CAN meeting at Art Mania 31-03-14 - Andrew Spannenberg self portrait through a mirrorOctapod is dedicated to a vibrant, diverse and sustainable arts community in Newcastle and the Hunter region. Through its its Creative Access Program it is working towards creating a bridge between the arts and disability sectors that support arts and cultural participation by people with disability.

The creative team at Art Mania generously hosted the first Creative Access Network gathering for 2014 in their accessible art studio in Wallsend, and gave a presentation about the studio’s incarnation, inclusive arts philosophy and accessible programs.

The Creative Access Network, facilitated by Octapod, is a unique and valuable forum to explore how the arts and disability communities can respond to and enhance arts and cultural participation for people with disabilities, particularly in the initial stages of the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, and thereafter.

The Creative Access Network is made up of, and welcomes, people with disability, artists, carers and representatives from arts and disability organisations throughout the Hunter region who support arts and cultural participation by people with disabilities.

Through its annual program, the Network provides professional development and networking opportunities, guest speakers, group discussions and unique resources for its participants.

Some topics which have been covered include:

  • Accessible cultural venues, studios and arts spaces
  • Inclusive artistic practice workshops and case studies
  • Career pathways for artists with disabilities
  • Access to arts and cultural activities for people with disability
  • National Disability Insurance Scheme
  • Disability awareness training
  • Running your own Creative Business Workshop
  • Governance training

‘The Creative Access Network is a valuable tool for collaboration and enhancing the ability of service providers to offer quality arts based activities through networking and having access to established mainstream and emerging artists.’ Steve Burchill, Co-ordinator Creative Arts & Life Skills, Mai-Wel Limited.

Octapod is currently seeking sponsorship to assist us to deliver our Creative Access Program. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to Octapod’s Cultural Activities Fund or provide cash or in-kind sponsorship, please contact us.

For more information: Contact Justine Potter, Octapod’s Community Access Officer, via or call (02) 4021 1605.