Symposium 2018

On 4 & 5 September 2018, Unlimited is hosting a global symposium on disability-led arts in the 21st Century. What’s on the agenda? That’s up to you. Jo Verrent, Senior Producer for Unlimited, explains.

Unlimited supports and celebrates disability-led arts – the creation of works across all artforms, creatively led by disabled people. We know that the work itself can be extraordinary, can be of the highest quality and can challenge public perceptions and indeed the way the whole cultural sector is designed and run.

In 2018, we want to amplify the change which we have been a part of and emphasise the quality and breadth of artistic work by disabled artists and the far reaching partnerships which help make them happen. It’s important for us that we involve initiatives outside of Unlimited which share similar context/values and focus on what is needed to embed such change within the cultural sector globally.

We don’t want to get the same people to talk about the same stuff, we want to create a space for genuine discussion, giving a platform for new perspectives and different voices to be heard.

What do we need you to do?

We want you to tell us the key current issues and opportunities for disability led arts around the world: why are we not further ahead than we are? Why are we still talking about the same barriers and limitations? What should the world of disability led arts look like in 2020?

We don’t have all the answers. We don’t even have all the questions. And that’s why we’re asking you.

How can you join in?

Help us to shape the programme by using the hashtag #UnltdSymposium and telling us what you think between now and midnight on Sunday 10 December 2017. What topics do you think we should we focus on at the Symposium? What, for you, is key? What do we need to do now to make sure things change and that disability-led arts thrives across the world?

You can upload an image, video or GIF, link to a paper, a blog or a website, link to people and projects or simply tell us in 140 characters what you consider to be the key issues and opportunities as you see them. Remember to make it accessible (for example, describe any images using text which you can easily do on Twitter).

What will happen next?

We’ll log every response that uses the hashtag #UnltdSymposium and work out the most popular areas for discussion – once the deadline has passed, we’ll streamline these into groups and these can be voted on in early 2018 to form the symposium programme.

Symposium values

The two-day symposium will be in London on Tuesday 4 and Wednesday 5 September 2018 and will lead into the start of Southbank Centre’s Unlimited Festival (which runs from 5-9 September 2018). There will also be a smaller ‘pre-day’ on Monday 3 September for people who know less about Unlimited and the history and context of Unlimited/UK disability arts scene to provide context.

We want to facilitate an event that is fresh and forward-looking – not just about the past; not just focused on Unlimited, but one that looks across the wider UK and global cultural conversation.

We want to ensure disabled artists and companies are seen within the whole cultural sector ecology, but still the event will be disabled led and also include artists’ voices – there is a phrase used in the UK disability movement that says: ‘nothing about us, without us’ and we think that’s important. We also want to include international perspectives.

The event must be discussion based – the voices that we can hear should be those attending in all forms, not just those on any platform. The event will be interactive and engaging; and include interactive elements supporting audience interaction across the UK and internationally.

Whilst we want people to find out new things and make new contacts, we also want the event to be focused on action – we are looking for everyone to develop achievable and actionable goals as a result of attending to move the situation forward.

We are aiming, of course, to create an event that is accessible, open and inclusive – inclusive of different levels of experience, inclusive of different (intersectional) perspectives, that includes new, creative ways of approaching access for those both physically attending and those engaged remotely.  Embedding those values starts here – with our call out for your thoughts and feelings about what we should be focusing on.

Taking action

Here is your simple three point plan for action:

1. Decide what you think the key current issues and opportunities for disability led arts are around the world.
2. Post your thoughts to Twitter or comment on our Facebook post using the hashtag #UnltdSymposium
3. Spread the word – who do you think might have a perspective we’ve not yet seen? Help us reach out and get as many viewpoints as we can before midnight on Sunday 10 December 2017. You can share our Facebook postretweet us on Twitter or share this blog.

So get thinking – and then get posting!

For more information about Unlimited please go to http://weareunlimited.org.uk/


Next Round of Applications

We are currently calling out for 2 types of awards, all for any art form:


R&D – this is for established artists/companies who want to undertake some research and development around a new idea. People can apply for up to £10k. We have £10k to fund work from artists/companies based in Wales and we also have an additional £10K from Wellcome Trust to support an award from anywhere in the UK.


EMERGING: this is for emerging artists/companies who want to create a piece of work or deliver a participatory programme. People can apply for up to £10k. These are funded by Spirit of 2012 so available for artists/companies across the whole of the UK.


Both have a simple Expression of Interest form  – DEADLINE 6 NOVEMBER. Access support is available to help people complete the form if needed. Its an online portal but, for access, people can also apply via a Word doc form.


More information can be found here: http://www.unlimitedimpact.org.uk/unlimited-awards-2018/


And the application site and downloads are here: http://weareunlimited.org.uk/apply-to-unlimited/


Unlimited Commissions 2018

We are now accepting applications for two award strands via our online portal. 

