The mainstream art world has a troublesome tendency to overlook disabled artists, these initiatives are working to change that.
This curated list of initiatives for disabled artists includes organizations, magazines, and online spaces that create opportunities and offer resources for artists with disabilities.
They are all devoted to highlighting talented artists on their platforms, in exhibitions and editorial content. A couple on this list have open calls running right now or coming up soon – take note.
Disability Arts Online
Disability Arts Online is a British disability-led organization that supports disabled artists by offering a platform for thoughts, resources, listings, and inspiration. They publish editorials like opinion pieces, reviews and interviews, a podcast, and a blog that provides disabled artists and writers with a space to give readers an inside view of their art practice.
They regularly invite disabled artists and writers as guest editors and are currently looking to recruit two POC artists for guest editorships during November 2020 or February 2021.
SICK is an independent print magazine by chronically ill and disabled people with the mission to increase representation of sick and disabled people in the arts and challenge stereotypes and misconceptions. Their second issue was released earlier this year and featured work by 20 writers and artists.
For each issue, SICK runs a submission call for international artists and writers that identify as disabled or sick. Accepted contributors are paid 10p per word and £40 for visual art and poetry. Follow SICK on Instagram for news about future calls.
lutte, pronounced ‘loot,’ is a space highlighting disabled and chronically ill artists through artist takeovers on their Instagram and a longer monthly artist feature on their website. lutte is accepting ongoing art submissions from disabled and chronically ill artists via email, make sure to read their submissions guidelines before submitting.
On their website, you’ll also find a list of resources with insightful readings on sickness and disability topics.
Shape Arts is a disability-led arts organization that provides opportunities for disabled artists, trains cultural institutions to be more open to disabled people, and runs participatory arts and development programs, with the goal of improving access to culture for people with disabilities.
Shape produces a yearly exhibition highlighting disabled artists. Their 2020 online edition ‘The Future is Loading’ features 25 artists. It is currently on view, with accompanying interviews, a useful resource list, and an Exhibition Zine created with Able Zine.
Able Zine is a print magazine that seeks to increase representation for disabled and chronically ill creatives. Their first issue was released in 2019, filled with vivid, informative content tackling ableism. Currently, their Instagram functions as their online space, with artist highlights, information, and resources. The founder of Able Zine, Claudia Walder, is nominated for the 2020 edition of Dazed100, and plans to build an accessible online version of Able if she wins the grant.
Unlimited is an arts commissioning program, delivered by Shape Arts & Artsadmin, that enables new work by disabled artists to reach the UK and international audiences. Since 2013, the program has provided nearly £4 million to 280 disabled artists through commissions, awards, and support, making it the largest supporter of disabled artists worldwide.
They recently announced their upcoming commissioning round, running October 1 – October 27, 2020, with half a million pounds available for Main Commissions, Research and Development Awards, and Emerging Artist Awards. Keep track on their social media for more information.
Tangled Art + Disability
Tangled Art + Disability is a charitable organization dedicated to enhancing opportunities for artists with disabilities. Tangled is dedicated to connecting professional and emerging artists, the arts community, and a diverse public through creative and artistic excellence.
On their website, you will find opportunities, accessibility resources, past projects, and more.