Midlands Art Papers launches special issue on inclusion, disability and access in the arts

Works created by Sense art makers Yiannis and Marteena working with artists Annette Pugh ARBSA and Karoline Rerrie as part of the RBSA-Sense collaboration Making Together 2018-19. ©RBSA 2019.

Midlands Art Papers (MAP) – a collaboration between the University of Birmingham’s History of Art Department and cultural practitioners from 13 partner museums and galleries across the Midlands - has launched its latest annual issue.

Through this Special Issue on Inclusion, Disability and Access in the Arts, MAP aims to open up conversations, foster dialogue and develop an understanding about how urgent issues such as accessibility, equality and diversity can be addressed within the arts sector.

Through exhibitions, events and the dedicated online journal, MAP produces new research about the world-class art collections held by public galleries across the region, and works to showcase the curatorial, learning and inclusion work of its partner institutions. Through this work, MAP seeks to champion, develop and protect the region’s artistic culture and heritage at a time when funding cuts have threatened this important work.

Two articles from the special issue that explore visual impairment and sensory learning are available now, and further articles will be added monthly.

Dr Sophie Hatchwell of MAP says: "This issue of MAP shines a light on the important issue of inclusion in the arts. It provides a much-needed exploration of representation in our regional arts collections, as well as information about the varied access initiatives that our partner galleries run. We argue that, to talk about inclusion, it is essential to listen to a range of different voices, and we hope our latest Special Issue offers a platform for different viewpoints to be heard.”

The issue is available online:

MAP’s partner institutions include the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham Museums Trust, The Collection (Lincoln), Derby Museums, Dudley Museum and Art Gallery, Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum, The New Art Gallery, New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Research and Cultural Collections (University of Birmingham), Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, Wolverhampton Art Gallery.

Notes to editors:

For more information or interviews, please contact: Hasan Salim Patel, Communications Manager (Arts, Law and Social Sciences) on +44 (0) 121 415 8134 or contact the press office out of hours on +44 (0) 7789 921 165.

Midlands Arts Papers (MAP) is an open-access online journal and collaborative curatorial programme between the University of Birmingham and 13 cultural partners which researches and showcases the outstanding works of art and design in public collections across the Midlands.

The University of Birmingham is ranked among the world’s top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 6,500 international students from over 150 countries.