Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Step One

Just to give you all a quick update!

Lots of things are happening in Belgium at the moment....

We've had our first contact with Wisper (, an organisation in Flanders who work around arts with different target groups. Within their organisation they also have several coaches who are specialised in working with disabled people. We're hoping to reach an agreement with them to coach our group.... Watch this space!

Last night we also had a meeting with the local 'disabled advise board'. We've outlined the project for them and they promised to take it back to their respective institutions. They were all very positive about the project and didn't think they would have any problem finding interested learners. Finding motivated facilitators who would be willing to do most of the work on a voluntary basis might be a bit harder. But still, we're hoping to have a group by the end of January!

So far, so good I'd say.....

Monday, 10 December 2007

5-7 dec 2007: An exploratory visit to the UK!

Last week Malta and Belgium packed their bags to head over to the UK for their festival 'Come on Down'.

Turned out to be an interesting 2 days! Since Malta and Belgium don't have a performance group of their own yet, this was an opportunity to learn from the UK....

Fran and Allison from the UK team (Headway Theatre Company) were kind enough to share some of their 'secrets' with Malta and Belgium. It was very interesting to see how they work with their group (Maybe Fran or Allison would like to write a comment on their working methodes?)!

We had a great time watching all the different groups Headway works with perform at the festival and it certainly gave us (Belgium) a new perspective on what lies ahead! We're very motivated now to set up a group of our own, but first we have to find a suitable coach.

Let the search begin!

Opening Doors: Developing learning disabled people's participation in arts across Europe

Well hello everybody and welcome to our blog!

Maybe a quick word about the project would be in order?!

Opening Doors is a European Grundtvig ( project, for which 3 countries (Belgium - CC Leopoldsburg, Malta - St James Cavalier Centre for Creativity, UK - Headway Theatre Company) have teamed up to work around performance art with learning disabled people for a period of 2 years. Originally 5 countries applied for funds, but sadly enough Denmark and Lithuania did not make the cut. This also meant that the UK was the only partner left with a performance group.

So Malta and Belgium decide to adjust their original plans. Instead of only providing a venue to perform in for the existing groups, they will now each try and set up a performance group of their own (which will be an interesting journey in itself!). This means we will now have 3 performance groups and 3 venues.

Each country will work individually with their own group towards a final performance. All the while the partners keep each other updated on the progress made within their groups (e-platform + Blogspot). At the end of the journey each country will organise a ‘festival’ where all the groups will perform. This means that each group will perform 3 times, still evolving from the first one to the last.

We set up this Blogspot so everyone (involved or not involved) can follow the progress of the project and leave comments. It’s also a diary exchange for the 3 partner countries. This could also be fun for the learners. We will put up pictures from our different groups, so they can see each other. Will they realise that there are two other groups working on the same project in different countries?

So, if you're interested in this project we're looking forward to reading your comments on this Blog!