How do theatre makers, performers, visual artists and dancers with disability get taken seriously as artists?How does their work go beyond participatory...

We're Very Serious- taking artists with disability seriously


Level 6 Terrace Entrance
2000 NSW

Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia
Black and white image of 6 people posed in seated and standing positions on an outdoor cement staircase.

Event Details

How do theatre makers, performers, visual artists and dancers with disability get taken seriously as artists?

How does their work go beyond participatory and therapy models? What support structures are needed and how are these achieved?

What needs to change in order to develop growth within the arts and disability sector and how does this influence societal change?

Why is inclusion better?

Join three recent Winston Churchill Fellows Sarah-Vyne Vassallo (Murmuration), Gabrielle Mordy (studio A) and Alison Richardson (RUCKUS) as they speak about their important findings across Europe, the United States and United Kingdom where they each explored professional inclusive arts practice across; the development and presentation of integrated contemporary dance theatre, support structures for visual artists with disabilities in mainstream contexts and disability led theatre, inclusive mentoring and training programs.

The event will be MC’d by RUCKUS ensemble member, Tropfest Award winning actor and advocate for people with intellectual disabilities Gerard O’Dwyer. A panel discussion will be convened by CEO of Accessible Arts, Disability Champion of the Australia Council for the Arts and Deputy Chair for SAMAG, Morwenna Collett. 


Each Churchill Fellowship is required to write a report of their research trip. The speaker's reports can be found on the links below:

Gabrielle's report: To explore processes and structures operating to support artists with disabilities to participate within mainstream art networks - USA, UK

Sarah-Vyne's report: To explore choreographic processes for creating and presenting contemporary dance theatre within an integrated environment for dancers with and without disabilities - UK, USA, Spain

Alison's report: To explore disability led practices in theatre and investigate inclusive training and mentoring models - UK, Norway, Sweden


Thank you to Winston Churchill Memorial Trust & Accessible Arts and to Vivid Sydney's Access & Inclusion Partner Cushman & Wakefield.

Access and Inclusion

  • Wheelchair accessible - Access to the venue is suitable for wheelchairs (toilets, ramps/lifts etc.) and designated wheelchair spaces are available.
  • Auslan Interpreted - Auslan interpreted events are for audiences who are Deaf and use Australian Sign Language (Auslan) as their primary means of communication. Experienced Auslan theatre interpreters stand to the side of the stage and translate what the speakers are saying or Auslan signing the text and dialogue live. Audiences requiring this service are seated in the section closest to the interpreter to ensure good sightlines.
  • Hearing loop - A hearing loop (sometimes called an audio induction loop) is a special type of sound system for use by people with hearing aids. The hearing loop provides a magnetic, wireless signal that is picked up by the hearing aid when it is set to 'T' (Telecoil) setting. Many venues have an induction hearing loop system. Check if your venue has this system.
  • Companion card - The Companion Card is for people with a significant permanent disability, who always need a companion to provide attendant care type support in order to participate at most available community venues and activities.
  • Sensory friendly - Relaxed performances are designed to create a safe and welcoming environment for children on the autism spectrum or other disabilities that create sensory sensitivities, along with their friends, carers and families.