Youth arts disability festival to RoAR again next year

An innovative arts festival celebrating the work of disabled children looks set for a second appearance in 2017 following the success of its maiden outing this year.

The RoAR festival, which demonstrated how arts and culture are being integrated into the support provided for disabled children and their families, was hailed a triumph by organisers, who are now discussing plans to make the festival an annual fixture.

The 2016 event rounded off a series of creative projects involving six organisations commissioned by the county council to provide short breaks services for children and their families, and five arts organisations supporting disabled children and young people aged from five to 21.

More than 100 young people gained an Arts Award and over 300 participated across the projects. A wide range of their work was showcased at the festival alongside art and dance workshops, discussion groups and a pop-up cinema. The event was attended by the young people and their families, and was also open to the general public.


Emmy O'Shaughnessy, Director of Cowley’s Ark-T Centre, which hosted the festival, said: “The ability to engage in mainstream arts and cultural activities led by local organisations has really helped increase the self-confidence of disabled young people and to promote disability awareness more widely.

“The RoAR festival achieved a positive celebration of difference, empowering the children, young people and families to value their creative potential and self-expression.”

The 11 organisations involved have now formed a collective to work on plans for continuing the festival in 2017 and beyond.