APM collaborates for Accessible Arts Opportunities

Published on 22 Mar 2021


A man in a motorised wheelchair is sitting in a music studio with headphones on

People with disability are set to become more involved in Margaret River’s music scene thanks to a new local collaboration involving APM Communities.

The collaboration kicked off after Margaret River Hub of Entertainment and Regional Tourism (HEART) secured a government grant to host a new multi-genre Homegrown@HEART Music Program during 2021 and 2022.

HEART is a central hub which offers a multi-purpose space to bring together entertainment, arts, and business.

The venue will feature three to four ‘homegrown’ performances annually where local musicians are paid to perform alongside professional music performers.

Homegrown@HEART is a mix of music, learning and art, where local musicians will perform, artists can collaborate on exhibitions, and workshops will be delivered to the community free of charge across three music genres – world music (Jazz Fusion), folk and classical.

APM Communities team member Linda Stanlake said she was approached after being involved in other initiatives held at HEART to make the venue provide the most accessible and inclusive experience possible.

“Considerations such as venue space, parking suitability, restroom facilities, sound and lighting modifications have been discussed and tweaked accordingly because of good collaboration and consultation, Linda said.

Linda said the HEART’s general manager, Nicky Hansen, wanted to work with APM to provide opportunities for people with disability to be engaged in all facets of live performances from behind the scenes roles to performing.

“APM’s involvement also includes liaising with and sourcing individuals who might be interested in being part of the performances, as well as part of the audience, as these historically were a thin market regarding audience demographic,” Linda said.

She said other outcomes the collaboration hoped to achieve for people with disability were:

  • An increased profile as valued community members when it comes to the arts
  • Attracting audience members who would otherwise not attend performance based events
  • New roles created where they feel valued, their talents are showcased, and community awareness is raised
  • Building people’s capacity to become equipped in skills such communication and time management
  • Building on community participation opportunities

Linda said the collaboration was in the early stages and an ongoing process where people and groups were starting to be identified, informed, and supported if they wish to become involved.

“We are collaborating with various disability and mainstream organisations and program coordinators in the region to create opportunities for individuals to be supported in their musical and performance endeavours,” Linda said.

As part of the NDIS Partners in the Community program, APM Communities help people with disability in several regions in Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory to access support.

Our Local Area Coordinators (LACs) help people with disability, National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants, families and carers to identify and access the support they need.