#CdnCult Times; Volume 7, Edition 1: INCLUSIVE DESIGN

#CdnCult Times; Volume 7, Edition 1: INCLUSIVE DESIGN


Image by Yahoo Accessibility Lab via Creative Commons

“Diversity Is Being Invited to the Party; Inclusion Is Being Asked to Dance”

            – Moving Diversity Forward: How to Go From Well-Meaning to Well-Doing by Verna Myers.

Volume 7 of #CdnCult opens by picking up a conversation we started in Volume 6 about race and representation onstage.

Any conversation about ‘diversity’ is incomplete without addressing artists and audiences with disabilities. Technologies like ASL interpretation, captioning and audio description are slowly creeping into mainstream use, making theatre-going more welcoming to audience members with disabilities. But some barriers for artists with disabilities remain unexamined.

Curating an edition on ‘inclusive design’ has forced us to acknowledge that Spiderwebshow.ca and #CdnCult are not successful examples of inclusive design. From our production timelines to online forms and website layout, we still have a lot of work to do. And it is underway.

In this edition, Camila Diaz-Varela interviews three artists about the impact of inclusive design: Wanda Fitzgerald, Adam Pottle, and Frank Hull. Marcus Youssef asks why he might lie to long-time collaborator Niall McNeil. And Adrienne Wong chats with Jan Derbyshire about some of the principles that inform inclusive design.

As with any confrontation of difference, the opportunity is to not only open up space and systems, but to change our own thinking. We’re at the party. Now it’s time to dance.

Adrienne Wong and Michael Wheeler

Co-Editors: #CdnCult V7



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About the Authors

Michael is Artistic Director of SpiderWebShow, which he co-created with Creative Catalyst Sarah Garton Stanley. He was previously Executive Director and Transformation Designer of Generator, where he led the transition from a fee-for-service model named STAF, to the current capacity-building model it operates on. Since 2003, he has run Toronto-based Praxis Theatre, with which he has directed 14 plays and curated several festivals while writing for and running performance-based websites. He teaches regularly at The National Theatre School and Queen's University, where SpiderWebShow is currently in residence.
With firm footing in performing arts practice and community building, I'm curious and passionate about change, systems, and participation. I'm a producer and an artist. I value collaboration, efficiency, and resourcefulness. Currently Artistic Director of Kingston-based SpiderWebShow Performance, which includes co-curating and producing the Festival of Live Digital Art (FOLDA). During eight years as Artistic Producer of Neworld Theatre, I collaborated with colleagues to found PL 1422, a shared rehearsal and administration hub in East Vancouver, as well as shepherding the creation and production of over 80 live events – including a series of 11 "podplays" audio plays before podplays were cool. In 2015, I was the inaugural artist in residence on CBC Radio’s q based on my digital project The Apology Generator. My formal training is in arts creation and producing, and I have practical experience managing production projects, festivals, and special events. I'm functionally bilingual in English and French. I'm a parent, a gardener, a cook and have recently started running.