Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, has today announced a brand new fund available for the city’s D/deaf and disabled artists and organisations, with the intension of including their output in the opening of Lewisham’s London Borough of Culture next year.

The £70,000 investment – part of the Mayor’s ongoing commitment to support and celebrate d/Deaf, disabled and neurodiverse artists – will support both artists and organisations, and City Hall will also be offering grants of between £3000 and £10,000, with those successful in bidding also being included in the opening of Lewisham’s London Borough of Culture programme in January 2022.

The Liberty festival has been presented by the Mayor of London since 2003 and aims to showcase the work of D/deaf and disabled artists. Having been cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19, the festival will run alongside the London Borough of Culture event in 2022; the latter initiative was launched by the Mayor in June 2017, and aims to shine a light on the character and diversity of the city’s boroughs.

“Our disability arts sector is made up of outstanding talents and organisations committed to redefining access and inclusivity,” said Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. “Unfortunately, the effects of the coronavirus pandemic have placed additional challenges on our D/deaf, neurodiverse and disabled arts. That’s why I am investing in our artists to help unleash their creativity and give them the platform to showcase their skills in next year’s London Borough of Culture in Lewisham.”

Linda Rocco, creative producer at Liberty, said: “These grants are a fantastic opportunity to support the capital’s D/deaf disabled and neurodivergent artists. This open call is for artists who push boundaries, bring quality, innovation and ambition to their work and who want to challenge perceptions of how culture can be performed and experienced for the widest range of audiences.

“While we cannot currently celebrate together, I am looking forward to the time when audiences will be reconnected to Liberty and be able to enjoy the wonderful diversity of creative ideas generated through this funding opportunity. The London and UK disability arts sector is a one-of-a-kind workforce recognised worldwide.”

Applications are open from now until 30 June 2021. For more information (available in a number of accessible formats), click here.

Get your copy of PosAbility Magazine 

Read more: Cookfulness – cooking with chronic illness

Image: Ввласенко/Wikimedia Commons