Music charity Attitude is Everything has launched NEXT STAGE, a new initiative aimed at empowering and supporting deaf and disabled artists.
Supported by Arts Council England, it takes direct inspiration from existing programmes including ReBalance and PRS Foundation’s Keychange, which encourage greater inclusivity and diversity in music.
NEXT STAGE’s goal is to address the knowledge gap surrounding the needs of disabled musicians and boost talent development to encourage a more accessible music industry.
To this end, Attitude is Everything is launching a UK-wide survey seeking views on issues ranging from access requirements at live shows to studio recording or arts funding applications.
Submissions are encouraged from artists, musicians, songwriters, DJs and music creators of all backgrounds and across all genres.
For more info and to take part, see https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/nextstagesurvey
The survey findings will be presented and discussed at The Great Escape in May 2019.
The second strand of NEXT STAGE, which will be based on the findings, will be to develop a comprehensive artist network.
Led by Attitude is Everything, it will connect those individuals with access requirements to showcase and funding opportunities – breaking down barriers to live performance and building a more accessible music industry.
Suzanne Bull MBE, chief executive of Attitude is Everything, said: ‘NEXT STAGE is an ambitious departure for Attitude is Everything. We have spent almost 20 years working for disabled audiences and now, with support from Arts Council England, we want to improve accessibility for disabled artists.
‘This process will not be easy. The challenges facing deaf and disabled people are often hidden, and rarely discussed publicly. There are a range of stigmas and sensibilities. So, our first goal is to collect information through a comprehensive and wide-reaching survey.
‘By paying attention to artists’ voices, I believe we can build a thriving network of talent that will enhance British music and benefit all in the wider music community.’
The survey, and wider initiative, is backed by the Musicians Union, Help Musicians UK, PRS Foundation, Featured Artists Coalition and UK Music.