Building on the success of the inaugural Deaf Arts Festival NI, launched in MAC Theatre, Belfast May 2023, Cre8 Theatre have engaged partners once again and are delighted to launch the festival in its second year 2024, growing from 2 plays in 2023 to a jaw dropping 20-event festival in only its second year.
Cre8 Theatre is the producing arts organisation behind the Deaf Arts Festival NI, working hard growing networks within the d/Deaf community, discovering partners and building relationships. The festival's aim is to:
- champion the work of deaf people
- include the d/Deaf community in creative practise
- create accessible theatre,
- promote inclusion
- enable better access to the arts for d/Deaf professional artists and communities
- facilitate communication between d/Deaf and hearing communities
- break down barriers to communication through a celebration of d/Deaf culture
The festival enables d/Deaf and hearing artists to co-create, during the research, development, rehearsal, and performance schedule and place d/Deaf artists centre stage, prioritising d/Deaf audience experience.
Bringing together the d/Deaf community and raising awareness within the hearing community. Ultimately celebrating the beautiful, unique qualities inherent within d/Deaf identity and culture.
The festival is for deaf and hearing people to enjoy and has access and inclusion at its very core. Every event is suitable for both communities as there will be interpreters across all events over the entire festival weekend. Please see age group guidance per event.
The deaf community is a vibrant and active community and Cre8 are delighted to connect with d/Deaf communities across Northern Ireland and beyond, creating opportunity, access, and inclusion to arts activity for integrated audiences, as well as placing deaf artists in central roles on main stages.
The festival is developing rapidly, lives within the d/Deaf community living here and further afield, and is striving to create access and equality in the creation of artistic works. All events within the festival have been designed and delivered by deaf artists, building on the relationships established and nurtured over the last 3 years.
Cre8 produce a range of visually stunning, inclusive, community focused artistic events ranging from:
- stage shows
- digital educational/theme-based school tours
- community puppet shows
- creative workshops
- creative activity focus on integration of d/Deaf community into the arts
During Deaf Awareness Week, May ‘23 Cre8 produced the inaugural Deaf Arts Festival NI, showcasing ‘Sleeping Beauty’, A family-friendly, inclusive musical theatre production created for both hearing and D/deaf audiences, featuring both deaf and hearing artists. Cre8 has also been working on school tours with Belfast City Council, large-scale puppet shows within Ards Puppet Festival, pantomimes in Braid Arts Centre and creative learning workshops with the d/Deaf community NI.
Thanks to those who have supported this work showcasing deaf artists: The MAC Theatre, Halifax Foundation NI, Arts Council NI, Belfast City Council, Sign Source learning, and Carbrothers NI.
We are excited about growing with the d/Deaf community in NI, Ireland and beyond. Please do get in touch with us, introducing yourself and maybe leaving us some feedback on the festival 2024.