Trish and I have had a busy year. Firstly I'd like to thank everyone for supporting Dao in 2013. We’ve had a fantastic year with many achievements. Many of our Arts Council funded Diverse Perspectives commissions led to further showcases of work, particularly for performance artist Liz Crow and wordsmith/ visual artist Gini who presented work at the Personal to the Universal Symposium with LinkUp Arts at Salisbury Arts Centre last April.
We're delighted to announce that earlier this winter, we received notification that the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation has agreed to give Dao funding for the next three years. This will pay a portion of our part-time salaries and allow us time to develop the stability and sustainability of DAO to ensure its future. It will allow us to continue commissioning reviews and opinion pieces from our writers commenting on disability arts and related discussions which inform the disability arts debate.
Looking forward to 2014 - Dao's tenth anniversary - we are planning to publish work exploring a theme around perceptions of disability and difference. We know that disabled people choosing a career in the arts face additional barriers to participation in the networks that open doors to real opportunities. Our hope is that through unpacking those perceptions and the changing attitudes towards disability we can continue to address those barriers. One way we do this is by making information available about what opportunities there are, through our listings and news service, so if you haven't already, please do sign up to our mailing list.
We will continue to engage artists, audiences, thinkers, and arts professionals from a diverse range of backgrounds and expertise, seeking to further programme and commission of work by disabled artists. With that in mind we hoping to secure funding for an exciting major music commission. We are also planning to up the ante on the amount of poetry and prose we publish on Dao and to secure funding to facilitate the professional mentoring of two poets to create their own published volumes. In tandem we are planning to programme a series of live spoken word / music events at a range of festivals and venues around the country to celebrate our tenth anniversary year.
Disability Arts Online is a repository of thousands of articles: blogs, news items, reviews, interviews, galleries and creative writing by artists and writers, writing on disability and the arts, which have been published since 2004. Through monthly reflections pulling out highlights of the work buried in Dao's archives we want to pull to the fore some of the rich legacy contained within the website.
We had a major facelift earlier in the year - but all our old content is still available online. To begin I'd like to draw your attention to Disability Arts Moments. Asking "what drew your interest in Disability Arts?" this page gives a series of comments from disability arts practitioners talking about seminal works they would like to see remembered or preserved for future generations.
Meantime, from everyone here at Dao we wish you all the best for a happy festive season! Signing off until 2014!