The Inclusion Project
When we were writing our application for the NPO funding bid earlier this year, we found ourselves using the word ‘inclusive’ to describe much of what we do at FCA.
As when a word is repeated over and over again it tends to lose its meaning, we found ourselves increasingly at a loss as to what inclusion actually means. And it seems we’re not alone in this. Looking around, we found a lot of people – other arts organisations, schools, government, etc. etc. – are using this word these days without necessarily being clear about what they mean. Perhaps inclusion is at risk of becoming nothing more than another buzz word; a word organisations like to use to sound impressive and to tick the boxes of funding bodies.
And yet we at FCA truly believe that we are an inclusive organisation. When we talk about inclusion we mean it in the sense that both disabled and non-disabled artists are welcomed as equals; events are marketed accessibly and widely and are hosted in accessible venues suited to our participants’ requirements, and varying levels of support are offered according to each individual’s needs.
But maybe inclusion means different things to different people?
Michael and I attended a workshop titled Inclusive Practice, led by DIY Theatre Company and spent the session exploring a multitude of different ideas about what it is to be inclusive. It was an interesting and highly illuminating discussion and became the starting point for our Inclusion Project.
The Project began simply by asking people on Facebook to tell us what inclusion means to them. This developed into what it is today – a creative project in which members of the public are invited to respond to the question “What does inclusion mean to you?” on the back of a postcard. To date we have received around 30 postcards, either sent to us by post, emailed to us, or posted in our touring post box, which has been travelling around Manchester venues for the past month or so. So far, the box has kindly been hosted by BlankSpace, Nexus Art Café, CUBE and Cornerhouse, and is scheduled to visit our first non-arts venue – the Crumpler shop on Cross Street, near the Royal Exchange Theatre. More venues tbc.
If you’ve got an idea you’d like to share with us about what inclusion means to you, we’d love to hear from you! Answers on the back of a postcard to be sent to:
Full Circle Arts, 7 Schoolhouse, Second Avenue, Trafford Park Village, Manchester, M17 1DZ
Or emailed to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org