Creating an inclusive environment requires not just intent but real support—adequate staffing, accessible facilities, and resources to ensure that the experience is a positive one for everyone.
The devaluation of art and event spaces perpetuates the struggle for accessibility. Inadequate funding, no extra investment, and a lack of updated physical spaces often limit accessibility. Arts administrators are forced to choose between program funding and accessibility, depriving individuals with disabilities not only of the profound impact of showcasing their art but also of attending, supporting, and being a part of art.
To our art administrators, I see you. I see your struggle, and I want you to know that your struggle is mine. I recognize the genuine effort you put into creating spaces that embrace diversity. Your desire to have me there is reciprocal, — I want to be there just as much!
Recognizing that spaces and places can’t be audited with the same lens, we must incorporate the devaluing and disinvestment that has occurred in artistic and creative spaces. It’s about building networks and grassroots initiatives to fill those gaps, creating a bottom-up movement that values accessibility and inclusion in every corner.
Photo: CAROLINE BOWDITCH