Through The Second Life Award (TSLA) scheme, Disability Arts Online (DAO) has extended their Associate Artist programme into Scotland for the first time, working with a disabled Scottish poet to support their practice over the period of 12–18 months.

DAO’s Associate Artists’ programme has successfully operated since 2018, so far supporting seven disabled artists to progress their creative practice, and in most cases also influencing positive change in the wider cultural sector. Last year, they responded to the pandemic with a series of ‘Covid Commissions’ – micro-awards in which artists made and presented work and ideas online during lockdown.

This TSLA will support DAO to work with Scottish poet, Ellen Renton, who explores the role of sight in her own work and the writings of others, touching on themes of imagery, the cultural significance of blindness, and the hierarchy of the senses. You can view Ellen’s presentation for DAO here, and our recent interview with her here. A bursary will support research and development for a new work, and will be accompanied by a wealth of support from the DAO and EMT communities.

We’re absolutely delighted that the investment from Edwin Morgan Trust is enabling us to work with Ellen and support her future work. Her Covid Commission presentation was a real gem, I can’t wait to experience the work that emerges from this associateship.

Trish Wheatley, CEO Disability Arts Online

I am so thrilled to have this opportunity, not only to focus on developing my practice, but to do so with the support of two great organisations – Disability Arts Online, who play such an important role in fostering disabled community, and the Edwin Morgan Trust, who celebrate the legacy of one of my favourite writers.

Ellen Renton

More information about Disability Arts Online:

Disability Arts Online (DAO) is an arts organisation led by disabled people. We occupy a unique global position with our UK-based website, social media network, commissioning and artist development programmes, partnership work, and vibrant community of disabled creatives. The DAO team is a friendly group of expert individuals based in England and Scotland, who work together to take action for social justice, countering the ‘tragedy model’ that society is so deeply invested in. We exist to serve artists and arts audiences and, in doing so, to enable social change. 

Disability Arts Online has a rich history of challenging dominant narratives, championing the development of disability arts and breaking down barriers to arts engagement from a disability-led position. We recognise disability is an intersectional experience. We loudly and proudly nurture an equitable community space for everyone.

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