Artlink is launching a new website, Investigate Create, providing information to open up the arts for people with sight loss, people with hearing loss and sign language users.
Investigate Create launches on 11 June with an event in the Great Hall of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, featuring live music and work developed as part of the Opening Lines project. Poet Ken Cockburn and artist Julianna Capes will perform poetry and verbal description.
For thirty years, Artlink has been offering support and assistance to people with disabilities who want to enjoy Edinburgh’s vibrant and diverse arts scene. With 200 clients and over 100 volunteers, what is now known as the Arts Access service arranges over 1000 outings a year. The aim of Arts Access has always been to make each outing as enjoyable and hassle free as possible, and to make sure that nobody’s enjoyment is restricted by their particular needs.
Feedback from individual outings has helped Artlink to find out what works and what doesn’t, as well as raising awareness of the demand for improvements and innovations. At the same time, Artlink’s work with galleries to deliver accessible tours for people with hearing loss, and for people who are visually impaired, has introduced them to people whose ideas and opinions demonstrate that there is enthusiastic interest in taking part in a whole new experience of art. Rather than adding on access aids to existing work, why not develop work with access at the heart of it?
The resulting projects, Opening Lines (for people with visual impairment) and Let Loose (for people who are hard of hearing), have brought participants together with professional artists to develop unique and original artworks which can be fully enjoyed and experienced by a wider audience.
The Investigate Create website, which launches in June, aims to spread the word about this ongoing programme of innovative projects, events, and workshops. There are features on events, people and places of interest, and up to date, easy to use listings for accessible events in Edinburgh, which can be tailored to individual preferences.
The listings go beyond the usual categories for accessible performances. Investigate Create aims to enthuse and encourage new audiences into trying out different types of events, in different venues, and to increase confidence by including practical information to make booking and attending as easy as possible.
Below is a small taster of what you might find on the new site. Inspired by the National Library of Scotland and written and produced by Ken Cockburn.
A transcript of the audio is available here.