On a warm evening on the first day of April Access2Arts threw open the doors of The Mill for the inaugural Contagion, our quarterly gathering and networking event for Deaf and disabled artists, art workers and their allies – and it was no joke.
After a short welcome by Access2Arts board member, Sandra Hoopman, the guests got down to the real reason for the event – catching up!
Over 40 new and familiar faces came together, to establish connections and renew old acquaintances. It was a chance for people to debrief on their experiences over Adelaide’s festival period – AKA Mad March – and for members of the disability and arts community to let Access2Arts know the sorts of things they would like to see as part of future Contagion events.
Ad’m Martin, one of the organisers of the event said, “The naming of the event was, in part, inspired by the hugely successful disability arts celebration, Club Contagious.”
Club Contagious, or Club C as it later became known, was initiated by passionate musician and disabled artist Tony Doyle who noticed sports and recreation, and not the arts were the common outlets for disabled people’s self-expression.
Ad’m and Kirsty Martinsen worked with Access2Arts to reimagine ‘Club C’ on a scale Access2Arts could sustain on a regular basis. Together with Access2Arts they visioned an event to support networking and sharing resources to help make Adelaide’s disability and arts sector connected and stronger.
Access2Arts received the support from The Mill, a creative hub for Adelaide’s local Artists from all disciplines. The Mill offers artists studio spaces, creative industry offices and facilitates an incubation environment providing development opportunities.
Contagion will be held quarterly by Access2Arts so look out for our next gathering in late June and be part of the conversation.