Shape went to São Paulo city in Brazil as part of the British Council Brazil collaboration, the 'TRANSFORM 2016' project.

Forming the cultural strand to the UK Government's UKBrazil (UKBR) season, TRANSFORM 2016 is the biggest ever programme to unite Brazilian and UK creative professionals in order to address the previously relatively low level of engagement between the two countries' cultural institutions.

Instructed to provide access audits for some of the most high profile participating theatres, galleries and contemporary arts venues in Brazil, Shape were called in to advise on ensuring venues throughout Rio and São Paulo are accessible for all audiences and artists.  

Across a programme of ten days Shape representatives visited seven leading cultural venues in São Paulo including Museum de Arte Moderna (MAM) São Paulo and the Social Service of Commerce known as the 'SESC' Unidade Belenzhino and 'SESC' Pompeia, to take a view on current 'accessibility' requirements for artists and audiences.

Shape's experience and knowledge of over 37 years in providing creative access and working with disabled artists was utilised in a series of introductory training sessions with staff from the audited venues. Shape representatives also talked about the experience of working on the Unlimited Cultural Olympiad project in a seminar held at the Museu de Artes Moderne called 'Arte sem limites' (Art without Limits) and delivered reports tailored to each participating venue.

As part of the TRANSFORM 2016 project, Shape intends on helping the participating venues to prepare for the cultural and arts programming planned in the lead up to, and during the World Cup 2015 and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Shape would like to thank their trainers Zoe Partington and Barbara Lisicki, the UK British Council Brazil representatives and British Council São Paulo office, Paula Lopez Independent Producer for the Transform/Unlimited project, 'Happy Life' Accessible transport company in São Paulo the Transform project Partners, all the participating venues as well as the staff at Escola de Teatro SP; Museum de Arte Moderna (MAM) São Paulo and it's surroundings in Parque Iberapuera; Teatro Sergio Cardoso; Theatro São Pedro SESC Unidade Belenzhino SESC Pompeia; and the Secretariat of Culture of the Estate of São Paulo

Notes to Editors:

Shape is a disability-led arts organisation working to improve access to culture for disabled people. We develop opportunities for disabled artists, we train cultural institutions to be more open to disabled people, and we run participatory arts and development programmes. We aim for:

  1. More disabled people as arts audiences
  2. More disabled people employed in, and leading, the arts
  3. More disabled people participating in arts activities
  4. More high quality practice by disabled artists