Image: Claire Cunningham at DaDaFest International 2016

In 2001, we presented the first DaDaFest International. This has been a part of our heritage and continues today to be an amazing platform to showcase the work of disabled, Deaf and neurodivergent artists.

Now, we look forward to celebrating our 40th birthday at DaDaFest International 2024.

We develop and present excellent disability and Deaf arts through a multi-art form artistic programme that includes high quality festivals, interventions and events that is fed into by a year-round programme of engagement work with developing and established artists, young disabled, Deaf and neurodivergent people, their families and wider community.

At the heart of the work that DaDa does are the festival programmes, artist development programmes and events that act as a focus for talent and leadership development, showcasing and promoting disability arts. This cohesive artistic programme is linked to all our other strands of work and through it we aim to change attitudes and improve access, inclusion and understanding.

Our festival programme includes:

  • Programming, commissioning and collaborating at an international level
  • National collaborations including joint commissions, programme sharing and organisational development covering both disabled and non-disabled artists
  • Local partnerships that work collaboratively to increase artistic excellence, support local established and emerging artists, and drive audience growth and retention

DaDaFest Scratch

In 2021, we piloted a new way of artist development starting with the Artist Incubation Hub - DaDa Incubator and DaDa Ensemble. This culminates in DaDaFest Scratch (DDFS21), a live performance and visual arts micro commission festival.

It was a festival of embryonic ideas developed from the programmes under Artist Incubation Hub – DaDa Incubator and DaDa Academy – by a new generation of genre-smashing disabled, Deaf and neurodivergent artists, musicians, creatives and theatre makers.

DaDaFest International

In 2022, we piloted a new way of festival programming for DaDaFest International in 2022 (DDFI22), presenting excellent disability and Deaf arts that are seasonal, and art form focused.

In Summer 2022 we presented Dance and Outdoor Arts feeding into Xtrax and Without Walls Consortium and the outdoor arts festival circuit.

In Autumn 2022 we presented Theatre, Digital Storytelling & Music with international partnerships.

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