MK Community Foundation are delighted to award The Stables Theatre in Milton Keynes a Large Strategic Grant of £95,000. The grant, which will be awarded over two years, will be used to fund an extensive programme designed to enhance the organisation’s approach to working with D/deaf and disabled communities as participants, audience members and performers.
The Stables will work with national accessibility and disability specialists including Attitude is Everything and Graeae Theatre Company to create a bespoke training programme for The Stables’ staff and its 200-strong volunteer base, and will also open up sessions to the wider cultural sector.
Jenny Sealey, Graeae Theatre’s Artistic Director, has been appointed as Artist-in-Residence for next year’s IF: Milton Keynes International Festival (17-26 July 2020) and will work with The Stables to build inclusivity into their future work, by creating an accessible and high-quality programme for disabled artists.
To enable The Stables to reach out more effectively to local communities, an Engagement Manager will work with groups in Milton Keynes to breakdown some of the barriers to attending the arts. Specialist digital and technology systems will also be developed and tested with a view to improving access to live music events for disabled customers. The training, digital systems and artistic programme will be rolled out during next year’s Festival.
MK Community Foundation are excited to be a part of this project which ultimately aims to ensure more people are able to enjoy the arts and to offer D/deaf or disabled people more creative opportunities by presenting positive role models and accessible workplaces and venues.
Monica Ferguson, Chief Executive & Artistic Director of The Stables said: “This is an important investment in our ambitions to enable us to engage with more people in exciting new ways, and we are immensely grateful to MK Community Foundation for their support and enthusiasm in helping us to work with some of the UK’s most inspiring artists and organisations.”
Funding for this programme comes from the National Lottery Community Fund and the Margaret Powell Foundation Fund.
Photography by Jane Russell