Past, Present and Possibilities – celebrating 300 years of the Bluecoat

DaDaFest has worked with the Bluecoat since the 1990’s and is proud to have been part of the Creative Community based in the building since 2008. In September as part of the Bluecoat 300th anniversary programme we will be celebrating this relationship with  a two-day programme of activities and events that will explore Bluecoat’s history with disability arts and revisit past exhibitions and events through talks, discussions, workshops and an archival display. The two days will also include a series of mini performance interventions around the building, taking the theme of ‘Past, Present and Possibilities’ and will conclude with one of our, now legendary, cabarets.

Friday 22 September 5pm – 8pm

Symposium: Disability: Past, Present and Possibilities:

Presentations, talks, discussion and debate exploring the impact of disability and Deaf arts on Merseyside and specifically our relationship with the Bluecoat. We will look back and examine the social and political contexts that have led to changes in how Deaf and disabled people, the second largest minority group in the UK, are viewed in society, and also debate how volatile these changes have been and continue to be. We will discuss and share information about the exciting and challenging environment of current disability and Deaf arts, and how it has been informed by the past. The symposium will also consider the future direction of DaDaFest and disability and Deaf arts at Bluecoat and beyond. Invited speakers include Ruth Gould, Mandy Redvers Row, Laurence Clark, Ann Whitehurst, Brian Lobel, Mandy Colleran and Young DaDaFest members.

Free Event, but booking essential  BOOK HERE

Disability Take Over Day: Saturday 23 September 11am – 5pm

DaDaFest Associate Artists take over the building with commissioned performance interventions and workshops led by Faith Bebbington, Time Jeeves, Catherine Long, Cate Jacobs and Caroline Parker.

The event is free – so just drop in, but you will need to book to take part in some of the workshops (see below)


Vessel 300– Collaborative Sculpture with Faith Bebbington
Using 300 empty cardboard tape rolls opened up and individually decorated Faith will create a large vessel reflecting what the Bluecoat means to participants. Join Faith in the Hub to decorate your own segments using collage, pens, crayons and make your mark on the sculpture.

Booking: Not required – drop in
Time: 11am – 3pm
Age: All ages

Singing / Signing Workshop with Caroline Parker
Caroline Parker has been signing songs for several decades, performing her unique style using her mime and dance training to portray songs in ways you’ve never seen before. She has performed at many disability and D/deaf events Including DaDaFest, Deaffest as well as mainstream festivals including Glastonbury and WOMAD. Come and discover the skills and techniques used in translating and discover your own style.

Please wear loose clothing and flatish shoes. Bring enthusiasm!

Booking: BOOK HERE
Time: 12. 00pm
Cost: Free
Max number:20
Age 16 – 100+

Criptastic; a whole other model? – with Tim Jeeves and Catherine Long
Forward thinking, open-minded, creative individuals are invited to join us for a facilitated discussion that examines the pros and cons of being disabled or sick.
It might be challenging and provocative, and will be enjoyable, progressive and positive. We’re interested in asking new questions and envisioning ways of being which challenge and look beyond pre-existing models. We’re wondering how the world would be different and what it would mean if, somehow, everyone were disabled.

Booking: Due to limited capacity, the discussion phase of the workshop needs to be booked in advance. If you are interested in participating, please tell us why in 3 sentences or less. Email by 11 September 2017. Personal experience of disability/illness is an advantage but not essential.
Cost: Free
Age: 16+
Timing: Workshop 1pm – 3pm,: Discussion: 4.30pm – 6.30pm

Past, Present, Possibilities Poetry Workshop with Cate Jacobs.
We will reflect on ‘Past, present and possibilities’ using our senses to explore these themes and create poems, which we will use to form a collective river of words to display visually.

Booking: BOOK HERE
Time: 3.00pm
Cost: Free
Max number:10
Age 14+

Cabaret/Open Mic Night – Saturday 23 September 8.00pm

If you have never experienced the wonder of a DaDaFest cabaret/open mic night – now is your chance! Expect the unexpected as seasoned performers Laurence Clark,  Caroline Parker and Millie Dollar take to the stage along with other professional and aspiring cabaret performers.

Why not sign up yourself and share your skills – Sign up HERE (further details to follow)

Tickets: £5   BOOK HERE

We recommend this event for those aged 16 and over. Please contact us if you would like further information on the content of the performance.

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