Photo: Reflections: Our Access Event at SMAG

Hello! Danielle again, here as promised with all the goings on from our very special event which took place at Salford Museum & Art Gallery at the end of last month. 

The invite only event featured several of our works:

It was a great opportunity for us to be able to perform as an ensemble again in ‘Affirmations’, its something which a lot of the group have wanted for a long time. Although we were all excited to be performing, upon arriving in the space a lot of nerves started kicking in, as for many of the group, this was the first time performing in over 3 years.

I was excited and nervous to perform in Affirmations but I also felt confident

Phillip Breadney

A few deep breaths later and we were good to go…

It was also great to have Assessment, In My Own Time and Help all happening at the same time alongside Affirmations – it meant a very busy day for our performers with several of the group going straight from one performance to another with just enough time for a quick costume change! 

The event was attended by representatives from cultural, civic, political, health and social care, educational, and community organisations.

I am excited about the work Proud and Loud Arts do.  I have heard of the company but this is my first encounter.

Event attendee

We gave our audience a reflections booklet which encouraged active reflection throughout the event, asking attendees questions to consider whilst they experience the performances.

How did Assessment make you feel?

“Judged, anxious, nervous.  I laughed because this is how I deal with uncomfortable situations.  Outraged after reading the paper explanation.”

Did this experience raise any questions for you?

Why are disabled people put through this process to access support they are entitled to?

How did In My Own Time make you feel?

Not everyone does things in the same time frame.  How uncomfortable it is to wait with no instruction.

Very uncomfortable being stared in the eye.  Tad worried, I thought I’d do something ‘wrong’

What did HELP make you think?

“Made me think about how disability is conflated with asexuality and bureaucracy surrounding safeguarding and care especially for women – sexual pleasure taboo

How did HELP make you feel?

“I listened to this presentation twice and felt my breathing slow.  Her humour relaxed me and gave me permission to be

How did In Affirmations make you feel?

“‘Your pity, sympathy and inspiring stories may inspire you but they belittle me’.  This hit home for me as what I believe to be the right response may not be and may instead be harmful”

What did In Affirmations make you think?

The stereotypes and boxes that disabled people are oppressed by.  These stereotypes don’t allow for the complexity of human emotion and desire that we all experience

Performing Affirmations again was great because we got to perform as a whole group which we hadn’t done for a while. It was nerve wracking but exciting. It was great to actually perform to an audience again and hear the lovely feedback. I can’t wait to do it all again hopefully soon.

Kelly Hoye

We feel like the day was a huge success and we’d like to thank everyone who came along. I’ll be posting again soon to keep you up to date with what we’re up to next!

This event is made possible with thanks to Salford Museum and Art Gallery. Thanks to images provided by Phil Smethurst – Manchester Lights Media.

Proud and Loud Arts is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.