Blue Room is an award-winning arts service for adults with learning disabilities that operates three days a week, forty-eight weeks a year at the Bluecoat (Liverpool, United Kingdom) in partnership with Liverpool City Council. Service users who attend Liverpool Resource Centres attend Blue Room one day a week to create artwork in response to exhibitions at the Bluecoat and other Liverpool galleries.
A steering group consisting of five service users and four person-centered planners developed this project with Bluecoat staff. They trained as Blue Room workshop assistants and recruited a pool of five professional artists, including specialists in performance, ceramics, digital media and print. For each project, spanning approximately six to twelve weeks, the groups work with one artist to respond to a particular artwork or exhibition. For many Blue Roomers this is the first time that they have responded to contemporary arts practice.
Drawing on the perspectives of both Blue Room participants and artists, this paper examines the programme’s innovative methodology and reflects upon its challenges and triumphs.
|Keywords:||Disability, Disability Arts, Access to Arts, Community Arts, Collaborative Practice, Social Agenda|
Blue Room Artist / Lecturer in Design, Northern School of Design, University of Central Lancashire, Liverpool, Lancashire, UK
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