DANC - Disabled Artists Networking Community

What is DANC?



The Disabled Artists Networking Community is a regular networking event for established/professional artists and performers (of any art form) that have a disability. Each event is hosted by a different theatre or arts venue. By hosting the event at a variety of venues, we are creating links and pushing for disability to become part of that venue/organisations agenda. It also means that we are opening a dialogue with venues on how we can work together to make changes. Each event has between 3 and 5 industry guests that will introduce themselves at the start, explain their role in the industry and the changes they would like to make/see. 

These industry guests will be casting directors, producers, artistic directors, agents, CEO’s of artistic companies, music producers, film makers, arts funding – It really is down to what the community want and who they want to see. 

DANC meetings are NOT in the form of a lecture. We want to create a space where we can learn from each other and not generate a divide between us as disabled artists and the industry guests that will be invited. After we have heard an introduction from the industry guests, we move into break out groups. This is a bit like speed dating! But rather than trying to get a date at the end of the night, we want to have made more contacts and links with other professionals in the industry and made an impact on those that make decisions!

This part of the event will give YOU as an artist the chance to talk personally to the industry guests, ask questions and get across points that you may have. It also means that you walk away from the event having personally made new contacts.

The second part of the event is the opportunity section. Here we will be able to share ideas and opportunities for upcoming projects. We want DANC to be a space where we can all meet other disabled creatives and can link up and create new projects together.

Let’s not wait for work to come to us, lets create opportunities ourselves!

As we head further into the year, this will also be a place for artists to show snippets of projects that they have been working on and gain feedback from people in the room. We can use the knowledge in the room to further develop individual projects through ideas, advice, contacts and creative input. At the end of each event. There will of course be the chance to continue networking with the creatives that you have met.


Why we created DANC?



As actors with disabilities, we have been part of almost every “disabled actor scheme” going. We are aware that this must happen in other art forms too. One evening we got together to discuss why these meetings haven’t really worked as well in the past and that’s when DANC was created. We’re aware that our area of expertise mainly lies in television & theatre but we want DANC to be about artists of ALL art forms so that we can work together to unlock areas across the arts. We therefore want to source industry guests from ALL art forms so that everyone benefits from DANC meetings. This can be guided by our DANC members. DANC meetings must always remain solution focussed. Yes, its great to all get together and have moan about that time we were treated unfairly in this industry and those hundreds of time where we knew we were a disability tick box and yes, its incredibly frustrating! Which is why we want to do something about it. Sitting around and having a moan will feel great, but in the long run, it isn’t making an impact! We want DANC to be a space that is owned by the people that attend. To create a community of disabled actors, dancers, singers, musicians, photographers, writers, film makers, directors, artists the list goes on. A place where we can create links, find people within our community to be involved in projects and be found by industry professionals looking for artists/performers with disabilities. 

How many times have we heard professionals say “I want to employ an artist with a disability, I just don’t know where to find them?” Well let’s create a community so full of rich talent that there can be no more excuses! Let’s break down these barriers and show exactly why disability needs to be represented in the arts. In the words of Steve Martin, Let’s be so good, they can’t ignore us.

When is our next DANC Event?


Next DANC meeting – Tuesday 12th March 2019

Where: The Lowry

 Pier 8, The Quays, Salford M50 3AZ 

When: Tuesday 12th March 2019

Time: 6pm - 8.30pm – Doors open at 5.30pm 😊


Previous Indusrty Guests and Hosts Include:

HOME Theatre

Bridgewater Hall

The Lowry

Comedy Store

Theatre 53TWO

Manchester Art Gallery


Tom Sherry, Head of Drama, BBC North

Charlotte Bevan, National Theatre and Profile Spotlight

Louis Sutton, Scripted Executive Producer, Lime Pictures

Dafydd LLewellyn, Producer Casualty

Debbie Oates, Writer, Coronation Street, Cold Feet

Archie Purnell, JLA

Nicola Bolton, Regan Management

Jude Christian, Director

Jennifer Smith Head of Inclusion, BFI

Toby Hadoke Comedian, Actor, Writer

Daliso Chaponda, Comedian

Daniel Edwards, Casting Director

Jo Coombes, Head of Development (Lime pictures).

Peter Hunt, Head of Casting for Lime Pictures and Casting Director of Hollyoaks.

Gill Charnock – Casting Director Hollyoaks.

Lindsay Williams, Story Producer at Coronation Street and BAFTA nominated drama scriptwriter.

Justine Potter, Drama Producer for TV & Radio. Head of TV drama at LA Productions.

Marcus Wilson, Producer, A Word.

Andy Stott, CEO of Northern Quarter Records & Head of Popular Music at RNCM.

Rose Marely Sharp Futures http://sharpfutures.org.uk

Ian Tabbron, The Arts Council England.

Roger McCann , The Arts Council England

Charlotte Riches, Producer, Radio 4

Michelle Smith, Casting Director

Jordan Hogg, BAFTA nominated Director

Laura Conway, Development Porducer, Kudos

Elaine Willcox, ITV/Granada

Usman Mullan, BBC Writers Room

Debbie Biggins, Line Producer, Casualty

Please email triplecmanchester@gmail.com for further information.


Find Out More...

Find out more about the Disabled Artists Networking Community from those that attend.

Video by David Wright