I Am At Tate Exchange Festival 2019
A unique collaboration between D/deaf, disabled and neurodiverse young people, their schools, and A New Direction
I Am At Tate Exchange Festival is an ambitious partnership between A New Direction, Tate Exchange and 25 special schools from across London. The festival works to advocate for richer cultural opportunities for D/deaf, disabled and neurodiverse children and young people, while celebrating their creativity and making disability more visible in London’s cultural venues.
The 2019 festival took place from 26th-30th March on Level 5 of the Blavatnik Building, Tate Modern. Now in its third year, the 2019 festival explored the theme of 'Movement', with schools responding to the theme using their own creative interpretations.
The majority of the activity at the festival was devised and curated by students and teachers, and offered an insight into the vital role the arts play in special school education. The festival was open to the public, and we were delighted to welcome gallery visitors over the course of the week.
Spending time at A New Direction's I Am Festival impressed on me what a truly wonderful initiative it is. Over the past three years its team have built something which is equal parts inspirational, educational, impactful and joyful, while still remaining inclusive and accessible for all. Seeing so many young people - many of whom who had not been to Tate before - having the time of their lives has been such an amazing and humbling experience. In a time where increasing numbers of students with SEND are being forgotten, projects like the I Am Festival are only becoming more vital, and we at Tate are immensely proud to play our part in it.
- Frances Morris, Tate Modern Director
Highlights from the 2018 festival included sensory dance and drama workshops, spontaneous music making, free play using found materials and the first ever non-verbal 10 Minute Talk at Tate.