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Cope Foundation to promote “The Art of Inclusion” at EASPD Conference 2020

A major international conference on the future of disability and the arts will be hosted from Cork this week. The on-line event will gather advocates, experts, policymakers, service users, thinkers and inspiring practitioners leading in the field of inclusion, differing abilities, arts and culture. 

The European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD), in partnership with the European Network for Cultural Centres (ENCC) and Cope Foundation, will together lead the international (virtual) gathering on Arts, Inclusion and Disability / Differing Abilities in line with Article 30 of the UNCRPD.

Cope Foundation is recognised as a leading organisation in Cork and Internationally for its commitment to innovation, research and delivery in the Arts. With a range of successful, Local, National and International, Arts projects from film, music, dance and theatre, Cope Foundation is leading and participating in bridging the many gaps to equality and inclusion in the arts and cultural sector.  

The EASPD is a non-profit NGO in the disability sector, which promotes the views of over 17,000 support services for persons with disabilities. There are over 80 million people with a disability throughout Europe. While activity in the arts is on the increase in Ireland, not everyone participates equally, least of all people with disabilities. The main barriers to their participation are lack of access, inadequate information, and low economic status. 

The Arts have a particular value for people with disabilities, including many people with intellectual disabilities, autism or mental health difficulties. Creative development and personal growth through the arts can empower people with disabilities to avail of other possibilities and be a tool understanding and inclusion.

Cork Actor and Director Mathew Murphy says, “I’ve always believed in new and exciting ways to bring Irish artists and other amazing artists from around the world together,  no matter what gender, race, sexual orientation or disability artists may have.  We can come together to work with each other, communicate with each other, help each other and learn with each other through any art form and look back and say ‘Yeah, we did that together!’ That’s what this conference is about.” 

Eoin Nash Manager of Arts and Creative Therapies at Cope Foundation, Cork Ireland, says, “Active citizenship and participation within arts and culture is a right under article 30 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with a Disability (UNCRPD) ratified in Ireland.  Delivering and committing to upholding this right for the people we support at Cope Foundation and the arts community in Cork and beyond is our goal.  We do this through our local, national and international arts work” The “Art of Inclusion” conference planned for Cork has had to move online because of COVID 19.  After 5 years of planning it is a hurdle we will overcome and unfortunate we cannot bring people to Cork but you can catch all of the action online”

Local musician John Spillane and poet Cónal Creedon have also lent their support to the event with a series of video/ photos that showcase Cork city as a city steeped in arts, culture and heritage. John says he is delighted to support this event, “It was lovely to wander around our beautiful city of Cork with my friends from Cope Foundation, singing and telling stories, and promoting Cork as a city that supports artists of all kinds, respecting disability and diversity. Cork people love Cork more than any other people love their city and this conference is a wonderful opportunity for us to show off this love”.

The event will be taking pace online October 14th & 15th. To register for FREE,

view the programme or visit the conference website

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