'Hear We Are' is a National Lottery funded Deaf-led project exploring the perspectives of Deaf and Hard of Hearing people, particularly those working in or excluded from the creative sector.
Since the project began in February 2021, the team - led by Deaf performance artist and advocate for inclusion in the arts, Jonny Cotsen, has worked to establish a network of safe spaces for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people across Wales to meet, share experiences and test out creative ideas.
Building regional groups, led by Deaf creative mentors, the team has helped to nurture and develop talent, encouraging a more accessible arts sector for all. In its second phase, the project, which runs through the National Lottery funded and Cardiff-based, Chapter Arts Centre, has brought teams together to seek out solutions to issues raised by participants.
The team also recently hosted a three-day event, ‘Deaf Together’, the first Deaf-led festival in Wales, to showcase the incredible creative talent within this community. Supported by National Lottery funding from the Arts Council of Wales, the project, which is due to conclude this September, will culminate in the publication of a manifesto, which the team hope will be used to advise institutions, funders, community groups and influential policy makers about their work with Deaf and Hard of Hearing artists and audiences in Wales.
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