Social Inclusion in the Arts: 2017 Plan

Executive Summary

The Social Inclusion in the Arts: 2017 Plan (the Plan) outlines what is currently happening within a selection of ACT arts organisations to promote social inclusion and accessibility. The Plan provides details of what is currently happening and what we can do in the future to improve access and inclusion in arts events and programs. By implementing inclusion and access strategies, arts organisations can grow their audience and become open to artists with mixed abilities and diverse experiences. Currently, the ACT Government does not require organisations to report on inclusion and access. The Plan fills an information gap by providing a snapshot of what is currently happening within the ACT. Gathering this information is important to fulfil the 2015 ACT Arts Policy Principle 1: Participation and access to the arts.

To find out what is happening, we consulted arts organisations funded through the ACT Arts Fund. The consultation revealed that most organisations are already considering accessibility and inclusion in their programming and events. The ways in which organisations practice inclusivity differs depending on the capacity of the organisation and the content of programs and events. From the consultation, we also heard that organisations need support to implement inclusive and accessible programs and initiatives.

Collaboration is a major strength of the ACT arts sector. This strength can be capitalised to create inclusion. Some organisations already work with other organisations to provide programs for people with mixed abilities, experience of mental illness, and groups who experience difficulty accessing the arts. Some organisations already work with not-for-profits, charities or community organisations to facilitate tailored programs to specific members of the community. Providing access to more people opens up the potential of developing artistic skills or individuals. This works towards the 2015 Arts Policy Principle 2: Great art and great artists.

The ACT Government encourages continued collaboration between arts organisations, as well as working relationships with community organisations. Establishing relationships with community organisations will be important to gauge interest in arts events from the wider community. The support of community organisations will help to establish and build audiences.

Government can support organisations through information provision, funding and formal training.

The ACT Government will begin to gather information from organisations in order to continually improve and update the way we support organisations to move toward accessibility and inclusion. Through reporting and evaluation processes, we can continually improve access to the arts. The ACT Government recognises that organisations operate with limited staff and resources, and so alternative ways of gathering information will be implemented. This includes visiting organisations and having conversations about their initiatives as a form of reportage.

You can download the full PDF and Word versions of the document here:

For more information or to obtain the document in an alternative format, please contact us on 02 6207 2384.

Case Studies

The following case studies only tell some of the stories of what local arts organisations are doing - we will be adding more case studies in coming months!

Image from The Sublimation Project courtesy of Daniel Savage