The City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, has awarded a grant of £95,500 to Artsadmin, a charity that enables artists to create without boundaries and to connect their work with diverse local, national and international audiences.
A lack of fully accessible performance and rehearsal spaces is a major obstacle to disabled people taking part in performing arts activities. This grant will pay for building works to enhance the accessibility of Toynbee Studios, in East London, to ensure all visitors are able to use the facilities independently, in the way they want to. It will create spaces that are accessible, safe and welcoming for people with both visible and non-visible disabilities.
A significant part of Artsadmin’s work is its Unlimited commissions programme, which places work by disabled artists within the UK cultural sector, reaching new audiences and changing perceptions of disabled people. By 2016, Unlimited had awarded £932,000 to 103 talented disabled artists. During those three years 1,797 performances, exhibitions, screenings and events were seen by 132,059 people around the UK.
David Farnsworth, Director of City Bridge Trust, said: “We are committed to supporting Londoners to make the city a fairer place to work and live [in]. Since 2013, Unlimited, the programme that Artsadmin has co-delivered with Shape Arts, has helped over 100 disabled artists and companies take part in the arts. This new grant to make their studios more accessible will benefit these artists and provide opportunities to many others.”
City Bridge Trust is London’s biggest independent grant giver, making grants of £20 million a year to tackle disadvantage across the capital.