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#a11yArts: Jeremy Smith - Post-Covid Implications in the Art

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#a11yArts: International Creative Leadership Series with Senior Producer Jeremy Smith - Post-Covid Implications for Creating & Producing Disability Art

Join Touch Compass for the sixth webinar in our fabulous series #a11yArts: International Creative Leadership Series featuring Boorloo/Perth-based Jeremy Smith, leader in the Australian arts world as previous Director at Australia Council for the Arts, General Manager of the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts and current board member of both the Chamber of Arts and Culture WA and pvi collective.

Jeremy will be joined by the Touch Compass Artistic Direction Panel in a kōrero about his journey from the sought-after lighting designer to leadership role in the Australian arts scene. Jeremy will specifically touch on mid-and post-pandemic implications for disabled arts communities, highlighting that disruption offers the opportunity to create positive change.

There will be plenty of time at the end of the kōrero for Q&A to ask your burning questions about what the post-pandemic future could hold for disability in the arts!

This webinar will be New Zealand Sign Language interpreted.

About Jeremy Smith

In 2016, at the age of 39, Jeremy first chose to identify as a disabled man. Prior to this, many other chose to label him as such on his behalf (mostly without permission or consent). He now wonders why he waited for such a long time to embrace this part of his identity and enjoy the company and support of the fierce and ferocious accomplices that are part of this community.

Not long after his birth, his parents were told by a doctor (who also happened to be a capital city mayor) to make sure he never had children – because achondroplasia (dwarfism) was hereditary.

Teachers at his high school were gravely concerned he wouldn’t ‘make it’ and that being amongst 1800 students would be too overwhelming. He was prefect for four of his five years at high school, and won the inaugural arts prize on graduation.

Lecturers at his university were concerned about his ability to climb a ladder and rig lights. He graduated in 1997 and became a successful lighting designer in Perth.

His tailor has become a close friend due to the amount of time Jeremy spends with him.

His working life has seen him work arts, funding, policy, sponsorship and regional development across government, not for profit and corporate sectors. He’s been part of too many equity, diversity, access and inclusion committees to remember. Highlights include being the cover-star (without permission) of a government submission that won a Premier’s Award for inclusion initiatives, and being told his services were not needed for the ‘Project All-Sorts’ steering group – a mining sector initiative for diversity and inclusion- as the priority was on Indigenous employment and women in leadership roles.

He still feels shame when he is out with family and friends and gets made fun of. Not for himself, but for those around him who clearly feel uncomfortable.

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