OAFAC

Open Access Foundation for Arts and Culture

Projects


Current and Upcoming Projects

Open Access Map

OAFAC’s flagship project, Open Access Map, is a research initiative and corresponding website for desktop and mobile devices. Currently in its first phase of development, Open Access Map will highlight local organizations that employ accessibility protocols that move beyond compliance-level measures, towards justice. Organizations that are featured on the site will be represented via a profile that includes a 500 word summary of the qualifying accessibility protocol, photos, links to the featured organization and relevant reference materials. 

Beyond Compliance: Events on Community Care, Access Justice and the Histories and Futures of Disability Culture

Beyond Compliance is an event series that aims to set a new cultural standard for accessibility by centring the practices of disabled, D/deaf, Hard of Hearing, Mad, neurodivergent, sick and chronically ill artists, curators, cultural workers and their co-conspirators. 
 
This series emerges in a dual reality, as Disability Arts garners increased attention in the mainstream, while the lives of disabled people are under increased threat by the practice of Covid-19 care rationing and the passing of Bill C-7, the Medical Assistance in Dying Act. As institutions proclaim they are committed to equity, diversity and inclusion with little substantive change to the intersecting oppressions that shape the national and international arts ecologies, this series will feature practitioners dedicated to Disability Culture, artistry and world building as a counterpoint to the violence of ableism. In each installment, presenters who hold embodied forms of knowledge, and who have been at the receiving-end of care that has failed them, will pose visions for accessibility that move beyond compliance-level commitments, towards justice. 

Worthy Labour/Holding Value

What can happen when Crip, Disabled and Mad artists at various stages in their career, working across a variety of disciplines, are brought together to create new works on their own terms about values emerging from disability culture? What kind of critical imaginative world building can take place when we set the conditions of creation, mentorship and presentation? How are our artistic disciplines themselves transformed when coursed through an access aesthetic; and how does this bear on the presentation of works in a virtual context? 
 
Worthy Labour/Holding Value is a creative practice-based research project which aims to respond to these questions featuring artists who are members of the OAFAC Staff Team and Advisory Committee. Each artist will create a new work in their discipline/s, using as a prompt the principles that guide OAFAC’s work: Disability Justice, Trauma Informed Care, and Open Access. Each participating artist will work closely throughout the course of the project with 1 artist mentor/collaborator of their choosing.  
 
The project will culminate in a virtual, and potentially in-person, works-in-progress showing for an invited group including among others, key partnering arts organizations, towards Phase 2 which will see these new works come to full production and presentation. 

The Disability Cultural Filibuster

The Disability Cultural Filibuster is a multi-day live streamed event that aims to set a new cultural standard for accessibility in the arts. This event will centre the practices of disabled, D/deaf, Hard of Hearing, Mad, neurodivergent, sick and chronically ill artists, curators, and cultural workers from across so-called Canada.

It will feature live performances across a variety of disciplines, interactive digital media installations, films, artist talks, practice-based workshops, interviews, artistic political interventions, and more. The collective work of contributing artists will be synthesized into a series of regional and national calls to action for transformation to practices informing cultural production and presentation from a disability culture perspective. In addition this event will model new modes of digital production and presentation which centre access aesthetics. 

Marianne & Edward Gibson Art Museum Accessibility Plan

OAFAC has been contracted via SFU Galleries to produce a justice-oriented accessibility plan for the forthcoming Marianne & Edward Gibson Art Museum, which is set to open on Burnaby Mountain in 2024. By the end of phase 1, OAFAC will provide recommendations to the Gibson Art Museum team in order to inform the museum’s physical build, staffing, governance structure, accessibility policy and public program. OAFAC will serve in an advisory role in future phases of the Gibson’s development in order to ensure that the recommendations provided are meaningfully implemented. 

OAFAC Access Directory

In response to calls from a number of OAFAC’s partnering organizations, OAFAC will undertake a research and development phase towards the production of a database that will feature access workers that cultural organizations / institutions in BC can hire in order to address a range of translation and support-based needs for their publics. The OAFAC Access Directory will include ASL interpreters, live captioners, visual describers, plain language translators, graphic facilitators, personal assistants, anti-oppression trainers and service providers who produce materials in alternative accessible formats.

When made public, the directory will take the form of a searchable website or app that is periodically updated via a juried process, where access workers who wish to be featured on the database will be assessed via criteria that aligns with the principles that OAFAC aims to enliven with its work.

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