Breakthrough – 2023 Artists

Sam Brewer & Aarian Mehrabani (Sam, a white man with closely shaved blonde hair wears a pink and yellow floral blazer and grasps a very resolute Aarian. Aarian is a Middle Eastern man with slim build, clean shaven with short jet black quiffed hair. He is wearing a yellow jumper and denim dungarees).


For creatives who are ready to break into the mainstream. 

Breakthrough supports two deaf and/or disabled artists who are at the peak of their careers, and facing barriers preventing them breaking into the mainstream, with the goal of creating something small – and high quality.

Artists will receive a £6000 commission to produce a sample of professional quality work. This could be anything from a 5-minute scene from a play, a song, a showreel, a lighting portfolio or a short video – we want to nurture creativity and encourage exceptionalism.

2023 Breakthrough Artists

Adrian Lee Headshot. The image shows a white man holding a guitar. He is wearing a black beanie hat, black shirt and gilet and is smiling. His guitar is a brown natural wood colour with bronze and gold fittings and is slung over his shoulder. His right hand is curled over the strings. Behind him are some small narrow rectangular brightly coloured works of art against a white background.

Adrian Lee

Breakthrough Commission

Adrian’s Breakthrough project will help enable him to compose, perform and record a new piece on electric guitar for a site-specific venue and commission two short videos to help him promote his new concert programme which he aims to tour in 2024.


Adrian Lee is a blind composer / performer specialising in music for theatre, TV, and virtual reality including for Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal National Theatre, English Touring Theatre, BBC and Channel 4. In projects with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, RNIB, Paraorchestra and RNS Moves his work has increasingly focused on advancing access for disabled musicians. Hexagram is Adrian’s first solo project!

Jacqui is a black woman with black waist-length twists, She is wearing a green velvet tracksuit. She is sitting in her powered wheelchair and singing into a microphone with her eyes closed.

Miss Jacqui

Breakthrough Commission

I want to create a simple yet impactful music video to showcase that access doesn’t need to be a barrier and that I can hire the people to make my vision come to life, as well as it being a calling card. This will be a reintroduction to my music.


Jacqui has spent over 15+ years creating, performing, and advocating for change in different industries. Working with Graeae, Oily Cart, Theatre Royal Stratford East, National Youth Theatre, The Poetry Society, Bernie Grant Arts Centre, Battersea Arts Centre, Upswing, and More. A wheelchair user herself, Jacqui wants her work to help others engage the world and society differently and inspire others to feel confident in being themselves. Jacqui believes that creativity can be a universal language, she is devoted to exploring poetry, music, songwriting, and of course performing.

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