January 2018 - Groundbreaking Curatorial Commissions Programme takes shape, 'Free Medicine' project starts 2019 in style with stitching, Paula Dower talks about Processions at the IKON Gallery and DASH needs your help with its digital strategy!
The DASH Logo - the word DASH sits on top of four equally spaced rectangles which are blue, yellow, green and pink. Underneath this are the words 'Cultivating spaces for extraordinary artists'.
Exterior of Midlands Arts Centre - MAC where the first of DASH's Curatorial Commissions Programme residencies will be based.  Photo: P L Chadwick


Welcome to the Spring 2019 newsletter from DASH.

As we usher in another year and run headlong towards spring, some of DASH's big projects are beginning to blossom.
Over the coming months DASH will be working with three major arts organisations around the UK to launch the Curatorial Commissions Programme, the only project of its type in the country and the wonderful Free Medicine project is flourishing.

Read about these and about our call-out to you, dear reader, for your help in shaping our digital future!


Self Stress Relief - Anna Berndtson, part of 'Disrupted' exhibition, mac Birmingham 2015
Groundbreaking Curatorial Programme takes shape.

DASH, Arnolfini – The Centre For Contemporary Arts in Bristol, MIMA  - Middlesbrough Institute of Modern art and  MAC - Midlands Art Centre are working together on a three-year programme of curatorial commissions providing individual residencies for three artists/curators who identify as Deaf or Disabled culminating in a public exhibition of work curated by the successful resident Curator.
The project, which has been developed over the last 12 months, is set to launch in the Spring and will be the first of its kind anywhere in the UK. 
Having worked with galleries and arts centres in England and Wales since 2009 creating opportunities for Deaf and Disabled artists to exhibit and curate, we are proud to have significantly advanced the careers of more than 15 Deaf and Disabled artists, and have influenced and changed the thinking of a number of key people in these galleries.
However, we still think that further deep-rooted cultural changes must be made within the visual arts sector in order for it to become a more inclusive and accessible artform.
One way of effecting this change is by placing Deaf and Disabled people in positions of influence within the visual arts, to drive change from within. The long-term aim of the programme is to support the development of Deaf and Disabled Curators, so they can become the directors/curators/programmers of the future.
The inspiration for the Curatorial Commissions Programme came directly from research undertaken by DASH back in 2010.  After more than a decade working alongside Deaf and Disabled artists DASH was still finding those artists asking the question – “Where are all the Disabled artists?”
Although much has changed since, back in 2010 the results were disheartening, but not entirely shocking.
At that time, 112 galleries in Great Britain were contacted, initially by telephone and then by individual online survey. Of those just 35 responded and within that 35 just 15 galleries, 44% of those returning surveys, said that they had exhibited work by Deaf and Disabled artists since 2000. An additional 7 galleries said they were not interested and 19 said the survey was not relevant to them, including at least one national gallery.  
Partly in response DASH began to facilitate change itself and to date it has commissioned fifteen Deaf and Disabled artists in partnership with fifteen galleries, museums and arts centres in England and Wales to create and exhibit new work.
Three of these commissions became Curatorial Residencies and helped launch the Curatorial Commissions Programme by framing a completely new question – “How can Deaf and Disabled people become Curators?"

For more details click on the button just below.

More Information
One of the Procession banners that will be under discussion at the IKON gallery - Lucy Orta, Medicine Bakery and Gallery in 2018
Processions becomes Ikonic

DASH Operations Director, Paula Dower is to be one of a group of expert panellists at the Ikon Gallery in the heart of Birmingham this January, considering the process of making and displaying procession banners as a form of socially engaged art at what promises to be another fascinating chapter in the Processions project.

Chaired by Lara Ratnaraja, Freelance Cultural Consultant, the participants will be sharing different models of practice. Other panellists offering their views and experiences will be Jane Thakoordin, Founder of Artivistas and Leonie Hart, Co-Director of MotherShip, both based in Birmingham. 

If you would like to attend and contribute, please book online or call Ikon Shop on 0121 248 0711. Booking is essential.

Online booking closes at 2pm on Thursday 24 January.

Event takes place Thursday 24 January 2019 / 4.30pm — 6.30pm
The Free Medicine Project stitches its way into 2019 with fantastic new workshops
Free Medicine - DASH Young Persons' Art Project

The DASH Young Persons' Art Project, self-titled Free Medicine hit the ground sewing this January, starting 2019 with embroidery workshops led by local artist Hanny Newton.

The group of young artists have been attending workshops, delivered by DASH in each week of school holidays, since the summer of 2018 and we have been struck by the confidence and talent illustrated throughout these workshops.

We are excited to see where the rest of the project takes us over the next year!
A selection of social media icons on a smartphone - digital technology touches all of us

Our Digital Working Group Needs You!

In a world becoming more and more digitally connected, DASH is taking a long, hard look at all of its digital practice, including its social media output.

As the number of DASH’s projects increases over the coming months there will be more and more opportunities for DASH to communicate and interact across out digital communications platforms.

As part of a root and branch audit of the organisation’s digital strategy we need you, our friends and colleagues, to join us in looking at how we as an organisation interact through our social media and what it is that makes social media useable, relevant and entertaining.

Over the next few weeks DASH is pulling together a focus group to look at how to shape our use of social media over the next 3 years and guide our outlook in the future.

If you regularly use social media to link up with the world or just as importantly don’t use social media because it doesn’t fulfil your needs, we need to hear from you!

If you feel you could dedicate a few hours on a social media focus group, we would be very pleased to hear from you.

The group will be based either at DASH’s offices at The Hive, Shrewsbury or at a venue in Birmingham. 

Dates have yet to be formalised but if you think you could join us during a weekday or on a Saturday in March and April 2019 please don’t hesitate to contact DASH’s Communications Manager, David Harmon on or contact the office at or by telephone on 01743 272939
DASH always welcomes your feedback about its latest news and projects. Give us your thoughts via Facebook and Twitter - or feel free to email DASH.
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