Inclusion. It’s vital. It works better when it’s inherent in everything we do. I’ve been involved in the design and development of inclusive and accessible ways of working in the arts since 2009.

Working in both the mainstream and disability dance and theatre sectors, I work with originality, playfulness and sensitivity, inspiring and challenging in equal measure, bringing the best out of people.  My key consultancy and facilitation skills are:

Training and mentoring people in best practice around inclusion and access through

Focused consultancy and troubleshooting sessions to create the best inclusive and accessible environments – from ½ day to full day workshops and longer residencies.

Mentoring people around the importance of language and attitudes in their everyday practices.

Supporting disabled artists to make great work

Working with disabled artists who get stuck, or need support to move through environmental barriers and barriers within themselves so they can thrive, particularly dance practitioners.

Artistic workshops and residences inviting artists to embed best practices and access into their artistic work.

Background

Among my portfolio I have worked with Candoco Dance as the Learning and Development Coordinator (2010-2011),  Artist Associate (2009-2011) and Moving Bodies  participant (2010), StopGap Dance (2014, developing inclusive Feldenkrais practices) Graeae Theatre (2012-13), as part of their outreach team, and as inclusive arts based consultant for FanSHEN Theatre (2015) and Oily Cart (2013-14) on developing more ways to be inclusive for a wider range of audiences. I was arts module leader at Westminster Society for People with Learning Disabilities (2013-14) and co-founded YSYT (2011), an out-of-school charity providing play and creative arts activities for disabled children. I led artistic session for the charity (2011-2013).

I was an Unlimited R&D artist (2014). Presenting the outcomes of my commission, Unstrapped as part of Be There at The Start event held as part of the Unlimited Festival  at the South Bank Centre, London.

I have a BA (HONS) Theatre and Professional Practice (2007. Coventry University, UK) and MA Performance Practices and Research (2010. Central School of Speech and Drama, UK.).

2017-2018

Working for We Are Epic as Diversity Officer on a consultancy basis, I developed the 3 streams of work that new Leicester-based arts company was founded on:

Diverse artistic talent | professional trainings | brokering international collaborations.

The consultancy included setting up of best practices around in inclusion and access within the structure of the organisation, co-writing policies and procedures, and developing an art administration traineeship and co-mentoring the trainee.  I led a series of events inviting provocations and discussions to identify future possibilities in the East Midlands arts sector.

I am currently producing We Are Epic’s new international collaboration Buffalo Boy with Epic Arts in Cambodia.

2018 onwards

I’m keen to develop national and  international collaborations with partners, organisations and artists  looking to develop their skills and understanding of inclusion and access in the arts or the creative sectors.

Download my practice overview and biography: Lou Coleman Practice Overview

Read about my inclusive artistic work with disabled children and teenagers with challenging behaviours here

Find out more about my artistic performance practice here