Bee’s Story

Bee is one of our Access All Areas Young Producers. Read about their experience with being involved in the project below!

Hi my name is Bee, I’m 24, I’m queer, disabled and chronically ill and use she/they pronouns.

The Access All Areas project has been my first Blaze Arts project and I have had the most amazing experience so far. When I first saw the project advertised on social media I was so excited to see something for young disabled people like myself because I had never seen anything like it before local to the Preston area. As someone with an acquired physical disability, I had been struggling to meet with people similar to myself and was still trying to establish confidence in my identity as a disabled person however I have always been a very creative person and so the Access All Areas project was the perfect opportunity for me.

From the beginning of the project it was a room filled with voices passionate for different types of art, design and media ready to explore and create something of our own to share with the world. As well as the opportunity to socialise with peers, I was eager to experience the work and company of established disabled creatives throughout the project. From the introductory session to the final stages the project is now in, Access All Areas producer Helena and team have tailored the sessions to the needs, wants and preferences of participants like myself which has been incredibly empowering overall, even if terrifying at the beginning. I have both made and strengthened friendships within the group whilst networking with the artists from the Access All Areas project which has increased my confidence massively. After such a long time of being chronically ill and unemployed prior to this project, I finally found a spark of passion to start creating the content I had only ever fantasised about.

The AAA Blaze project pushed me to practise my digital design, writing, video and photo editing skills outside of the meetings as well as the social and personal development I was experiencing within the weekly sessions. We were taken on a trip to the People’s History Museum in Manchester to see an exhibition about disability rights and protest which was an incredible opportunity that I would not have been able to participate in were it not for this project.

Overall, the Access All Areas project has taken me on a journey of personal and professional discovery alongside the different artists and mediums that this Blaze Arts project introduced to me. I am brimming with excitement to present our own exhibit, fittingly named ‘Discovery: A journey through a unique perspective’ which will feature artwork from early career artists and participants from the project like myself.