FRONTLINE Arts Festival – Legacy Event #FAF2024

Join us this spring for the FRONTLINE Arts Festival – Legacy Event!

Join us at the wonderful Catalyst Building, Staffordshire University’s in Stoke-on-Trent for an arts symposium to celebrate and advocate for d/Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent artists. It’s set to be an exciting day of performances, panel discussions, and connecting.

FRONTLINE Arts Festival – Legacy Event takes place:

Date: Thursday 28th March 2024

Time: Arrive for refreshments from 9.30am, with the first session starting promptly at 10.15am. The event lasts until 5pm. Lunch will be provided by FRONTLINEdance.

Location: The Catalyst Building, Staffordshire University, Leek Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 2DF UK. FREE PARKING

Tickets can be booked at:

The festival is ‘pay as you can’, meaning you can select your chosen donation amount when booking, or select a FREE

Showcasing the talent of UK disabled artists, #FAF2024l will include a range of performances, including spoken word, music and poetry, and the premieres of two of FRONTLINEdance’s commissioned films. There will also be the chance to connect with local d/Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent charities, hear from #FAF2024 commissioned artists, a ‘Pitch & Mix’ speed networking session, and engaging panel discussions.

We’ll be sharing the full programme for the day soon – highlights include:

  • Welcome from Rachael Lines, FRONTLINEdance’s Artistic Director, and Kelsie Acton. Kelsie is a neurodivergent access consultant, researcher and choreographer, and is currently the Inclusive Practice Manager at Battersea Arts Centre, the world’s first Relaxed Venue.
  • Panel chaired by Kelsie with a mix of emerging and established d/Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent artists from a range of creative disciplines. They’ll be discussing pertinent and urgent questions about the reality of working as a disabled artist, about their creative practice, and how audiences receive their work. There will be an opportunity for the audience to get involved and contribute to the conversation too.
  • Find out how FRONTLINEdance associate artist Kayleigh Price and filmmaker Jay Gearing, two neurodivergent artists have collaborated to create a timely screen dance film. They’ll talk about their creative process, and then we will premiere the screen dance film before it tours film festivals nationally. Following the premiere, we’re excited to share a shorter film that Kayleigh and Jay made with FRONTLINEdance’s community groups.
  • A presentation with the sculpture artist James Lake, who has been commissioned by FRONTLINEdance. He’ll be joined by dance artists Welly O’Brien and Victoria Fox-Markiewicz, who are working with James on a paid residency, where they’ll share what they’ve done so far and what they hope to achieve.
  • Listen to pitches from emerging and established d/Deaf and disabled artists
  • Take part in our ‘Mix’ speed networking event – a structured form of networking where you’ll get to connect with the artists who have pitched, other artists, funders, venues, and leaders of local d/Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent charities
  • Throughout the day, we’ll be making the most of the screens in the Catalyst building to show films and documentaries by disabled artists and companies. There will also be poetry, spoken word and musical performances to enjoy.
  • Meet with local d/Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent charities to network and find opportunities to work together.
  • There will be lots of opportunities to connect with others, whether that’s catching up with existing contacts or meeting new people. This can be done during free time, or facilitated breakout sessions.    


The Catalyst is fully wheelchair accessible, on the ground floor, and has disabled parking close by*

BSL interpretation

Audio description (please select as a ticket add-on when booking so we can ensure we have enough headsets)

Chill out room

Bean bags  to sit or lie down

Voice-to-text captions

Visual Illustration

Sighted Guides

Touch tours & visual tours (times and more information to follow)

*Parking does get very busy at the University. We’ll give you a number to call a little nearer to the time if you experience any issues parking on the day.

If you require any further access information or support, please email so we can put it in place for you ahead of the festival.

#FAF2024 is open to all, and is set to be an exciting opportunity to experience new work and join in discussions about creativity and the arts. We look forward to seeing you there!

Can’t make it? We’d be grateful if you could share our event with anyone who you think might be interested. You can also share and tag us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the handle @frontlinedance1

FRONTLINEdance is appreciative to be working in partnership with Appetite, New Vic Theatre and Staffordshire University to make FRONTLINE Arts Festival  – the legacy event happen.

