I had an insightful week in Sydney, Australia, for The Arts Activated 2014 Conference, which showcased arts and cultural programmes, projects and research around the world on the trends as well as issues relating to inclusive arts practices.
It had been a great opportunity to be able to explore and reflect with like-minded delegates and presenters. Some of the notable keynote speakers during the conference are:
–Jo Verrent, Senior producer from Unlimited (UK)
–Marcus Dickey Horley, Curator of Special Projects at Tate Gallery (UK)
–Sunethra Bandaranaike, Chairperson of Sunera Foundation (Sri Lanka)
–Sawang Srisom, Composer and Former chairperson of the Network of Music and Arts of Persons with Disabilities (Thailand)
–Magdalena Moreno, Deputy Director of International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies
There were sharing sessions on audience development, international collaborations, community connections, creative practice and media matters.I had the privilege to hear guest speakers discuss experiences and differences in disability arts across the world, as well as some of the cultural challenges facing artists and practitioners in various countries, case studies demonstrating inclusive arts approach, research findings and international perspectives accessing on the ways that programming, touring models and exchange can be designed to ensure long-term relationships and legacies.
The Arts Activated 2014 Conference also showcased talents of artists with disabilities and was an access friendly event with live captioning, braille and audio description services.
Ever since Playing for Change Day started in 2011, I’ve always wanted to be part of it.
This movement arose from a common belief that music has the power to connect communities through music for positive social change. It first started out as a multimedia music project by Mark Johnson and Whitney Kroenke in 2005, through a film titled Playing for Change, in which they went around the world filming musicians in places they lived. It has since grown into a global sensation that has inspired the lives of millions of people around the world.
Playing for Change Day now happens annually on 20 September, and the fundraising efforts will be donated to the Playing for Change Foundation to provide the gift of free music education to more than 700 children in Ghana, Mali, Rwanda, South Africa, Thailand and Nepal.
I had the privilege to be part of Straits Records collective for Do Good Party, a solar-powered rooftop gig celebrating Playing for Change (PFC) Day.
Happening in Singapore for the first time and presented by Shophouse & Co., PFC Day featured a pop-up edition of OOOM – Singapore’s first Social Open Mic Session, Sol System (featuring the following DJs: Dr Yes (Aboutwax / Fever! Soundsystem) and Djoha (Wondersoul / Fever! Soundsystem) from Indonesia, and Sham Em (Heliotropika) from Singapore with Ras Irie from Straits), and Ziqqsayshello- a designer and musician.