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Will Longden

JOS voluntary project arose from a moment of acute 'perturbation', at the self-evident lack of provision afforded severely and multiply disabled people at a day care facility. This 'heightened emotional experience' provoked further research that indicated this to be a common occurrence, and inspired me to found JOS as a means of enhancing and improving disability care provision and awareness. JOS devises and provides regular inclusive arts based projects, trainings and workshops to enhance the creative facilitation primarily of disabled people, and subsequently, of carers, volunteers and communities towards increased inclusion and wellbeing.

After 10 years of gradual proliferation, the engagement of over 700 volunteers, and thousands of workshop and event attendances, JOS has gained an exemplary reputation for its 'inclusive' approaches, locally, nationally and internationally.

My PhD practice based research into the 'bespoke design of acoustic music instruments for disabled players' illustrates the potency of 'arts intervention' as a powerful means towards personal and social change. By focusing on the generally unacknowledged potentials of disabled and marginalized people as generative co-learners and co-creators, my project illustrates the vital and vitalizing effect of inclusive arts practice as a trans-disciplinary and transformative medium. My presentation/s and inclusive workshop/s can be tailored to fit situationally.

My experience spans 45 years of active engagement as an artist, motivated by and rooted in social activism, via the medium of 'community based arts'. Having systematically explored my physiological self through practice, I continue my researched and collaborations internationally forwarding my experiential and contextual knowledge working with established practitioners. Noted as a 'serial social entrepreneur' by the 'Millennium Commission', I have instigated many successful social arts projects across a broad range of concerns including, mental health, environmental arts, disability arts, education, prisons, festival and therapeutic arts, etc. My intent is to practice and promote arts practice towards increased personal, social and environmental well-being.

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