Artists First, a nonprofit in St. Louis, Missouri has successfully implemented an arts based career development program, Lifeworks. This guided self-employment program gives professionally minded artists with disabilities the chance to create art as a career. Artists First staff facilitates financial independence for the participants by vigorously seeking out opportunities to display, market and sell participants' artwork. ...more »
Here is a verse from the song, 'I Carry On' that I have composed that I would like to get out to more media outlets:
"Taking twice as long to plan
Makes me no less of a man
Do you blame a blind man
Because he cannot see
Some people go to such great lengths
To notice everything but strengths
I guess this might be their
Hi, my topic is a bit different, but I hope it's welcome here. I have cerebral palsy and use a power wheelchair. I am not an artist myself, but I'm interested in working on the business side of the arts field. I particularly enjoy working with musicians and actors, and would love to be a manager or publicist. I have found this to be more challenging than I expected! I've developed some skills and experience working with ...more »
I run a career development program for artists with disabilities at the non-profit organization Arts Unbound in Orange, New Jersey. Our program is free and open to anyone living with a developmental disability, physical disability or mental illness. We assist artists with putting together their portfolio, photographing their work, writing an artist statement, building a web site, applying for exhibitions, and marketing ...more »
Generations of supported employment and vocational rehab specialists have been taught to ignore the records, just meet with a person and get an impression of what they like, then using that impression, place them into a position -near- to what they like. But these positions tend to persist in being part of the 5 F's - filing, food, flowers, filth, and folding. The agencies get paid as long as the person is employed, ...more »
Look at the program(s) that A Place To Be in Middleburg, VA has put together. They have put together an amazing project called "The Same Sky Project" that tells the story of 20 or so individuals with varying disabilities and how they have embraced these but the disability has not defiined them. It is such a powerful and inspiring story.
Music Therapy is so beneficial to anyone dealing with a disability and especially those with any mental health issues. I have seen first hand how empowering it is for people to get their stories out through music and the arts.
We need to address the proverbial elephant in the room. Disability Benefits. We all look at things due to disability benefits and deathly afraid if we do something what consider a living we lose the benefits. It is time that we consider how Social Security is done by the community and look at programs such as PASS and ABLE accounts. These programs are not the fix people believe and eventually the problems will reappear. ...more »
I lead an arts consortium called Bodies of Work: A Network of Disability Art and Culture in Chicago. Our mission is to support the development of work that illuminates the disability experience in imaginative and unexpected ways. As I try to network, the difficulty is literally finding trained artists with disabilities (or those who are artists who seek professional development). In my role as director, I'm often asked ...more »
Galleries and Exhibitions function as support structures for artists but also as educational components for the public and visitors. When possible traveling exhibitions should seek to include local/regional artists with public panel presentations and discussions.
Benefits planning is also critical for artists with disabilities who might access SSI/SSDI. We need to be able to figure how much we can make and still keep our benefits, how much we need to make to be able to afford to get off our benefits. We need to have a tight handle on our healthcare and health options should we be able to afford to get off of SSI. We need to understand our safety net. Also, new pieces like the ...more »
Working artists with disabilities have developed varying marketing skills, methods of making art, and business management expertise. Creating and faciliating a series of webinars on 'Making, Marketing and Managing' will tap this energy and expertise for peer mentoring and exchanges. Being live sessions with audio and video with closed captions generates a sense of community and connection. A 'menu' of topics could ...more »