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Potters Gallery Initiative urges stakeholders in creative industry to adopt disability inclusion

TQM report,

Potters Gallery Initiative, an organization of persons with disabilities (OPDs) using arts of different forms from persons with disabilities (PWDs) to advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities.

On 13th to 15th of December, 2021, Potters Gallery Initiative organized Abuja International Art Ability Festival supported by British Council and Bank of Industry to showcase arts among persons with disabilities in Nigeria.

Mr. Donald Unanka, the Executive Director of Potters Gallery Initiative told the Press that advocates within the disability have been working to get stakeholders in the arts and creative industry to adopt disability inclusion to help mainstream PWDs into arts and creative industry.

He said that PWDs have been gravely marginalized in the creative industry but there are a lot of amazing talents among persons with disabilities which were yet to be tapped because of discrimination and stigmatization of persons with disabilities.

He advocated for the need to include PWDs in arts and creative industry so that they can contribute their quota to arts and creative industry market in Nigeria. This can help to reduce high unemployment rate among persons with disabilities.

He called on stakeholders in the creative industry to make Arts Theatres, Cinemas, Performance stages, to be accessible for PWDs and again, they should use movies to tell disability inclusive stories.

He revealed that the festival has come to stay, because the organization have intention of making it an annual festival to provide opportunity for numerous talented PWDs across Nigeria and even beyond to showcase their arts and creativity. He is hopeful the festival would be get better in the next year’s episode.

A guest at the festival, Agbo Chris, Executive Director, The Qualitative Magazine advised PWDs who are into creative arts not to give up because with time, the work will singled them out and they would be known.

He said that there are a lot of PWDs with amazing talents even better than the well known Cohbmas Asuquo, Yinka Ayefele, but the system have made it impossible for a lot of them to come out and showcase their talents.

He commended Potters Gallery Initiative for providing opportunity for talented PWDs to showcase their talent. He said that some amazing arts were discovered through the festival.

He urged the organizers not to give up on the festival based on low sponsorship because what the festival is meant to achieve would attract well meaning individuals and organizations to support the next year’s festival. It would enable the organizers to create more opening for more talented PWDs to participate in the festival.

He called on stakeholders in the creative industry to embrace this festival and build on it to adopt disability inclusion.

The 2021 festival paraded arts such as fashion designing, drawings, paintings, dancing and singing.

The some of the participants who spoke to The Qualitative Magazine (TQM) were excited for the opportunity provided to them by Potters Gallery Initiative and they are willing to be part of the festival come next year.

TQM learnt that the participants were drawn from different states and FCT and the opportunity was given to all clusters of disability which brought about exciting moments like watching the deaf persons dance so well, the blind persons play musical instruments and sign and the deaf persons acting so well to the admiration of many.




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