Unlimited is supporting ambitious projects by outstanding disabled artists and companies across all artforms. The next round of applications is now open, for two strands of funding: Emerging Artist Awards and Research and Development Awards, both applications up to £10,000.

The deadline to submit an Expression of Interest is 6 November.

Find out more, read our FAQs and apply online


Trainee Required

unlimited logoClosing Date: 5 December 2016


Location: London

Remuneration: £14,976

Artsadmin is recruiting a trainee to join the Unlimited team. The programme offers a long-term learning opportunity through direct involvement in Unlimited; assisting in coordinating artists’ projects, work with venues and advisory support for disabled artists.

Research confirms that there is currently a shortage of disabled arts professionals. This traineeship addresses this imbalance and is only open to candidates who identify as disabled.

Shape and Artsadmin were selected by Arts Council England to deliver Unlimited 2014-2020‚ a national programme supporting disabled artists to develop ambitious and high quality work. This will be the fourth traineeship as part of the programme. (www.weareunlimited.org.uk)

Full time, paid position, starting early January 2017.

Deadline for applications: 12pm on Monday 5 December 2016.

Interviews: Wednesday 14 December 2016.

More information and application

Enquiries including access please contact Jessica Denning on 020 7247 5102 or email admin@artsadmin.co.uk

Unlimited Commissions

Expression of Interest Reminder

unlimited logoUnlimited is a commissions programme, delivered by ShapeArts and Artsadmin, funded by Arts Council England with additional funding from Arts Council Wales, British Council and Spirit of 2012.

7 November 2016 is when the portal closes for the Expression of Interest applications for all 3 Unlimited commission strands. Please click on this link to the Unlimited page from where you can download application forms for all three strands of commissions for this round:

  • Main: commissions & Research and Development (R&D) awards
  • International: International collaborative commissions
  • Emerging: commissions for young and/or emerging artists to make work or run participatory projects

The Unlimited panel will look at your ideas first, and shortlist according to popularity, balance across art-form, geography and diversity, as well as their key objectives to find quality, innovation and ambition across everything they commission.

By ‘artists’ Unlimited mean individuals, companies, collectives and partnerships, so you can apply according to what works best for your creativity.

You have to decide which strand suits you best. By ‘emerging artist’ Unlimited mean any artist who has yet to receive a major exhibition or showcasing opportunity.

Unlimited are inviting ideas from any artform – or cross-artform – and are consciously engaging in discussions around opening up access and visibility in different artforms.

If you have questions about the criteria, the application form or experience access barriers, the team are on hand to talk about the practicalities of making an application. However at this stage, to keep the process fair, they will not talk about the ideas.

For more details please click on this link to the Unlimited impact blog or visit the Unlimited page from where you can download the application forms

Heart n Soul

Beautiful Octopus Club Festival

Heart and Soul Octopus festivalHeart n Soul is 30 this year and we’ll be kicking off our birthday celebrations in style at the Beautiful Octopus Club Festival on Friday 9 September from 7pm – midnight at the Royal Festival Hall as part of this year’s Unlimited Festival.

We are also excited to announce that we’ll be launching The Unbelievable Stage, a brand new space where you’ll be able to enjoy a range of more intimate performances.

On the night check out Lizzie Emeh performing with a live string section, new poetry from Peter Brown, a premier of Pino Frumiento’s new film and a special edition of the Chat Up with Heart n Soul artist Tilley Milburn, filmmaker Matthew Kennedy and their Mum’s!

Plus DJ’s on the Riverside Terrace, amazing live music, taking part zones and so much more – all for FREE!

Check out the whole programme and plan your journey to the club on our website – http://heartnsoul.co.uk/category/artists/details/beautifuloctopusclub



Episode 1 now on You Tube

HijinxWorking with Hijinx Theatre, Richard Newnham received an Unlimited Impact commission to create an online sitcom, Flatmates.

Richard and his writing partner Daniel Smith have created 5 short episodes and after a very successful screening at Porters in Cardiff, Flatmates can now be seen on You Tube –


A new episode will be available each week and are well worth a view. Flatmates is funny, well acted and produced and a great watch when you need 5 minutes to take your mind off your day and have a laugh.


Demystifying Access: A Resource Pack for the Performing Arts 

unlimitedClara, Assistant Producer for Unlimited, has introduced a new guide for producers and performance makers on how to improve access for audiences in performing arts. The pack includes a range of topics from navigating costs to venue access, and offers some simple solutions. The resource pack is available here.

For more information, visit: www.unlimitedimpact.org.uk/demystifying-access-a-resource-pack-for-the-performing-arts/?source=image, or email: clara@artsadmin.co.uk.