What goes on at... Carousel?

We caught up with Carousel, one of the 2017-2018 Arts Award Good Practice Centres to see how they use Arts Award so well that they earn the title.

What goes on at... Carousel?

Could you first introduce yourself

David Parker – Senior Producer at Carousel

How have you managed to stay on top of being so inclusive in the current economic climate for the arts?

Carousel is a learning disabled-led arts organisation, this means all of our work in film, music, radio, visual arts is led by learning disabled artists. We provide the support for them to explore, develop and create original work. We do lots of training and work nationally, our artists lead on this work too. For us inclusion is not an optional 'add on', it's fundamental to all the work we do.

In what ways can young people get involved with you?

All of our projects are run by production teams of learning disabled people of all ages. We work in a really wide range of art forms and we always want to hear from young people interested in the arts. The best thing is to drop us an email, or phonecall and we will be happy to talk more.

What projects are you working on at the moment?

The Oska Bright Film Festival is coming up in November – it's an amazing event and we will be showing incredible films made by learning disabled artists from all around the world. We have a Discover Oska Bright morning on the 16th November, aimed at young people working towards their Discover Arts Award.


What activities are most popular for young people and why?

We work with lots of new technology, right now there's a workshop going on where a group of young people are learning how to use Unity 3D, to build VR environments. We want to find ways to make technology available and inclusive to young learning disabled people.

How do you incorporate different art forms into the work that you do?

Because of the way we work, we don't get too hung up on the boundaries between art forms. We like the way that video, music and visual art can combine and interact. I think it's less important these days to stay within a defined art form.

Could you give an example of a recent project you have run, and the impact it had?

We recently supported two experienced artists to work independently from Carousel, they worked with their artist advocates to apply to Arts Council for some funding, they were successful and they will have an exhibition of their work in October this year.

What levels of Arts Award do you run?

Discover, Bronze, Silver and Gold


What kinds of activities do you do with your Arts Award students?

Filmmaking, Music Making

What does your future look like?

We're looking forward to a busy Autumn, with a new drama project, the Oska Bright Film Festival, a conference in Birmingham called Creative Minds, our Blue Camel Club night, Art Exhibitions and much more!

Do you publish any online resources that young people could use?

We will have a new online filmmaking guide for young people out soon, sign up to our newsletter at www.carousel.org.uk

  • Images courtesy of Carousel


Bhavesh Jadva

Bhavesh Jadva Voice Team

Former Media Editor on Voice and former Arts Award Editor on AAoV covering film, TV, music and comedy.

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