News: JOY Festival 2021 celebrates and showcases work by disabled artists

Turtle Key Arts have announced their annual JOY Festival, coming to Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith this September. JOY celebrates disabled artists from Hammersmith and Fulham, showcasing work by established artists within the community, and providing an opportunity for emerging disabled artists to present their work.

The festival, which also reaches out to those who may not have previously been involved in the arts, will see an eclectic range of performances including music, spoken word, theatre and dance from local disabled artists and companies. A visual art exhibition will present work created by pupils at local Special Educational Needs schools, which has been made during year-round arts workshops run by JOY Festival. Networking events held at the Bush Theatre will bring local disabled arts organisations, individuals and performance companies together to create a more unified and cohesive approach to future events and performances.

JOY 2019 was hugely successful, involving 208 artists, 381 participants, 21 performances and 75 workshops, and was seen by over 1,100 audience members. In 2020, after confirming performance companies and artists, the June festival had to be cancelled, but is returning for 2021.

JOY Festival events this year also include accessible and inclusive free family fun days in West London from 6th – 8th August. Families will be able to have a go at circus skills, such as spinning plates, diablo, juggling and hula hoops, and can help create a large-scale community art piece based on the ‘paint splashing’ technique of artist Jackson Pollock. Integrated dance company Amici Dance Theatre Company will run dance improvisations for all the family.

JOY is a partnership between Turtle Key Arts, Hammersmith and Fulham Arts Festival and The Lyric Theatre Hammersmith. JOY Festival is funded by Arts Council England, Dr Edwards & Bishop King’s Fulham Charity, Hammersmith United Charities, The Daisy Trust and Atomy UK.

JOY Festival runs from Monday 13 – Friday 17 September, 2021.

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