het Theater Festival

© Nirmala Coppejans

Sector day: Cripping the Space

Marijn Prakke, Mira Bryssinck, Josefien Cornette, Fien Criel, Anna Püschel & Joyce Vuylsteke


16%-24% of the population has a disability.

That group is currently inadequately represented in the current arts sector.


As an artist or organization, how do you work on accessibility in a sustainable way, both in the workplace and within the creation of a performance? Why is it important to facilitate work by/about disability? Where do you start and what is involved?

Crucial questions to which we try to offer practice-oriented answers on this day. International speakers such as Kaite O’Reilly, among others, come to inspire us with words of wisdom. Cripping the Space presents their charter to the industry. We eat together and offer info sessions shaped by Culture Desk.



*We work with crip time: people may leave and enter according to their needs.

*Childcare: we provide childcare, activities and treats for your children so you can participate in peace.

*The entire location is wheelchair accessible from the main entrance. The restrooms are also wheelchair accessible.

* Flemish Sign Language interpreter: throughout the day programme

*Live Dutch-language surtitles: throughout the day programme

*FM loop: throughout the entire day programme

*Escort to and from railway station Brussels North (on request)

*Guidance during the sector day at De Hallen in Schaerbeek (upon request)

*Parking: There are no parking facilities, not even for those in possession of a parking card for the disabled. However, there is the possibility of kiss and ride in front of the entrance gate.

*Here you can find more info on how to reach the Hallen by public transport (in Dutch)


SCHEDULE -under reservation-

10:30 – 11:00 Walk-in with coffee

11:00 – 12:00 Keynote Kaite O’Reilly

12:00 – 12:30 Q&A

12:30 – 13:30 Lunch

13:30 – 14:00 Keynote Sonja Parmentier

14:00 – 14:30 Presentation Charter

14:30 – 14:45 Pause

14:45 – 15:45 An info session on recruiting artists in a cultural organization

15:45 – 16:45 An info session on funding for more accessible cultural organizations and activities

Keynote Kaite O’Reilly: The last Avant-garde?
Article 30 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People (UNCRPD) recognises the rights of disabled people to participate fully in cultural life, as audiences as well as artists. Unfortunately cultural institutions and theatres across Europe still have a distance to go to eliminate social exclusion and nurture disabled, Deaf and neurodivergent talent. Kaite O’Reilly, an award winning artist and advocate and activist for inclusion and disability arts and culture, will address this social injustice, contextualise disability within the Social Model, and celebrate the many advantages socially, financially and artistically that arises from inclusive practice. Doing things differently is a hallmark of disability arts and Kaite will discuss some of the innovations in the aesthetics of access and why Yinka Shonibare called disability arts “the last avant garde”.
Keynote Sonja Parmentier
Knowledge gaps in the mainstream performing arts sector remain constant barriers to disabled artists. This is not new to people working to promote and present their work. The report Time to Act, published in December of 2021, shows this problem extends beyond national boundaries. It shows a European cultural sector that structurally marginalises disabled people as artists, arts professionals and audiences. But there is reason for hope. Time To Act can be a positive contribution to the decisions being made by artists, by producers and promoters, by major institutions and by cultural funders and policymakers. The report shares solutions and steps to be taken. By sharing her perspective and thoughts as a disabled artist and activist on the key findings and conclusions, Sonja Parmentier is trying to create more visibility of the reports and its findings and how to use these reports as a tool to learn, because it really is Time to Act.

Info session: hiring artists in a cultural organization

As a cultural organization you have to deal with various artists: everyone has taken a different route to get to your organization. You have to take into account not only that route, but also various backgrounds and their status. In this session, we’ll look at, among other things, what you need to consider when you want to compensate an artist for his/her/their performance and the method of compensation in conjunction with the type of income they may already be receiving (such as an income replacement allowance, benefit, art work allowance, living wage, etc.).


Info session: funding for more accessible cultural organizations and activities

Making your workplace, organization and cultural activities more accessible requires an additional investment. During this info session, we aim to help cultural organizations gain insights into additional funding opportunities and strategies to make their operations more accessible to people with disabilities.



Do you have any questions or want more info regarding accessibility on Sector Day? If so, please feel free to contact us at info@stagingaccess.be. For a direct request for help on the day itself, please call or message +32 486 022 295.


In collaboration with Het TheaterFestival, Kunstenpunt, Staging Access, Kunstencentrum VIERNULVIER, Cultuurloket, Les Halles de Schaerbeek, Lasso & DE SINGEL, NTGent & Sociaal Fonds Podiumkunsten.

registrations closed


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