#FAF2024 is made possible thanks to our partners/funders Appetite, Staffordshire University & The New Vic Theatre. FRONTLINEdance are an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation, which means funding thanks to taxpayers plays a huge part in supporting our work.

Volunteering at #FAF2024

We’re looking for volunteers to get involved!  Roles will include stewarding and event support, to help make sure the day is enjoyable and engaging for everyone. We’re also interested in hearing from volunteers who’d like to help creatively document the day, whether snapping photos, penning poetry, or filming the action.

If you’re interested in volunteering, please drop us an email at to have a chat about how you can get involved. 

‘What’s all the FAF about?’ project

‘What’s all the FAF about?’ is a four-month awareness-raising project from FRONTLINEdance that started in November last year, culminating in the day-long festival that will highlight the creativity and skills of d/Deaf, disabled, and neurodivergent artists.

FAF aims to increase the number of d/Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent artists working, commissioned, and showcased in Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire, along with working for a national and international reach. The whole project brokers and supports relationships between programmers, producers, venues and disabled artists.

FRONTLINEdance Advocacy, Access and Inclusion

From first-hand experience, FRONTLINEdance knows that it is imperative that Stoke-on-Trent-based arts and cultural providers do better at addressing equity for d/DEAF and disabled people. 

We have over twenty-one years of experience, challenges, and improvements to ensure that our participatory arts and performance work is accessible and inclusive. 

Our goal to support the lives of local d/DEAF, disabled people and neurodivergent people aligned with the City Council’s and so in 2019 felt the time was right to better support others in doing the same.  

FRONTLINEdance offers to help all local arts and cultural organisations and venues.

“We are very lucky in Stoke to have someone like Rachael advocating for d/DEAF, disabled and neurodivergent artists, audiences, producers etc. Moving the conversation forward. Holding us all to account on this issue and supporting us to learn, to do better. We don’t underestimate how much time, effort and energy that takes”.

We work closely with DEAFvibes, Staffordshire Sight Loss, dDeaf Links members to make sure we get it right.

We follow the social model of disability. Unsure what this then watch this great animation by Shape Arts

To find out more in general of what others are doing and what you can do visit unlimited

Contact Us to find out how we can help you too!

FRONTLINEdance – DLG sub-hub conveyor

In July 2023 FRONTLINEdance became Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire’s Dance Leaders Group (DLG)*, sub-hub conveyer.

We want to use this opportunity to re-create the Staffordshire Dance Collective (SDC), to support the needs of the local professional dance community. By bringing dance artists together, and providing a platform to share, support, and motivate, our aim is to make the dance sector in Staffordshire an inclusive, thriving, and creative one!

To find out more about our plans, the networking events and training opportunities contact

To find out more about the DLG visit its website

a gallery of four small images with text boxes to the right side. 
Top Left: a female kneeling on a pilates mat, accompanied by the text "Pilates with Helen Yeomans, Tuesday 6th February 2024, 10am - 12:15pm."
Top Right: audience members seated in a dark theatre accompanied by the text "Funding Training with Arts Council, Friday 23rd February 2024, 11:30am - 2:30pm"
Bottom Left: Two dancers are face to face holding hands in a library, accompanied by the text "How to Build a Sustainable Career, Monday 19th March 2024, 10am - 1pm"
Bottom Right: A female wearing a long black and white dress, and a BSL interpretor in front of audience members, accompanied by the text "FRONTLINE Arts Festival, Friday 28th March 2024, 10am - 5pm"
Above and to the left is the text "Staffordshire Dance Collective, SAVE THE DATES - SPRING 2024 NETWORKING & CONSULTATION MEETINGS." Bottom left is FRONTLINEdance logo, and top right Dance Leaders Group logo.


We support schools to ensure inclusive dance is an option. We do a range of work including delivery, CPD / INSET, special one-off projects.

Dance = Limitless Value from River Rea Films on Vimeo.

These groups include:

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