Ramps on the Moon awarded funding

Ramps on the Moon awarded funding

Ramps on the Moon and Sheffield Theatres have received £280,000 in funding from Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to continue Ramps on the Moon’s work supporting anti-ableist practice in the performing arts sector. Ramps on the Moon will also take residency at Sheffield Theatres, advancing the organisation’s work, having been part of the first sector leading cohort.

Ramps on the Moon’s vision is a mainstream cultural sector that embeds the Social Model of Disability across systems, policy and practice, increasing and elevating the presence of disabled people in performing arts. For the last seven years Ramps on the Moon, funded by Arts Council England, worked with a consortium of seven major theatres to embed change and transform the understanding of what access can be. An inaugural consortium member, Sheffield Theatres are now hosts of Ramps on the Moon as they enter the next phase of activity.

This funding will enable Ramps on the Moon, with Sheffield Theatres, to support organisations to grow careers and leadership opportunities for disabled people in the performing arts, ensuring they can work, innovate, develop ambition and flourish as professionals in the mainstream.

A core strand of the upcoming work is the Change Partner programme. In each of the two years, partnering with People Make it Work, Ramps on the Moon will work with a new cohort of arts organisations over 12 months to facilitate and support change at the heart of how they are operating, embedding disability equality.

Michèle Taylor, MBE, Director for Change, Ramps on the Moon said: “I am excited about what Ramps on the Moon founding partners have achieved since 2015, and excited to work closely with new partner organisations to further transform them and the performing arts sector to celebrate and promote disabled people in the cultural landscape. We’re very grateful to Esmée Fairbairn Foundation for recognising the impact and importance of our work.”

Tom Bird, Chief Executive of Sheffield Theatres said: “We are delighted to be furthering our partnership, and for Ramps on the Moon to make Sheffield their home. Ramps on the Moon has had a massive impact on the theatre industry over the last seven years, and being part of the cohort has been transformational for Sheffield Theatres. We’re excited about the impact this funding will have to support organisations across the performing arts in making change.” 

Many organisations are already signed up to start working on the Change Partner programme, including One Dance UK, City of London Sinfonia, Norwich Theatre Royal and New Perspective Theatre Company.

Chinyere Ogbue, Head of Workforce Development at One Dance UK said: “As a Disability Confident Committed employer, One Dance UK are delighted to work with Ramps on the Moon through the Change Partner programme; this will be fundamental and instrumental in ensuring that our practices are as accessible and inclusive as possible. It’s a pleasure to have Ramps on the Moon with us on our disability equality journey.”

The Change Partner programme begins in April for organisations of all scales and genres. Any organisations wishing to find out more about how to get involved can find more information at rampsonthemoon.co.uk/workwithus.

Sheffield Theatres. Photo by Smart Banda