DaDaFest Receives Major Funding From Big Lottery Fund

THE Liverpool-based disability and deaf arts organisation, DaDaFest, has received a grant of more than £275,000 from Big Lottery Fund to be used for a new project called “DaDaFest Rookies”. The project aims to increase employability within the creative sector for young disabled people through training, mentoring and placements within arts organisations. The funding from Big Lottery will allow the organisation to support young people to develop their skills as artists and producers and enable them to pursue careers in the creative sector. The project will be led by young people via leadership groups and local schools will be able to input their thoughts via quarterly forum meetings. Over a three-year period, DaDaFest will offer mentoring to young people, which will involve taking part in sessions led by highly experienced professionals. They will also offer flexible placements for young producers within its own office as well as with partner organisations. DaDaFest Rookies builds on the successful Young DaDaFest programme, which has seen over 2,500 young people participate in a wide variety of different events and projects. This includes being part of our biennial international disability arts festival as well as leading on the development of annual young people’s events. Several young people who have already made steps into professional careers in the arts and DaDaFest Rookies will support an increased number of young people to kickstart their arts careers. Ruth Gould MBE, Artistic Director at DaDaFest said: “We are so proud that the Young People have led, shaped and developed this programme. DaDaFest are excited about being able to support new and emerging talent and confidently believe that in three years’ time the result will see many young people in jobs, on the stage, in galleries and in film & TV and enrich the arts sector to be more reflective of an inclusive and diverse society.” Sam Wade, Arts Manager for Young People at DaDaFest added: “We are delighted to have been awarded this grant from Big Lottery Fund. It will allow us to develop the skills of young people through training and mentoring to increase the amount of visible young disabled people within arts and leadership roles and enable them to reach their potential.”