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Jo Verrent

Senior Producer, Unlimited

Jo believes that ‘different’ is delicious not divergent. She works in arts & culture at strategic levels with national agencies and on the ground with organisations/ individuals embedding the belief that diversity adds texture, turning policy into real action. Jo is the senior producer for Unlimited - http://www.weareunlimited.org.uk Unlimited is the world’s largest commissions programme for disabled artists, working not just to fund disabled artists to create new artistic work but to get it seen, discussed and embedded within the cultural fabric of the UK. Unlimited is a programme delivered by Shape and Artsadmin, working with partners such as ACE, Southbank Centre, Tramway, Spirit of 2012 and the British Council. Jo leads on the delivery of the programme and is responsible for the impact the work has both at home and abroad. She also works as an artist, advocate, activist and has won both Cosmopolitan’s woman of achievement award and her village’s cup for making jam. She is on the Northern Advisory Panel for Arts Council England, and is a Clore Fellow.
UK Disabled Artists Lead The World, But For How

UK Disabled Artists Lead The World, But For How Long?

We live in a society where disability is still seen more frequently as a plot devise rather than simply part of the human condition (see autumn's new TV schedules with amputee Cormoran Strike in JK Rowling's Strike and acid-burned Gabriel Markham in Rellik). Where disability is most frequently acted rather than authentic (the above played by Tom Burke and Richard Dormer respectively, both non-disabled actors).
25/09/2017 12:26 BST
Getting In Sync: Disability And Leadership In The Cultural

Getting In Sync: Disability And Leadership In The Cultural Sector

Disability is not seen to be synonymous with leadership - disabled people are seen to need help, assumed not to be able to do things for themselves let alone be at the helm of their own cultural and creative lives as directors, producers, managers and administrators. 
07/09/2016 10:33 BST
Disability And The Arts: A Radical

Disability And The Arts: A Radical Act?

Many of us don't want to have our impairments shifted or changed, but we would like to be perceived as 'normal' - accepted as part of the 'normal' diversity of humanity. To have provided the things that we need in order to take part and function fully as artists, participants or audience members.
05/09/2016 17:18 BST
It's All Allowed: Or What Adrian Howells Means to

It's All Allowed: Or What Adrian Howells Means to Me

In 2014 I sat with a funding application for a tour in front of me, the week before a panel was due to decide whether or not to fund it. News had just come in that one of the collaborators named in the application had died. Did the artists want to continue with the application?
12/07/2016 09:31 BST
Disability - No Longer at the Fringe of the

Disability - No Longer at the Fringe of the Fringe

I'm writing this as I return from my annual trip to Edinburgh's Fringe Festival. I tend to head up for a couple of days each year to catch shows, catch up with colleagues (and this year catch a cold too). Every year, I look to see where disabled artists are in the mix - and this year the spread is impressive.
24/08/2014 21:51 BST
Getting Closer to No

Getting Closer to No Boundaries

In 2013 I sat at home to watch the Arts Council of England's State of the Arts Conference online. within 20 minutes - not because of the content but because I couldn't access the content (I'm hearing impaired and need subtitles). This year there were a few changes...
28/02/2014 13:34 GMT
Bedding Out: When Taking to Your Bed Is Both Activism and

Bedding Out: When Taking to Your Bed Is Both Activism and Art

The cuts are hideous. There have been protests and petitions and a growing argument within the disability movement about the nature of activism. For me, <em>Bedding Out</em> also asks is getting angry and shouting the only way to affect change?
25/04/2013 17:43 BST
Can an Epileptic Seizure Be

Can an Epileptic Seizure Be Art?

Rita wishes to present her convulsing body as art to an audience, and ultimately, through this, to herself. She is a dancer, has trained for years to control and express herself through the medium of her body and the way in which it moves. When she experiences seizures, her body moves, but in a way in which she cannot control.
22/02/2012 22:37 GMT