Disability Artists Training Creative Enablers – DATCE

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Disability Artists Training Creative Enablers – DATCE

DATCE was …

  • … a creative and organic process
  • … asking questions
  • … searching for answers
  • … aiming to fill in a gap.

Disability Artists Training Creative Enablers – DATCE was a pilot project ran by filmpro ltd between July 2011 – July 2012 that provided skills and training to a pool of creative individuals to work as ‘creative enablers’.

DATCE was supported by the London Evening Standard’s Dispossessed Fund (run by St Katharine & Shadwell Trust)

The journey started with a key question: what is the role of a ‘Creative Enabler’?



The concept of a ‘Creative Enabler’ was born out of Graeae Theatre Company work and referred to someone who facilitates disabled artists to create and present their work, rather than just providing the personal care or basic administrative tasks supported by schemes like Access to Work. The concept was developed and put into practice through Pete Edwards, a live artist, director and writer, when he attended Graeae’s Missing Piece Actor Training Programme. He then ‘used’ the concept when he developed and toured his very first solo performance ‘FAT‘ (premiere at the Oval House Theatre in May 2010).


What did DATCE do?

DATCE invited individuals and disabled artist to apply and join the pilot training programme. 18 participants were ‘recruited’ and from September 2011 the journey began.

A two-fold training approach was used, that included:

(a) group sessions that provided skills, tools and understanding of working with disabled artists and/or creative enablers, and

(b) placements of Trainee Creative Enablers working closely with a Disabled Artist for a number of sessions, covering more specific and personalized training.

All participants also received mentoring support throughout the life-time of the project.


Questions asked…

From the very start the group (artists and enablers alike) were on a new territory, determined to explore issues such as;

  • What is a Creative Enabler?
  • How ‘creative’ can a Creative Enabler be?
  • How to manage the relationship?
  • What are the boundaries?
  • What are the skills required?


Reaching a definition

During the final session, the group reflected back on those questions and came up with their own definition and thoughts about it:

‘Creative Enabler is a person who assists the artist in their creative practice and development’

Click here to follow participants’ journey towards finding the definition (automatic download of a word document)


Pertaining questions

  • – How creative can or should a ‘Creative Enabler’ be?
  • – Does the term matter?
  • – Is this role needed only to support Disabled Artists’ work or can it be relevant to non-disabled artists too?


For DATCE participants what’s important is….

…that a ‘Creative Enabler’ helps to fill in a gap in provision and inequality that Disabled Artists may experience in their creative practice.

Respecting participants’ privacy and promise about DATCE being a safe platform, the project’s blog will remain close to the group. filmpro endeavours to find ways to take the DATCE model forward and develop it into a sustainable programme. In the meantime, if you’re interested to find out more about DATCE or looking for a Creative Enabler, please get in touch ( / 020 7613 5856).

datce - disability artists training creative enablers logo written in bold letters on a light background

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