Flight Paths followed Extant’s innovative accessible approach to facilitating audience engagement in two ways:
- Weaved accessibility for visually impaired people into the work. Our goal is to create one single artistic experience which is accessible to both visually impaired and non-visually impaired people rather than expecting the visually impaired audience to wear headphones.
- Supported by an audience development programme, allowing the delivery of a long lead in of participatory work for visually impaired people in the regions to which we toured. We established a new hub of activity in Leicester working in collaboration with local visually impaired support group VISTA and also in Mold working with Blind Vets UK. In Stratford this focused on performance career development workshops that reached 97 visually impaired people as well as audience for Flight Paths. In the West Midlands and Deptford we raised additional funding to support four months of Extant Enhance activity that made the work of other companies touring to the Flight Paths venue accessible for visually impaired audiences, thereby building future visually impaired audiences for Extant when Flight Paths arrived at the venue.
Extant’s first presentation of work in Wales:
A grant from Awards for All Wales supported a participatory performance piece by local visually impaired people which focused on the theme of “home”. Presented at Theatre Clwyd in April and again at a local arts festival in May.
Extant’s first presentation of work in East Midlands:
A grant from Awards for All England supported a participatory performance piece by local visually impaired people called ‘The Way I See it’ presented at The Curve in April and at a wellness festival in June