Creative Minds is a learning disability led discussion about quality, leadership, inclusion and collaboration in the Arts. It brings together artists and performers with learning disabilities and a range of people from the wider arts world to look at quality, leadership, inclusion and collaboration.

Creative Minds was started in 2013 by a group of learning disabled artists and performers who felt that their work was not being taken seriously. They organised an event at Brighton Dome bringing together arts organisations, venues, producers, curators, universities and colleges and arts critics and many other learning disabled artists and performers. 

They wanted to look at how they could improve their relationship with the wider arts world. Creative Minds was originally developed by Carousel and continues to be coordinated nationally by them as one of their major strategic programmes. But the strength of Creative Minds lies in its regional partnerships.

There have been five conferences in Brighton (2014), Bristol (2014), Ipswich (2015), Manchester (2017) and Birmingham (2017). The Birmingham conference had a specific youth focus and was called “Creative Minds – A Better Generation”. Each conference was organised by regional partners and regional teams of learning disabled artists and performers. Each event was hosted by learning disabled artists and performers. During this time Creative Minds had an active role in a number of other conferences and seminars.

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We will continue to present and facilitate accessible discussions at conferences and seminars as one part of Creative Minds’ mission to influence change in the UK’s artistic landscape alongside Arts council England’s Creative Case for DiversityHowever we have come to a decision not to organise any more major Creative Minds events ourselves. Instead we will move the project forward in a number of ways including:

  • continuing to work with our major partners in regional hubs as a means of strengthening the sector through information and advice sharing and taking collective action
  • developing the Resources section of this web site
  • further developing and delivering our training programme
  • working with specific venues on programming, marketing and audience development
  • continuing to support learning disabled reviewers

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