The Bristol Music Trust is hosting a major event today (September 29) to highlight the barriers faced by young disabled people trying to break into the music industry.
The Trust is the operator for the Colston Hall and its award-winning music education hub, Bristol Plays Music. Today’s event will pave the way for its launch next year of the UK’s first National Centre for Inclusive Excellence dedicated to the cause.
A survey conducted by Arts Council England of the 663 leading national arts organisations found that only 4% of their workforces have disabilities.
Experts and representatives from both the education and music sectors will discuss why this is the case and what can be done to increase that number at the conference at the Colston Hall.
Louise Mitchell, chief executive of the Bristol Music Trust, said she wants to provide a platform and training for people with disabilities who are passionate about music.
“A more inclusive and diverse arts sector benefits our communities, but also enriches the art itself,” she said. “I am encouraged that the government and local MPs are supportive, and that industry experts from across the UK are taking part in the conference.”
Penny Mordaunt MP, the Minister for Disabilities at the Department of Work and Pensions, said: “From developing a fully accessible concert venue at Colston Hall to creating a specialist education programme for disabled children and young people, Bristol Music Trust’s pioneering work to open up music-making to the whole community is paving the way for a truly inclusive arts sector.”
By Georgina Littlejohn