Open Arts

Open Arts was an independent organisation which was managed by disabled people with the aim to “support and promote disabled artists and support and promote disability issues through the arts”. The group produced the “Open Arts Newspaper”, with support from Cleveland Arts and was applying for funding to develop this and other work.

Open Arts was an organisation which supported disabled people who were interested in the arts and people who wanted to express their feelings about disability through arts activity. They’d been in existence for several years, but eventually relaunched and experienced a steady increase in membership as a result.

The most important part of their work after the relaunch was producing the Open Arts Newspaper, which was sent to around 400 people across the region. Their editor was Derek Reed, who was always very happy to receive contributions from readers (or ANYBODY!) And if you would have liked to have a piece included, or wished to have an event included in the What’s On page, you needed only contact Derek at Cleveland Arts.

Beyond that, Open Arts had developed a website which carried details of local disabled artists and events. There was also a Gallery, which displayed artwork by several artists and there were plans for it to include work by musicians. At the time of the relaunch the Website was dedicated to publicising the New Reality Festival, and John Shingleton, who had developed it, was running extremely successful workshops in digital art with members of Open Arts.


Derek Reed


John Shingleton

Digital artist.