Since 2018, Making a Difference has been dedicated to promoting an independent and visible community of disabled, d/Deaf and chronically ill artists in the Berlin dance scene. The network offers dancers, choreographers and performers high-quality, accessible training opportunities through a wide range of workshops, as well as the conception and realisation of their own artistic works through residencies and co-productions. Since 2018, about a dozen disabled, d/Deaf and chronically ill artists have been able to visibly position themselves in the Berlin dance scene. The work of Making a Difference has a far-reaching impact, that encourages institutions and cultural workers throughout Germany to make their work more inclusive and accessible.
The guiding principle of the project is to fill all artistic and non-artistic leadership positions with disabled, d/Deaf and chronically ill people. Only if they make the decision and create work themselves, they can equally participate in cultural life as outlined in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Article 30). They are also the experts in the artistic use of access tool, such as audio description, relaxed performance or sign language(s).
The second phase of the project (2022-2024) will focus on these Aesthetics of Access in its programme of workshops for local artists to support them in developing their own inclusive practices.
In addition, the transfer of knowledge and thus the sustainable development of the partners’ competences in inclusive and anti-ableist cultural work is an essential part of the second project phase. The best-practice knowledge gained in the project will be passed on to all network partners in the form of consultations and workshops. The aim is that after the end of the project in February 2024, the training, education and advisory services as well as the production and performance platforms of the network partners will be as accessible to disabled, d/Deaf and chronically ill artists as they already are to non-disabled and hearing artists.