‘An important investment in our engagement ambitions’

May 11, 2019

THE STABLES Theatre in Wavendon has received a£ 95,000 grant from Milton Keynes Community Foundation towards major improvements to its work with deaf and disabled artists and audience members.

The theatre will work with national accessibility and disability specialists including Attitude is Everything and Graeae Theatre Company to create a bespoke training programme for its staff and its  200-strong volunteer base. It will also open up sessions to the wider cultural sector. 

Jenny Sealey, Graeae Theatre’s artistic director, has been appointed as Artist-in-Residence for next year’s IF: Milton Keynes International Festival and will work with The Stables to build inclusivity into its future work by creating an accessible and high-quality programme for disabled artists.

The initiatives will take place after the Community Foundation awarded a Large Strategic Grant over two years. Specialist digital and technology systems will also be developed and tested with a view to improving access to live music events for disabled customers. The training, digital systems and artistic programme will be rolled out during next year’s Festival.

The venue will also appoint an engagement manager to work with groups in Milton Keynes to break down some of the barriers to attending the arts.

Monica Ferguson, chief executive and artistic director of The Stables, said: “This is an important investment in our ambitions to enable us to engage with more people in exciting new ways and we are immensely grateful to MK Community Foundation for their support and enthusiasm in helping us to work with some of the UK’s most inspiring artists and organisations.

Community Foundation chief executive Ian Revell said the project’s aim is to ensure more people can enjoy the arts and to offer more creative opportunities by presenting positive role models and accessible workplaces and venues.

Funding for the programme has come from the National Lottery Community Fund and the Margaret Powell Foundation Fund.

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