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 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 our outreach facilitator Hugh by email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 028 90239450.
The IDA Awards grant round is a dedicated annual arts development programme, delivered through University of Atypical, that enables individual D/deaf and disabled artists working across a range of art forms to apply for funding to develop their professional artistic careers. The bursaries provide valuable opportunities for each artist to produce a new high-quality creative work, receive training, or engage with professional mentoring. The IDA Awards scheme is managed by the University of Atypical on behalf of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. More information:
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.