This project will Shine A Light on people of the Black Country. It will build bridges of communication between Deaf and hearing, disabled and non-disabled communities across the Black Country through a creative participatory and performance programme co-created with local people, that will:·
- Tell the stories of local people in the Black Country from diverse backgrounds, including those with Commonwealth roots. ·
- Explore our relationship to the Commonwealth, including any challenging legacies of colonialism, and what it means to communities living in the Black Country today.
- Increase the wellbeing, confidence and skills of local people in the Black Country, particularly those from diverse cultural backgrounds and people who identify as D/deaf or Disabled.
Deaf explorer CIC are delighted to be involved in the Creative Black Country bid to deliver a Spirit of 2012 funded project and meet the objectives of the West Midlands Challenge fund. The ethos of Spirit of 2012 matches our own mission statement which is to bring about equality for Disabled people by demonstrating full participation in the arts, artists (all art forms) audiences and participants. Our organisation and focus is meeting the communication needs of deaf people and Deaf artists, who who are defined under British equality law as Disabled people. The success of our work is measured by movement of deaf people into highly competitive mainstream arts, using communication support. Our hope is that Spirit of 2012 funding will enable disabled people in the Black Country to be inspired by creative deaf people, who have skills and ability to work in the mainstream. As a result of this project we hope young deaf people will be inspired as well, kickstarting a generation of deaf and hard of hearing people and their disabled peers into belief that the future includes them. We feel strongly that the hearing world also will learn about how to remove barriers and reduce the thinking that deaf and disabled people require charitable support and that this is not a responsibility of society to include deaf and disabled people even though quality law has been in existence for thirty years. We see in our own community deaf people of colour, marginalised into work that does not match their education, skills and ambition. Many of our peers are unemployed, Deaf explorer CIC see this project as an opportunity to connect and give roles to deaf and disabled people so they can prove they can make a cultural contribution to the Commonwealth Games Festival.