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What does it mean to be radical when developing access strategies within an art institution?

Well known for its implication in accessibility issues, TR Warszawa (TRW) was awarded Leader of Accessibility by the Culture Without Barriers Foundation for their implementation of accessibility practices in the educational activities. The lockdown period allowed the theatre to introduce streaming accessibility practices and build relationships with audiences who, until now, did not have access to the theatre repertoire. An audience that it would be important to maintain and develop. 
All these points led TRW to implement new access policies by prioritizing accessibility strategies in the creative process in order to offer a similar experience for real performances.

The Warsaw GPF group chose to start from this process as a study case to reflect on the  COMMONSTORIES topic : what does it mean to be radical when developing access strategies within an art institution?

One of the main problems is that accessibility is seen as a special and additional task not only for the host team but also for the guest company and/or artists, on top of all the work already necessary to produce and show a performance. Important external funding allowed TRW to present 2 to 3 shows every 2 weeks, with a sign language translator and a screen for subtitles. To face some artists’ reluctance to integrate accessibility tools in their production, for aesthetic, conceptual, and/or technical reasons, TRW decided to include mandatory accessibility standards as part of the production contracts. To accompany the process, an internal working group was created to find concrete solutions to include accessibility in the different projects without creating too many tensions. 
One of the solutions was to integrate the accessibility utilities (subtitle screen, position of the sign language translator) as early as possible in the production process and in dialogue with the artists in order for the piece to grow organically around these inputs.

TRW would like to promote a brand “without barriers”, for example has already been produced a first series of sign language invitations for performances…