Matt Edmonds's Story
Matt Edmonds travelled to the USA and Canada to research ways of curating arts provision so that individuals of different backgrounds and needs can meet and engage in the same space.
Matt visited numerous organisations and projects, including the Museum of disABILITY in New York, the Institute of Disability Culture at the University of Hawaii, and the Abilities Arts Festival in Toronto. His experiences convinced him that, more than ever, there is a real need for fully accessible arts projects in the UK, involving the integration of different communities.
Matt’s Fellowship report was published online by Disability Arts and The Institute For Welfare Reform, and has been used by Lemmos and Crane (a philanthropic lobbying organisation) in its work on museums and museum accessibility.
Matt, who works in television development, has used the knowledge and expertise gained through his Fellowship research to help promote and interrogate the diversity agenda of the BBC, ITV, SKY and Channel 4.
A specific focus has been increasing the visibility of Disabled-led creative projects on TV. Since his Fellowship he has worked with a number of artists and actors who identify as Disabled to create mainstream TV vehicles to pitch to broadcasters. A project with the comedian Lee Ridley (aka Lost Voice Guy) has recently been commissioned by BBC3.
Matt has also been awarded funding from Channel Four to develop two television projects incorporating his research, and has written a film for the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) community called Circle Of Truth about how to disclose MS in the work place.
Matt has set up a blog called The Disability Allies, with the hope of making it into a concrete organisation. Ultimately he would like to set up a disability integration arts charity.