University of Atypical is a disabled-led arts charity, taking an empowerment based approach towards supporting disabled and D/deaf people’s involvement in the arts. The organisation specialises in developing and promoting the work of disabled and D/deaf artists and in reaching disabled and D/deaf audiences. Working with all art forms and across all impairments, University of Atypical delivers a year-round programme of exhibitions and events including the annual Bounce Arts Festival, which presents an exciting range of music, theatre, dance and visual arts by disabled and D/deaf artists, alongside family-friendly activities. Atypical Gallery shows work by disabled and D/deaf visual artists on a year-round basis. University of Atypical also manages the iDA grant scheme for individual disabled and deaf artists, with funds from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and the Arts & Disability Equality Charter, which supports venues to be as accessible as possible for disabled and D/deaf audiences and artists.
Art & Biscuits
Art & Biscuits is a unique programme of vibrant, fun and creatively challenging arts outreach activities run by University of Atypical. Bringing together various projects targeting the needs of different members of our community, Art & Biscuits aims to create lifelong learning opportunities for disabled and D/deaf people accessing the arts. One of our most successful ongoing Art & Biscuits projects invites adults with memory difficulties, early stage dementia, or Alzheimer’s, to the Atypical Gallery to chat, create and explore different artworks over tea and biscuits. Each session is led by disabled artists, all of whom have had dementia-related training. If you would like to get involved in Art & Biscuits please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 028 90239450.
Disabled artists are being offered a “financial lifeline” as a £120,000 grant package has just opened to fund new work as the arts sectors begins to fully reopen.
The University of Atypical will be awarding a minimum of 60 grants of £2,000 through the D/deaf and Disabled Artists Support Fund 3, which is funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Department for Communities, to support D/deaf, disabled and Neurodiverse artists.
Many artists struggled financially and emotionally during the lockdown with some unable to pay rent or having to sell instruments to buy food, Damien Coyle, CEO of University of Atypical explained.
This jointly funded scheme aims to provide much needed financial support to D/deaf, Disabled and Neurodiverse creative practitioners at a time when their potential to generate income has been seriously impacted by the closure of art galleries, theatres, music venues and other creative outlets due to Covid-19.
Bounce Arts Festival is the annual arts festival produced by University of Atypical. Since 2012, the Bounce Arts Festival has presented new work by D/deaf and disabled writers, actors, dancers, musicians, directors and poets, as well as hosting participatory workshops and masterclasses across a range of art forms.
The Bounce artistic programme has consistently challenged preconceptions of disabled-led art by presenting diverse artwork at a high quality level. By supporting and promoting disabled and D/deaf artists, we fill a specific niche in provision across the impairment range but we also premiere new art that attracts arts audiences just because the work is interesting and important.