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A not-for-profit arts organization has extended its deadline for submissions for an upcoming show.

Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba seeks "to facilitate a network of artists and stakeholders from both the arts and disability communities." Their goal is inclusivity, breaking down barriers to artists and audiences, and that means pretty much anyone is welcome to become a member, including non-disabled people. 

"We're totally diverse and inclusive," says executive director Loricia Matheson. "It's about inclusively, so it can be somebody from Deaf culture, it could be somebody that is dealing with Mad art-- somebody who is, you know, having psychological, emotional, mental challenges--, and then there's physical disability... and some people, like myself, I do art about disability."

Membership is free, with Matheson citing economic barriers as one reason for that.

AANM believes Art and Disability Culture will be a major "shaping force" of this century, and says it's excited to be in the forefront of it. The organization began in 2008 under a different name, and has experienced some growth of late. In October, it got its first full-time office location at 329 Cumberland Avenue.artaccess loricia jan3Loricia Matheson working at the AANM office

Chairperson Susan Lamberd says more people are subscribing to their newsletter and there's a lot more happening at AANM.

"Things are really rolling along and we're getting more grants, more grant money, and I can see us getting our charitable number now, I can see us getting core funding; you know, I can see things like that happening," says Lamberd.

AANM is having a members showcase at the Edge Gallery in March as part of its EXPOSED series. The deadline for submissions has been extended to this Saturday, though Matheson says there's wiggle room (just let them know you're interested). Matheson says the new office is part of the reason they've extended the deadline. As for the Exposed theme, that's pretty open-ended.

"It can be work that they've done before, or if they want to make something new. It can be about their artwork, it can be something that's thematic, like I have one gentleman, you know, he does a lot of farm scenes so (his submission) is kind of about the weather and being exposed to the elements," says Matheson.

The show opens March 23rd and runs until April 3rd.

AANM continues to look for board members and volunteers, as well.

You can learn more about them here.