Born: 1994 | Coming to VA since: 2008
Artforms: Photography, ceramics
Proudest VA moment: “Working on the school project at Barlow Hall Primary. I showed the children how to make tiles with pictures on, and they showed their work in a ceramics exhibition.”
Amber Okpa Stother began her journey at Venture Arts when she joined our Young People’s Art Club over 10 years ago.
Amber is a brilliant artist, but as she has grown up, she’s become an inspirational leader too. She has a gift for communicating with people of all ages and backgrounds. She also has a strong sense of justice and fairness, and advocates for people with learning disabilities to be better included in culture and society.
Shortly after turning 18 she started to pass on her art skills to primary pupils on VA’s Schools Projects. And in response to some negative reactions from children at one school, she devised an assembly to teach children about learning disability, promoting understanding and acceptance.
It’s so important for young people to experience difference from an early age. Shockingly, 56% of disabled people report having experienced ‘hostility, aggression or violence from a stranger’ because of their disability (ComRes, 2011). In her work with schoolchildren, Amber helps to combat statistics like this.
During Amber’s time with VA, she has gone on to achieve many more great things. Here are just a few:
We at VA were so impressed by Amber’s communication and advocacy skills that we offered her a job last September as our Public Engagement Assistant. We were thrilled when she accepted the role. She now works on our reception and represents Venture Arts at events, and we feel incredibly lucky to have her.
By supporting Venture Arts, you can give Amber and others like her a platform to be seen, heard, and make a lasting difference to culture and society. We are a charity, and can only do this life-changing work thanks to people like you.
“Society should be more accepting of people and not assume they can’t do things… we need to celebrate difference and make sure that people recognise what great things people with disabilities can do.” – Amber Okpa Stother