Accessibility to arts more than just a ramp
The spotlight will be shining on those who aren’t often in the limelight during a talent show at Market Hall on Thursday.
Arts-Ability – Taking the Stage features more than a dozen artists who are disabled or face barriers to inclusion.
There’ll be dancing, poetry, role playing, music and monologues.
The show runs from 7 to 10:30 p.m. and is broken into two segments: family-friendly and mature audience.
The production is a collaborative effort of Mysterious Entity, Dream Players and the local Canadian Mental Health Association
Em Glasspool, artistic director of Mysterious Entity, initiated the event.
Glasspool said accessibility to arts and theatre means more than just a ramp into a building.
It’s about getting those who’re disabled or face barriers on stage to perform, because it’s not as easy as you might think, Glasspool said.
“I think there’s a sense within the community that anybody can do anything they want .... I don’t think people are aware about the huge barriers artists who are disabled face,” Glasspool said.
Arts-Ability shines a light on those living with a physical or mental disability.
The first part of the evening is family friendly. Then at 9 p.m., content is geared toward a mature audience, with mature language and subject matter.
Glasspool, who identifies as they, will be performing after 9 p.m., reading excerpts from a longer piece created for Mysterious Entity.
They’ll be talking about their experiences with mental illness and trauma, focusing on a psychotic break they had a year ago. Glasspool will also touch on their childhood and other life experiences.
“It’s got humour in it, believe it or not,” Glasspool said.
Other performers will also talk about their life experiences.
It’s not often an audience gets to hear from performers who’re dealing with psychosis, head injuries or have Down syndrome, Glasspool said.
“It’s just not done. So when people, who are suffering or who are dealing with those issues themselves, see that, I think it’s a tremendously powerful, hopeful message.”
Admission is pay what you can, with proceeds supporting the artists.
To register for the event, go to www.cmhahkpr.ca/events/artsability-taking-the-stage
Em Glasspool, seen outside Market Hall on Monday, will be performing at Arts-Ability Taking the Stage on Thursday. The event features more than a dozen artists and performers who are disabled or face barriers to inclusion.