Open Arts

Since 1992, Open Arts has been successfully running a core programme for independent users, which involves drama, dance, music, writing and visual arts for disabled adults, nearly 80 individuals every week.

Tell us a bit about what your company does.

In addition to the core activities for independent users we also work weekly with groups from day centres and produce other stand-alone projects to engage more disabled people in the arts, including children & young people.

There is no similar participatory work happening in Northern Ireland with the ambition and scope; multiple art forms with so many individuals with such varying disabilities and additional support needs: our activities engage people with physical disabilities, learning disabilities, sensory impairments and mental ill health.


When did you become part of The Crescent's Creative Hub? 

We have been based in the Crescent Arts Centre since the organisation was started in 1992.


Do you have a special relationship to The Crescent? / What is your story with The Crescent?

Over the years we have enjoyed holding most of our weekly activities in the Crescent. We also love when we perform in the Crescent as it is like 'being at home.' Over the past few years, we have performed our adaption of a Ravel opera, 'The Spellbound Boy," which was a sell out for both shows.

We held our 21st birthday exhibition in what was the then gallery spaces and most recently we hosted MeetShareDance Festival in the centre. There were 40 dancers, disabled and non-disabled, from 7 countries dancing together for 3 days, including the most amazing festival closing party!



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