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25th Anniversary Of Extant

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Exploring visual impairment to create unique and innovative artistic experiences.

Exploring visual impairment to create unique and innovative artistic experiences. Extant’s work aims to increase the representation of visually impaired people in the arts and while celebrating the last two and a half decades they are also focusing on the future.

Turning 25 in 2022, Extant is delighted to announce its upcoming plans. Over the next three years, Extant will shift their focus to innovating the arts sector with new disabled talent, taking a proactive role in creating an answer to the under-representation of disabled leaders. Spearheading this change in an intelligent, robust and responsible way, Extant will consolidate their work over the last 25 years into formal research to ultimately bring about systemic change in the arts. Informed by their history, their communities, and by social justice movements with/by marginalised people, Extant is going to evolve.

One of the ways Extant has been working towards building sustainable change is through Pathways, their flagship training and development programme, which supports visually impaired and blind practitioners across the theatre industry in acting, directing, writing and backstage. Offering skills and mentoring for artists ready to take their first career steps in the industry, it has influenced, embedded and improved greater awareness of and accessibility for blind and visually impaired practitioners in theatre.

To mark their milestone anniversary, Extant is holding an exciting industry event called Extant Evolve, encompassing the Pathways showcase of work from up-and-coming visually impaired artists, followed by a celebratory drinks reception. Held at Extant’s new home Carlton Mansions, which is part of the newly opened Brixton House, on Friday 17th June, Extant will reflect on all they have achieved so far whilst announcing their transformative new mission. The 2 Pathways Writers’ showcase will culminate work from 16 visually impaired and blind writers who have been training and developing their craft for the past year. Each Pathways writer will present a five-minute piece, directed by a visually impaired director.

The Artistic Director and CEO of Extant Maria Oshodi comments, “I am proud to have founded this amazing company and steered it through 25 years of innovation, and even more excited now to be launching our plans for steady transition into bold horizons of new leadership.”