Liz Hall | Carousel | Brighton, UK
Community Organisation (Disability)
As Director of Carousel, I am committed to ensuring that the creative contribution of learning disabled artists is seen, valued and celebrated and that we provide opportunities for learning disabled artists to develop their talent. I have worked for Carousel since 1999. Through the decades I have seen how changes to care and support for learning disabled people has reduced the opportunities available to creative people outside the education system. There are far fewer days centres, respite homes, care workers, after school clubs and Special Educational Needs provision across the country that life can be grim for people with learning disabilities. Carousel works to fill this gap, providing high quality creative projects that offer routes to progression for those taking part.
I am also a Trustee for the Speak Out advocacy service and for Komedia Productions Ltd. I am also a Director of Brighton Hippodrome CIC working to restore and reopen this nationally important venue in the heart of Brighton’s Old Town.
Carousel is led by learning disabled people at all levels - from the Chair to the team that plan and deliver the Rock House music festival. Our aim is to challenge ideas around what great art is and who can create it, to break down the barriers between mainstream and disability arts and in doing enrich the lives of artists and audiences. A key Carousel event is the biennial Oska Bright Film Festival; the leading international event for the exhibition of learning disability film. The festival takes places over four days in Brighton and is managed and delivered by a team of experienced learning disabled arts leaders.A subsidiary project, Creative Minds, is bringing together learning disability arts companies from across the country to debate, share and promote events by and with their artists. The network numbers around 50 organisations to date.
Meeting challenges is implicit in our work - in the daily discrimination that learning disabled people undergo and the lack of understanding surrounding individual's creative aptitude.