We are now in the countdown to this amazing event! Read on to find out more and to access our June special offer group booking code. 


Step Up Step Forward: Inclusive Arts and University Partnerships

Join us for a day of active sharing, workshops and presentations demonstrating how learning disabled and autistic artists can enjoy access to learning opportunities and develop as artists in higher education settings.

Date: Tuesday July 5 (public) and Wednesday July 6 (invite only) 

Location: University of Cumbria Brampton Road Campus 

Times: 10:00am – 16:30pm

We have teamed up with the University of Cumbria Institute of Arts, to deliver a symposium event showcasing inclusive arts in further and higher education.

The symposium, held at the UOC Institute of Arts, Brampton Road Campus in Carlisle will be the first of its kind in the region.

The event offers a day of active sharing, workshops and presentations demonstrating how learning disabled and autistic artists can access learning opportunities and develop as artists in higher education settings.

It will be welcoming to Carlisle, nationally recognised arts organisations including Mind the Gap, Access All Areas and Heart n Soul, who will present their experience of working within inclusive arts and higher education alongside Prism Arts and the University of Cumbria.

This is a fantastic opportunity for you and your colleagues to:    

  • expand knowledge    
  • share best practice    
  • discover new opportunities   
  • network    
  • be part of a national conversation   


June special offer: 50% off all tickets for group bookings. Use our promo code when booking on Eventbrite.


Tickets cost:   

  • £50 for organisations.   
  • £20 for freelance artists and individuals.    
  • £5 for students and the unemployed.   

Places are strictly limited and sold on a first-come-first-served basis. Please note Eventbrite will add a small booking fee.   

The full programme is further down this page.



Tuesday, 5 July 2022, 10:00 – 16:30 


Registration (including booking the afternoon workshops) 

Welcome and Introduction 

Session 1   | Presentations

Presentations from Prism Arts and University of Cumbria Institute of Arts
Background and context session.  Join us to discover what it was really like to be part of the project Step Up and what we achieved and learnt. This will be a presentation of videos and examples from the project with interviews of participants and staff involved.  Followed by questions from the audience. 

Lunch and exhibition (lunch is included with ticket)  

Session 2   | Workshops 

Drop-in workshops –

All afternoon | Take the survey – What do you see when you see me? By Heart n Soul.

All afternoon | Come and make light drawings and writings on the walls and help create a picture of the symposium.

Scheduled workshops –

The workshops below are all bookable upon arrival. Space is limited on each one.

Audio adventure | Join an audio walk of the campus and listen to what the artists experienced during their time at the university in their own words.

Inclusive singing | a new project in progress at Prism Arts, this will be an opportunity to join in and learn something new.

Prism Artists present #1 | Artists from the Step Up project delivering a creative workshop

Prism Artists present #2 | Artists from the Step Up project delivering a creative workshop

Creative workshop | a workshop delivered by one of the arts organisations presenting in session 3


Session 3    | Organisation Presentations 

Presentations by four organisations who work within inclusive arts and university partnerships. Each organisation will present a different example of partnership working. Presentations will last for 15 minutes, followed by 5 minutes for questions.  

1 | Inclusive arts and the Brighton experience – Alice Fox, University of Brighton 

Alice Fox founded the pioneering MA Inclusive Arts Practice and is Director of the learning-disabled Rocket Artists Studios.  ‘We are Rocket Artists a not for profit, artist led group who celebrate our diverse identities, abilities and art practices.  We develop collaborative, inclusive strategies and make art from our studios in Brighton’.  Alice has worked for many years with inclusive performance and visual arts alongside some of the world’s most socially excluded groups, in particular people with learning disabilities and elders. She often works internationally, training NGOs, cultural, health & education sector professionals. She has delivered inclusive arts projects for Tate Exchange, The National Gallery and The British Council in Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam and Nepal.  

2 | Mind the Gap  

Based in Bradford, Mind the Gap is England’s leading learning disability performance and live arts company.
Mind the Gap delivers a wide-ranging programme of work that falls into three different areas: Performance & Live Art: creating bold, cutting edge, world-class performance and live art events that put people with a learning disability and autism at the heart of the artistic process.

  • Talent Development: the Academy provides a range of different courses that nurture and develop the talents and skills of people with learning disabilities and autism.
  • Sector Leadership: collaboration and partnership with other organisations is key to ensuring that the arts sector is more inclusive to people with learning disabilities and autism.

3 | Access All Areas

Based in London, Access All Areas make disruptive theatre and performance by learning disabled and autistic artists.
“Our interactive performance events create intimate moments of interaction between performers and public, occupying unexpected spaces in venues, on the streets, and in public buildings.”
Through our Performance Company we support the artistic development of some of the world’s leading learning disabled creatives.
Our award-winning Performance Making Diploma, in collaboration with the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, is breaking new ground in training for emerging learning disabled theatre makers.
Our wide-reaching Take Part programme, co-led by learning disabled professionals, works intensively with learning disabled adults in East London and beyond, using the arts to improve well-being and mental health, foster inclusion, and give learning disabled peers and neighbours a voice at the heart of our community. 

4 | Heart n Soul 

Based in London, Heart n Soul is an award-winning creative arts company and charity. 
We believe in the power and talents of people with learning disabilities, providing opportunities for people to discover, develop and share this power and talent as widely as possible. We also have a lot of fun! We offer opportunities for people to take part in creative activities, train in a new skill or develop their artistic talents. 

  • Art: We create opportunities for artists to collaborate and to create and share their work, live, recorded, digitally and on-line
  • Taking Part: We run high quality creative arts activities for people with learning disabilities
  • Training: We support people with learning disabilities to gain new skills and experience, try new things, work with new people and move onto new opportunities 
  • Sharing: We share our art and how we do things with as many people as possible

Session 4   | Feedback and closing comments.