Main content

History of AAM

We have held Accessible Arts and Media in high regard for many years. Skillful, talented and hardworking teachers and artists, who set high standards for themselves and others, raising the threshold of what can, and should be achieved with disabled people. Lynda Corker, The Children’s Society

Richard receives a Duke of York award at a ceremony

Accessible Arts and Media was formed in 2008 through the merger of two well established York based charities, Accessible Arts and Cube Media.

The Cube Media arm of the charity started life as York Film Workshop, set up by a group of women filmmakers in 1982 to run community film and media projects. Around 1990, York Film Workshop became The Old Dairy Studios and in 2002 the studios were re-branded as Cube Media.  Over the years, our community film and media projects have inspired thousands of people (lots of whom have gone on to work in film and media) and we're extremely proud of them.

Soon after re-branding as Cube Media in 2002, a trading company was set up to help generate additional funds to support our charitable work. This included running the Film and Media Production Company (Cube Media) that we still run today and a professional Recording Studio (Studio Cube, located at Shed Seven's former studio, Studio Seven).


Alan Hacker

The Accessible Arts arm of the charity was established in 1992 as the York branch of the Hull-based Artlink Exchange. Accessible Arts focused on disability arts projects and performances. In 1996 the charity became independent from the Exchange so that we could concentrate on our locally-based work and Accessible Arts was born. With the focus and support of our former patron, Alan Hacker, and national recognition for our high profile productions, we've consistently raised the bar for what disabled people can achieve and aspire to.

We were very lucky to be supported by an inspirational Patron, Alan Hacker OBE, the internationally renowned clarinetist, conductor and teacher. He died in 2012. In the 20 years that he was our Patron, Alan made a huge difference to Accessible Arts and Media and all our members by raising our profile and that of our disability projects. Alan kick-started and shaped our performances, with the first one resulting from a project with Alan, his wife Margaret and members of the Yearsley Bridge Centre. He helped us realize that we could and should push the boundaries.

As a disabled person himself, Alan understood only too well the difficulties of living and coping day-to-day with a disability - inspiring everyone not to accept second best. He always took time to get to know our members individually, helping to nurture their musical talents. This is what we will treasure and remember him for always. Thank you so much Alan! Rose Kent, Managing Director, Accessible Arts and Media

Listen to some of Alan's music.
Find out more about Alan Hacker.


Over the years we've received national and international acclaim for creating an innovative approach to singing and signing and making music more accessible.

In 2012, we received the Duke of York Community Initiative Award in recognition of making a difference to many people across our region.