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.

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Disability Arts Online’s guest editorship has become a regular fixture in DAO’s calendar with an aim to develop new editorial voices in the sector and bring fresh perspectives, new audiences and different approaches. Our guest editorships work to challenge us, challenge our audiences and become a platform for experimentation, diversity and intersectionality. ~ We are currently looking to recruit two artists of colour for two guest editorships, working on a freelance basis to take over the editorial output of the magazine during November 2020 or February 2021. We expect the person to come into the post at least six weeks before the first publication date in order to plan and process the demands of the contract. ~ We recognise the lack of representation of artists, writers and workers of colour within the disability arts sector and as an organisation DAO is on a journey, having made a firm commitment to exploring intersectionality in arts and culture and increasing representation from diverse communities at the start of our being funded as an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation in 2018. ~ At least 20 per cent of our output this year has involved either direct commissions or coverage of work by disabled artists of colour. We have one artist of colour within the small DAO team of five current salaried staff. We want to do better on an ongoing basis to increase representation in our freelance and salaried workforce. ~ For full detail about the role please visit our website via the link in our Bio. ~ #DisabilityArtsOnline #DisabilityArts #Disability #Arts #DisabledArtists #Disabled #Artist #GuestEditor #Editor #Job #ArtsJob #FreelanceArtsJobs #Freelance #DisabilityArtsJobs #RemoteWorkingJobs

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SICK Magazine

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.

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MAY FEATURED ARTIST • claudia rose @lilguerrera // claudia is a creative and editor in chief of @ablezine. our interview with her talks about how able came to fruition, and her favorite parts of running a magazine. read the full interview using the link in our bio! also! 🌹 exciting news! claudia will be taking over our instagram this week 👀👀 and hayley of lutte will be taking over able’s instagram simultaneously! . every body is different, 2018. graphic by claudia rose and tino mara. . image description: two bodies are formed out of puzzle pieces that are white on an indigo blue background. both bodies are missing one puzzle piece. the text above the bodies says “every body is different” and the text below says “3 out of 4 disabilities are invisible.”

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Shape Arts

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. 

We previously published their resource How to Plan an Accessible Exhibition in ARTCONNECT Magazine. You’ll find more accessibility resources for artists and art organizations on their website.

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#TheFutureIsLoading… Have you viewed our latest exhibition yet? It’s available on our Instagram and our website in accessible formats. For people who are marginalised in the present day, facing discrimination and barriers to access, imagining the future can be an act of radical defiance. Explore what this future might look like with our latest exhibition featuring the work of 25 artists. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ @acegrams #DigitalExhibition #OnlineExhibition #MarginalisedCreatives #DisabilityArts #ShapeArts #Accessibility #AccessibleArts #DigitalArt #InstagramExhibition Image description: This gif image presents a hand drawn pastiche of a computer menu opening up links across a screen; it is cartoonish, with a mock screensaver background of a mountain set against a purple sky. When the last link has opened, it generates a cascade of images which overlap within a square area at the screen’s centre. The images run rapidly, offering a suggestion of content varying from monochrome films to colourful detailed paintings to digital collages. As the spool comes to an end, the screen blacks out and a hand drawn message in grainy green repeats the word error until the screen clears again. The gif ends with a block yellow background on which the Shape Arts logo appears.

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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.

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Hi, I’m olivia @bodyintrouble. I’m a sick scholar concerned with all things disability. These are some stills from my Masters creative thesis “disabled!” A 3d avatar of River Tam acts as narrator (a perfect non-visibly disabled stand-in for my own body) as she takes you through the many worlds of disability in fanfiction. Within fanfiction, fans get to rewrite stories/universes that usually exclude them (a perfect space for disabled characters to finally have their own stories). It’s fun, it’s weird, and it’s sometimes hot (you’ll find a very hot queer scene between a disabled character named Effy and Bella Swan + some clips from Loree Erickson’s amazingly sexy crip porno “Want”). You can watch the full film on YouTube. * * [ID: Image 1 - A 3D animated still from the film disabled! To the right of the image stands an avatar of River Tam from the tv show Firefly holding a marker and gesturing to the two other figures in the background. In the background, an avatar of Bella Swan pushes a girl in a wheelchair. River Tam has drawn a large red X over the wheelchair. In the context of the film, River Tam is explaining that in the 3D model universe there are limited choices for mobility aids, mostly hospital-like objects, and to imagine the character Effy using a power chair not the manual wheelchair pictured in the scene. Image 2 - A 3D animated still from the film disabled! River Tam stands on the checkered floors of a gilded temple. She has long brown hair and is wearing a red long sleeve sweater and short pink skirt. Image 3 - A 3D animated still from the film disabled! A 3D rendered book of Alison Kafer’s book “Feminist, Queer, Crip” sits on a glass table. Image 4 - 3D animated still from the film disabled! River Tam sits in front of a computer monitor. On the screen are two people sitting on a couch in conversation with one another. River rests her head on her hand, listening to their conversation. Image 5 - 3D animated still from the film disabled! Two girls kiss. Fireworks are in the background. One of the girls is Bella Swan.]

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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.

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To our Tangled community, #BlackLivesMatter Disability justice must be rooted in the dismantling of white supremacy, anti-blackness and colonialism. Any less cannot be considered true justice. In honour of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, Tangled Art + Disability has made donations to the following organizations: Justice for Regis The Black Health Alliance (@blackhealthcan) National Bail-out Fund (@nationalbailout) There are further actions we can take to create change, including signing petitions, writing letters, sharing resources, and more. For links to fundraisers, petitions, letter templates, and resources, visit the link in our bio. Disability justice means we need to come together and fight for what is right.

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