24 April 2014

The Sight Project: an initiative at the crossroads of disability, creativity and commercialisation

Enactus students at the university have been responsible for driving projects that tackle a range of social issues from education inequality to the integration and employability of refugees. One such project which has recently come to fruition is The Sight Project: an initiative at the crossroads of disability, creativity and commercialisation.

The Sight Project’s operations started last year, with the beginning of its three stage model. Starting with a series of workshops, artists with a disability are provided the environment to explore their creativity, as well as access to mentoring from professional artists in the community. The second stage involved the development of a business model where the artworks created during the workshops were leased out to cafes and businesses on a monthly basis to create dynamic public spaces celebrating disability and diversity.

The pilot run of the program recently entered its last phase with an exhibition displaying these works. Titled, “Time & Place”, the inaugural annual exhibition was displayed at The Verge Gallery on campus. Opened on the 4th April 2014, by Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir (Governor of NSW) and Professor Tyrone Carlin, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Registrar) the opening ceremony was certainly a celebration aimed to influence the social perception of disability for the better. The artwork was available for purchase through a silent auction, with all proceeds directly contributing to the income of the artists and reinvested back into the project.

In the coming months, the student volunteers are exploring exciting avenues of growth for this new social enterprise with the development of three streams of workshops to accommodate the demand of such initiatives. Workshop locations have been confirmed for The University of Sydney, Redfern and Homebush.

Joy Chen
Joy Chen is a Bachelor of Commerce / Bachelor of Arts student and part of the Enactus Student Leadership Team at The University of Sydney

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