Aberdeen to host city’s first ‘inclusive’ arts festival

Aberdeen is to host the city's first 'inclusive' arts festival next month. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Aberdeen is to host the city's first 'inclusive' arts festival next month. Picture: Ian Rutherford

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ABERDEEN, which failed to make the short list of contenders for the coveted City of Culture title in 2017, is to host the city’s first “inclusive” arts festival next month.

Aberdeen City Council today announced that the “GET INclusive” festival,organised by the city authority and the Aberdeen Arts Coalition, will be held on 20 and 21 September.

A council spokesman explained: “The aim of the two-day festival is to bring together people with a range of backgrounds and abilities. Just over a year since the London Olympics showcased the amazing commitment and talents of people with disabilities in sporting achievement, this festival will showcase an equal commitment in the field of the arts – with people with disabilities working hand-in-hand with able-bodied people in a true spirit of inclusion.

“The coalition is a group of small organisations which provide services for people with disabilities, with the focus on realising their hopes and dreams through the arts.”

The festival will feature music, comedy, art, film and photography exhibitions and dance.

Dame Evelyn Glennie, the world-renowned percussionist who hails from the North east praised the initiative. She said: “GET INclusive aims to increase awareness and to see beyond the disability. Projects like this have had an enormous impact on the lives of people who need to be included and given purpose.

“The arts have always been a wonderful bridge in providing this essential type of support and I am happy to be associated with this innovative and creative series of events. Aberdeen is a stunning city and I wholeheartedly applaud the city for embracing the involvement in arts and culture for everyone, regardless of their background and abilities.”

Pete Richmond, the Social Care and Wellbeing development manager at Aberdeen City Council, said: “In these times of austerity, we need a huge increase in the supply of inventiveness, creativity, spontaneity and improvisation, and this festival is an exciting expression of those qualities.

“GET INclusive will showcase many untapped local talents. The festival is not simply promoting inclusive performance we are also promoting inclusive audiences – this is not a festival for people with disabilities, it’s for everyone.”

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