It's been 25 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990. The National Endowment for the Arts focused their most recent issue exploring the arts and disabilities. I'll be reading/rereading this issue over the next few days, mining the articles for ideas and looking for people to learn more about.
In the issue:
- Imagining What Disability Actually Is. A look at the DisArt Festival in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The festival focuses on visual arts inspired by and created by those with disabilities but also clothing created for people with disabilities. Imaging What Disability Actually Is was written by Victoria Hutter. If you're interested in this topic, consider reexamining the work of Frida Kahlo.
- Another Set of Hands. Matheny Medical and Educational Center’s Arts Access Program explores what it is like to have another set of hands realize your vision. Another Set of Hands was written by Rebecca Gross. If you're interested in this topic, consider learning more about Patrick O'Brien and his film Transfatty Lives.
- Solutions to Change People’s Lives. Michael Graves is famous for his beautiful design and his desire to make beautifully designed objects a part of our everyday lives. This article explores how he began to design for his later years disability as well as his legacy. Solutions to Change People's Lives is written by Rebecca Gross. I often write about designing for the fringe. I do this because I know that designing for the fringe is actually just designing for another version of ourselves.
- Confident Voices Take Center Stage. Stuttering Association for the Young’s Theater Program by Michael Gallant. This article shows how students are using the arts to help cope with something that makes them different, but also the benefit of finding others who are like you. I've witnessed the value of being with likeminded folks through the Born Just Right Community. Our family saw the importance of expressing yourself through art as our aunt, a brilliant artist, continued to reinvent herself as an artist while living with dementia.
- Touch and See. Accessibility Programs for People with Vision Impairments at the Art Institute of Chicago by Paulette Beete. I've written a lot about what it is like to go through the world without full visual capabilities and am continually learning more about this way of life.
There is so much to explore in this issue it is almost overwhelming. Looking forward to learning more and thoroughly reading the issue. Thanks NEA for highlighting something so important.