Artlink has been working with venues to improve access for audiences with hearing loss for some time and through consultation with Hearing Link became aware of the need for tailored activities. Initially Artlink ran a series of drama workshops, from this we went to lots of events at the Edinburgh Festivals and these were shared through the project Postcard Reviews. Let Loose is a cumulative process, we are always learning and each project informs the next. So the talent we discovered in Postcard Reviews led to a writing project at Dancebase. Finally our reliance on scripts when experiencing new dance has led to the current focus on text in art.
“We had fun surely – but more than that, we enjoyed interacting with the words, with each other and our confidence grew. Because of the electronic notetaker and the pre-printed instructions, I think our brains were freed up from struggling with the communication so we could relax into the buzz of creativity….. liberating stuff!”
This quote was received as feedback from a participant with hearing loss after a Let Loose workshop around word games. Feedback like this is essential to help us make improvements and to shape the direction of the project. As well as putting in place the practical support, we try to create a welcoming environment where people can feel relaxed before joining a creative activity.
For the word games workshop, artist Anthony Schrag devised games to get everyone working together and start being playful with words. Anthony introduced his own work and the workshop activities, printed resources enabled everyone to refer to instructions whenever needed. At the workshops we always provide a loop system and an electronic notetaker to type everything spoken to be projected onto a screen. With this in place, everyone joined in and we played the games together.
The word games workshops were the start of our exploration into text and art. This exploration is continued in a series of workshops between January and June, all led by different artists across visual art, theatre, poetry and dance. Each workshop is an opportunity to learn about an artist’s work and try a fun, practical activity. At the end of the series, a planning meeting will decide where we take the project next.
If you would like to take part in any of these workshops or would like more information, please contact Susan . You don’t have to attend all of the workshops, try one or come to as many as you can. Artlink can also provide you with listings of accessible art events across Edinburgh, such as gallery tours offering loop systems and captioned theatre performances.
If any of this sounds interesting to you, please contact Susan Humble, Artlink’s Audience Development Officer 0131 229 3555 option 1 or firstname.lastname@example.org