can participate with dignity and independence.

It extends a long history of Arts House programming and partnerships involving deaf and disabled artists, including Back to Back Theatre, Rawcus, Jodee Mundy Collaborations, Claire Cunningham and Chelle Destefano.

The next expression of interest for The Warehouse Residency at Arts House will open in October 2022.

Quotes attributable to Lord Mayor Sally Capp:

The Warehouse Residency program is a leading example that champions accessibility within the creative sector in an artist-led model.

By embracing equity in participation and furthering inclusivity, we’re giving a diverse range of artists the opportunity to thrive. We can’t wait to experience and celebrate their important work.

Quotes attributable to Creative Melbourne portfolio lead Councilor Jamal Hakim:

This program will build capacity and provide support for creatives with a disability, and reflects the work we are doing to promote cultural safety and a creative resurgence in our City.

Art and creative pursuits are an opportunity for creatives to experiment, to explore, to express, and to share, and that is exactly what the Warehouse Residency program offers.

Quote attributable to Arts House Creative Advisory Group Kath Duncan:

The Warehouse Residency at Arts House will challenge what it means to create and produce accessible art – it will break down the barriers for artists and audiences.

Quote attributable to The Warehouse Residency at Arts House resident Catherine Dunn:

As part of our residency, we will invite Deaf artists to reflect upon their relationship with signed stories and Audism to present a reflective performance in a final showcase open to the public.

Quote attributable to The Warehouse Residency at Arts House resident Sam Martin:

Our Deaf-led project will provide a culturally safe space to empower Deaf artists to thrive in their own language.

The Warehouse Residency at Arts House

  • Each resident in The Warehouse Residency at Arts House receives:
  • $25,000 support towards artist fees and materials
  • $4,000 for access services, support and consultation
  • 3-month access to a dedicated studio space
  • Access to a mentor, equipment, production and producing expertise
  • Presentation of residency outcomes

The inaugural residents include:

  • March – May 2022: Catherine Dunn and Sam Martin
  • July – October 2022: Leisa Prowd
  • March – May 2023: Mishka

For more information click HERE

Photo Credit: Aaron Walker

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