Abuja International Arts Ability Festival 2019
- 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
It is the annual festival showcasing the works of the most talented and creative disabled people in Nigeria, the festival is in its third year, has become a major celebration for the disabled artist in Nigeria. The festival is used to celebrate the international day for persons with disabilities. The festival showcases work in visual arts, music, craft, and theatre performances. Disabled people come from all over Nigeria to attend the festival, and it is fast becoming a platform to advocate for the inclusion of disabled people in society.
The festival is presented annually by Potters Gallery Initiative, the festival is the only disabled-led festival in Nigeria and West Africa. In the past the festival has been supported by the British Council, US Embassy, CBM Germany, and Goethe Institute. The festival in the last three years has attracted more than 5000 visitors and has media coverage of over 2 million people in Nigeria.
The organization is also advocating for the inclusion of disability art in other festivals in Nigeria, presently the organization is discussing with the Abuja International Photo Festival to have a strong disability content in their festival.
Raising funds in Nigeria is becoming very difficult as major development aid organizations are witnessing a shrinking of their aid budget, and the civil society space in Nigeria is becoming very competitive.
Potters Gallery Initiative is exploring different avenues of raising funds to serve our members. We will increase our membership drive and develop a robust digital presence for our works and activities.
Event Theme: The Future is Accessible
Considering the number of applications and proposals received, it is a strong indication that there are many talents and creative minds waiting for expression among people with disabilities. The majority of the Disabled Artist performing have works of international standard that can be presented at any festival. It is evident that the majority had talent but no platform to help them showcase it, so for them, the festival is an opportunity to discover their talents. In the application process, we had more people showing a strong desire to perform and showcase, but
limited funds made it impossible.
Turn out at this year’s festival was very low compared to the previous ones. So many reasons could be responsible for this; this is the first time our festival is celebrated exactly on the 3 of December, which is the international day for persons with disabilities and there a lot of activities going on in Abuja the same day, including official government celebration. The disability was signed by the President this year, there are lots of engagement around the law and the urgent need to set up an implementation committee and the activities are happening at the same time.