Artlink West Yorkshire was proud to be part of the BEYOND Festival in 2016.  We held an exhibition of photographs from Get Started at Room 700 (Leeds Central Library) and launched the festival with workshops and performances with participants and support workers from across the project.  Get Started was Artlink’s flagship project from 2014 – 2017, working creatively with over 100 adults with learning disabilities across 10 sites in Leeds together with professional artists who encompassed a diverse range of creative media.  The project was funded by The Big Lottery Fund Grant, Reaching Communities.  The launch of BEYOND saw the first public performance by the LiLAC group of their work ‘Life Forecast’ which was part of international artist David Shearing’s immersive arts installation, ‘The Weather Café’, based on The Headrow.  Although nervous, the group performed brilliantly and it buoyed them up for the various performances which followed.   Throughout all of these performances, the group were supported by creative writer and performer, Becky Cherriman, one of Artlink’s artists.  We also saw a number of Get Started participants attend a variety of events across the festival, we hope to see it become a key highlight on people’s calendars for years to come.

Artlink’s Director, Sylvie Fourcin summed up the launch with these words,

‘The BEYOND Launch at Room 700 was a wonderful opportunity for people attending day centres to participate in an artistic activity at a city centre location.  It was a great event with a lovely atmosphere of warmth and inclusion.  Roll on next year for something bigger and better!’