In 2018, I began to complete a new accessibility audit in consultation and collaboration with many different communities and organizations in order to improve the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (AGGV).
Disassemble the Arts was an evolving initiative through interviews, public programming, community conversations, and surveys, to create a barrier-free and accessible project that highlights the artists and communities who have been historically not included in the arts, including BIPOC, disabled, LGBTQ2+, and low or no income individuals. The goal of Disassemble the Arts was to provide longer-term changes to the Victoria arts community in terms of accessibility.
Public events included the Open Access Workshop: Organizing Accessibility from the Grassroots, was facilitated by Vancouver-based artist Carmen Papalia. Papalia featured his ten years of art-making for creating space for non-visual learning, modelling support networks, and disrupting the passive experience of viewing in museums.
The next two events on accessibility and arts were community conversations, where individuals and artists from the disabled, IBPOC, LGBTQ2+, and low or no-income communities were invited to discuss and provide feedback in creating a future AGGV barrier-free project. The first community conversation featured Carmen Papalia and Victoria-based facilitator Parker Johnson and focused on thinking through the future of a fully accessible Victoria’s arts community. The second community conversation featured Victoria-based artists Kate Collie and Joanne Cuffe and concentrated on the present-day accessibility of Victoria’s arts community.