About Us

“Disability Arts is as relevant now as it always has been, perhaps even more so given the economic circumstances we face. It is the job of those of us who understand how powerful disability arts can be to find new ways to engage artists and audiences with it.” 

Geof Armstrong  (1956-2020)

Arcadea CIO was founded in 1991 by disabled people in Newcastle upon Tyne to address the inequality of disabled people in arts and culture. 

Working to create equality of opportunity in arts and culture for disabled people in the North East we: 

  • Enable disabled people to experience fulfilling lives via the arts. 
  • Support and promote the work of disabled artists in public settings and platforms. 
  • Empower disabled people to access the arts  

We do this by running a variety of studio-based services for learning disabled and autistic people, delivering our own programme of arts and cultural activity, arranging trips, projects and exhibitions with regional venues, as well as supporting cultural venues and institutions to improve inclusivity. 

Our Vision

Disabled Peoples’s contribution to and participation in arts and culture is promoted, valued, and is inclusive

Our Mission

To challenge commonly held preconceptions of disabled people’s ability to make great art and to participate in the arts

Our Aims

  1. To create and provide the best opportunities for disabled people to participate in arts and culture
  2. To challenge where possible and to remove barriers to the participation of disabled people in the arts
  3. To support disabled artists to take risks, innovate, learn and aspire to excellence in everything they do
  4. To be continually improving our understanding of the needs of disabled people, the cultural environment and our work