MixAbilities for Community Artists and Arts Educators

June 25 2022 Kingston Ontario I have been the facilitator of H’art Centre's MixAbilities Inclusive Arts Training Program since it first launched in 2018. In the same year MixAbilities received the City of Kingston’s Celebrating Accessibility Award. MixAbilities is an Inclusive Arts training program providing artists/arts educators in the Kingston community with strategies and resources to best meet the needs of artists with a wide range of abilities. Andrea Fitzgerald (H'art Centre's General Operations Manager) and I guided artists and arts educators through a full day workshop. MixAbilities is a program that builds and improves from one session to the next and this past session was a huge success, filled with generous sharing of ideas and experiences. The training focused on building awareness around accessibility and inclusivity in the arts. There was much discussion around Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDDs) and neurodiversity, (ND). The term neurodiversity was first used by the autistic community and centers around the premise that the whole of society is neurodiverse, that everyone has neurodevelopmental differences, and that there is no “right” way to interact with the world. The day concluded with presentations by 3 guest artists who work in the inclusive arts, Isidora Spielmann (Textile Artist & Costume Designer), Amy Booth (Physiotherapist and Movement/Dance educator) and Camille Spencer (Dance Advocate, Choreographer, Teacher, and Performer) shared how they engage the people they work with, their successes and challenges, and how they create safe and welcoming spaces to ensure that everyone has access. H'art Centre continues to keep inclusive arts at the forefront making sure the arts are accessible to all. https://www.hartcentre.ca/mixabilities







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