Recognising the 25th anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) which was passed on 8 November 1995, BBC Arts continues its Culture in Quarantine initiative that aims to support disabled artists.

Established as a partnership between BBC Arts, Arts Council England, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Arts Council of Wales and Creative Scotland, the Culture in Quarantine initiative forms part of the wider disability season across the BBC, which is marking 25 years of the Disability Discrimination Act.

This new commisioning opportunity is inviting D/deaf, neurodivergent and disabled artists to apply for support in creating new video or audio works. During a time that has been hugely challenging for many disabled artists, this funding programme aims to help support creativity and invites disabled artists to showcase their experiences of lockdown or focus on other areas of interest.

This new commissioning opportunity builds on the success of BBC Arts Culture in Quarantine artists’ commissioning strand, launched in April 2020 by BBC Arts and Arts Council England, which invited artists to give a creative response to the challenges of lockdown. A total of 25 commissions were produced, which achieved audiences in the millions across BBC and social platforms.

Jonty Claypole, Director BBC Arts commented:  “The Disability Discrimination Act of 1995 is one of the most important civil rights landmarks in British history. To mark this important anniversary, the BBC’s Culture in Quarantine initiative is joining with Arts Council England, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Arts Council of Wales and Creative Scotland to commission a range of film and audio projects that celebrate the talent of D/deaf, neurodivergent and disabled professional artists today.  This is more important than ever in the age of Covid-19 when the need for extreme shielding threatens to silence many disabled artists who would otherwise be producing work for galleries, stages and other platforms around the UK.”

Artist, curator and producer, Cathy Mager, whose film ‘Sign Night’ was previously commissioned for Culture in Quarantine said: “Being commissioned by BBC Arts and Arts Council England to produce work for the BBC Arts Culture in Quarantine initiative was incredible.  I was supported to create a film that explored British Sign Language culture in an authentic and powerful way and I’m delighted that this funding scheme is being expanded. It is vital to continue to invest in deaf and disabled artists, so that the stories of their diverse lived experience can come to the fore.”

If you are interested in applying visit for more information.

Commissions will be selected by a panel including representatives from BBC Arts, Arts Council England, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Arts Council of Wales, Creative Scotland and the UK Disability Arts Alliance. It is expected that the works will be produced between March 2021 and June 2021, airing on BBC platforms later in 2021.

The programme will be managed by digital support agency The Space in partnership with Unlimited, an arts commissioning programme that enables new work by disabled artists to reach UK and international audiences.

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