The New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich has appointed two new Agents For Change, as part of its mission to make arts accessible to all.
The theatre says diversity is one of the New Wolsey Theatre’s core principles and in recent year’s disability diversity has been evidenced in a number of collaborations and co-productions with Graeae, programming work by deaf/disabled artists, and participatory opportunities within its Creative Learning offer.
Amy Nettleton and Jamie Beddard have started their roles with the theatre, working with all departments to create, administer and advise on how the building and staff can work more accessibly with deaf/disabled artists, performers, audiences, participants and other members of staff. They will be involved with developing audiences, helping create relationships and breaking down boundaries that individuals or groups may feel will stop them getting involved with the theatre.
Amy Nettleton will be working with the Creative Learning team and the New Wolsey’s youth theatre offer and the work the Young Associate create. She will also be working closely with the Front of House team and Sales and Marketing team to create more accessible communications tools for audiences.
She said: “I am really excited to be joining the New Wolsey as an Agent for Change. Living locally, the New Wolsey Theatre has been an arts venue I have spent many years visiting. I am a practicing professional visual artist with a studio based in Suffolk. My background is firmly based in the Arts, working in Arts education, public art galleries and outreach, as well as the disability sector working with schools and education professionals, most recently acting as Arts Education Outreach officer at University of Essex”
Jamie Beddard will be working with the Artistic and Programming team, and the organisations in the South East Disability Action Group. He will also drive the delivery of community projects. Jamie has worked as an Associate and Director for a range of organisations including Graeae, Diverse City and the Clore Leadership Programme, and has also worked as a Diversity Officer for the Arts Council.
He said: “I have many ties to Ipswich – family, the arts and football! – and am delighted to be working in the region, and in particular, with the New Wolsey, an organisation that I have long visited and respected. There is genuine commitment too, and activity around reflecting the community in which the Theatre is located. As a disabled theatre director and performer, I have spent many years advocating for access, inclusion and rights. All these underpin the values of The New Wolsey, and it is gratifying to be able to focus upon the creative challenges in consolidating on the brilliant work already being done by the organisation. And ‘Agent of Change’ is a great title; I hope I can live up to it!”
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