Celebrate Diversity at Art Includes 2019

“'Includes' is my hope for a future where we have a society that includes the disabled community,” says festival founder Stevens Chan.

Art Includes 2019 is Malaysia’s first arts and disabilities festival. It’s set to take place from September 23 to 29 at RUANG by Think City.

In our talk with Stevens Chan, the man behind the festival, he expressed that the main mission of this festival is to highlight the need of inclusion despite diversities, be it among the abled or disabled communities. With the primary aim of raising funds to expand and scale up the Includes Academy, which supports and aids the disabled, Stevens also wishes to break the stereotype of disability through the festival’s programmes.

Themed ‘Celebrating Diversities’, the festival features an array of engaging events curated in collaboration with specially-abled personalities such as celebrated piano virtuoso; Dr Azariah Tan, Masterchef’s first visually-impaired winner; Chef Christine Ha, a notable radio veteran and voice actor; and Patrick Teoh, to name a few. Aside from showcasing their talents, these people are here to assist the Includes team in setting up their academy where Christine will be advising the cooking school for the disabled — aiming to assist them in being self-sustainable. “Many people were shocked to learn that Patrick is disabled. People know him because of his talent and profession. That’s the goal; I want people to recognize this community, not for their disabilities, but for their talents,” shares Stevens. He also hopes disabled children and youth learn that their disability is not a barrier to success.

The festival is one that we would recommend to everyone, but families especially. Not only is it perfect for family bonding, it also offers various programmes for both adults and children — keeping the mind open to diversity at every age.

For more information, visit the festival’s website.

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Stories of Resilience

If you’re one who enjoys a motivational TED talk, this is the programme that’s for you. A three-day conference, it features 10 renowned local and foreign artists and entrepreneurs — all aces in their respective fields, despite their limitations and the challenges they encountered. Limited seats are available, so get your tickets quick!

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