It is said that "those who can, do. Those who can't, teach." I disagree with this whole heartedly! It is my opinion that one of the greatest ways to promote artists with disabilities is to have them teach art. I personally am not a fan of being labeled as an artist with a disability, because art is my primary therapy for overcoming said disability, and I know that isn't possible for all artists, but why make a special ...more »
5. Success Stories and Positive change
We are interested in hearing your success stories and the positive changes that you’ve seen over the past 10 years in the arts for people with disabilities. What can we learn from these changes?
When you are ready to share your ideas click the Submit New Idea Button on the right to join the conversation!
In 2010 VSA International put together a wonderful and empowering exhibition of artists with disabilities at the Smithsonian International in Washington D.C. The exhibition design was done by famous designer with a disability, Michael Graves. My artwork was selected for this show along with many others. Being part of that exhibition did more for my art and morale. It gave artists with disabilities a voice and in an important ...more »
Seeing is believing. Even today, there is not easy access to art made by people with disabilities (film, television, literature, art, dance, even comic books!). It isn't in textbooks, it isn't on television. There is no "collection" or history to show that we do exist and do create and that it IS a viable option for a career. Not a solution, just a problem/question - Is there a way to highlight the "greatest" and make ...more »
Lobby for a new "Federal Art Project" like the Great Depression-era Works Progress Administration. The New Deal program was funded under the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935. Jackson Pollock got his start under that program. "One particular success was the Milwaukee Handicraft Project, which started in 1935 as an experiment that employed 900 people who were classified as unemployable due to their age or disability.:164 ...more »
The Museum Accessibility Consortia (MAC) in New York should be replicated in rural locations. MAC is a great resource for inclusive programing.
In 1985 (?), I was contacted by Jim Dickson of the National Organization on Disability to perform at a protest rally against the FDR Memorial Commissions' decision to omit images of FDR in his wheelchair, I composed the song, 'FDR in a Wheelchair' that assisted with getting the momentum to encourage the U.S. Congress to come up with funding for a second statue that now displays FDR in his White House wheelchair. Music, ...more »
Launching the careers of artists requires those who can "keep the books"...one way of promoting careers for those with disabilities is to hire those with autism to keep the books for Art Galleries, and Art Events. Here's some references: Companies Are Hiring Autistic Workers to Boost the Bottom Line http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2014/03/28/autism_at_work_companies_like_sap_and_freddie_mac_are_hiring_people_with.html ...more »
As we all know, businesses and event hosts everywhere are often requested to accommodate special requests, and that it's expensive and/or time consuming to accommodate. Many refuse to do so when they find out what it will cost, or says they don't have the time. Recently, I calculated that up to 34% of the population in the United States alone have a disability, food allergy, or speaks/signs a different language. We ...more »
Last year Deaf West Theater went to Broadway with its version (deaf and non-deaf) of the musical "Spring Awakening." Not only was this in itself a cause for celebration, but the cast featured the FIRST wheelchair actress to hit Broadway. The show was nominated for a Tony Award and may tour the country. The only down side to this is that Deaf West has again succeeded with an adaptation. The deaf community needs to tell ...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.
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 »
10 Years ago a gallery/studio was founded in the heart of Dumbo Brooklyn, in a storefront on the main street by The League school, who since was priced out of having a headquarters in this very now expensive neighborhood. Many of the residents, artists, celebrities consider LAND an institution and add to their collections frequently. LAND artists have been featured at the Moma, art fairs, exhibitions and written about ...more »