Artist Opportunities

Radical Access

What is Radical Access?

Radical Access is our next big, ambitious move towards universal access. A ten-year social change project between Melbourne Fringe and our amazing partners at Arts Access Victoria, this game-changing program imagines a radical version of best practice accessibility for the independent arts sector and moves the conversation beyond the provision of access services into cultural equity.

Radical Access is a provocation for change and a call for accelerated action. We’re talking commissioning bold new work by d/Deaf and Disabled artists, providing R&D opportunities for artists who identify as d/Deaf or Disabled, running a series of workshops, masterclasses, mentorships and of course, employment opportunities for d/Deaf and Disabled artworkers. All of this with the aim to significantly increase access and inclusion for d/Deaf and Disabled artists across the independent arts sector.

d/Deaf and Disabled artists are vital contributors to Australia’s arts and culture, with unique perspectives on lived experiences that challenge and redefine aesthetics. But even still, artists with disability earn less than half the income of their non-disabled colleagues. Radical Access seeks to close that gap and have real impact on the lives and careers of all independent artists, artworkers and audiences.

What do we aim to achieve? 

The first phase (2022-2025) of Radical Access includes:

  • Creating structures and resources to support artists who are d/Deaf or Disabled to be the drivers of change
  • Increasing the visibility of d/Deaf or Disabled artists into mainstream cultural life
  • Developing empowered, skilled and knowledgeable artists, arts workers and participants
  • Offering year-round opportunities for d/Deaf and Disabled artists to develop and present their work
What are we doing?   

Supporting artworkers through jobs at Fringe 

  • Create identified employment positions at Melbourne Fringe for d/Deaf and Disabled arts workers, including leadership development through customized professional development programs.

Support artists through an exciting series of new program and projects 

  • Offer large commissioning fees for mid-career d/Deaf and Disabled artists to present high quality outcomes at the Melbourne Fringe Festival
  • Provide Creative Development fees for d/Deaf and Disabled artists to generate new ideas
  • Provide professional development and mentoring for d/Deaf and Disabled artists
  • Create Community connections for d/Deaf and Disabled artists and arts workers
  • Support Sector Development through conversations and training to influence the practice of the sector including delivering a program of workshops and forums centred on the idea of Aesthetic Access, embedding access into the creative and producing process.

Building new audiences  

  • Establish a paid Radical Access Advisory Panel to connect the program with the d/Deaf and Disability communities, advise on accessible marketing practices, contribute to the Access Fund selection process, consult and contribute towards the ten-year vision of Radical Access
  • Develop Accessible marketing strategies and facilitate Access Services for d/Deaf and Disabled audiences
  • Establish an annual $20,000 Access Fund to distribute funds to support Fringe shows to be accessible

In each area of this program, we’ll be providing accessibility as part of our delivery.

Radical Access will be a game-changer for Melbourne Fringe, our artists and the independent arts sector. For more information on how Radical Access contributes to Melbourne Fringe vision of a more accessible and inclusive organisation, please check out our Deaf and Disability Action Plan here.

For more information on the program, please feel free to email our Program Manager (Sector Leadership), Kin Francis (they/them), at or give them a call on 03 9660 9600.

Radical Questions: The Future of Accessibility in the Arts

This is the first event under the Radical Access program. Watch the online discussion here, which is less of a Q&A and more of a Q&Q as we set our sights on the next decade of striving towards universal access in the arts.

This panel includes Caroline Bowditch (CEO of Arts Access Victoria), Carly Findlay (Access Advisor at Melbourne Fringe), Madeleine Little (Director of Undercover Artist Festival) and Joshua Pether (independent artist), and they  deliver industry-leading insights on the future of access and inclusion in the arts.

Radical Access Partners


Program Partner