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Community and Internet Resources


Arts and Culture: Arts Organizations


International
National

State Listings
CA / FL / GA / IL / MN / MO / NJ / OR / PA / WI
(Official USPS State Abbreviations)


International

Mouth and Foot Painting Artists of the World MFPA present themselves to the public through a short biography and selection of their work. The MFPA supports up-and-coming mouth or foot painting artists by granting scholarships. Located in the Principality of Liechtenstein, the site is available in a variety of languages.

International Guild of Disabled Artists and Performers (IGODAP) is a leading voice in the promotion of disability arts and culture worldwide. A collective of artists and performers who identify as being disabled or having a disability, its members are professional and amateur artists and performers of all genres. They include visual artists, screen and stage actors, dancers, comedians and humorists, musicians, singers, speakers, poets, writers, producers, directors and others working in the arts and entertainment industries. They experience physical, intellectual or learning disablement, mental illness, or a combination. In addition the Guild offers membership to those individuals and organizations who are involved in or supportive of disability art and performance.

New Sign The Kennedy Center - Department of Very Special Arts and Accessibility, (VSA) the international organization on arts and disability, was founded more than 35 years ago by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith to provide arts and education opportunities for people with disabilities and increase access to the arts for all. With 52 international affiliates and a network of nationwide affiliates, VSA is providing arts and education programming for youth and adults with disabilities around the world. VSA offers opportunities for students, teachers, and artists to participate in annual programs, including the Playwright Discovery Program, International Young Soloists Program, and calls for visual art and resources on accessibility. Each year, 7 million people of all ages and abilities participate in VSA programs, in every aspect of the arts – from visual arts, performing arts, to the literary arts. Four principles guide VSA programs and affiliates: Every young person with a disability deserves access to high quality arts learning experiences. All artists in schools and art educators should be prepared to include students with disabilities in their instruction. All children, youth, and adults with disabilities should have complete access to cultural facilities and activities. All individuals with disabilities who aspire to careers in the arts should have the opportunity to develop appropriate skills.


National

New Sign Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts is the nation’s leading advocate for full diversity as a key to the vitality and dynamism of American theatre, film, and television. They promote authentic dialogue about race, culture, and disability that embraces the complexity of underlying social and historical issues. Principal programs include the Advocacy, Consulting and Information Program; the Disability Initiative, which includes Disability in Entertainment and Arts Link (DEAL); and the National Diversity Forum. Through these activities, Inclusion in the Arts has become the primary catalyst for and facilitator of increased diversity and inclusion on a national level. Their website lists opportunities for performing artists, Opinion Pieces request from leaders in the field of diversity and inclusion, and other resources including an excellent glossary of disability terms on their Deal program pages.

New Sign Americans for the Arts: Engaging And Welcoming People With Disabilities To Our Arts Organizations This webinar explores misconceptions, assumptions and fears we have about disability. If we want to welcome people with disabilities to our arts organizations, then we need to better understand the barriers they encounter, the attitudes they face and other issues that prevent their full participation. This webinar will consider disability from a community/multi-cultural perspective, providing suggestions on how to create relationships with different segments of the disability community. You must login to view webinar.

New Sign Arts Midwest- Accessibility provides resources for art organizations to assist them to make their organization more accessible to people with disabilities. Find laws, handbooks and checklists for your art organization.

Disabled Artists Network is a large network of independent self employed disabled artists. The organization offers technical assistance and no start up fee to assist disabled artists to place their artwork on-line. If an artist sells their work then a commission is charged. This organization offers a great opportunity for the artist who is just starting to sell their work. You may buy art directly from the artist. This site promotes Disability Arts and Organizations involved in new research, treatments, and cures for disabling conditions.

New Sign Down Syndrome in Arts and Media Online Service to Locate Talent with Developmental Disabilities. DSiAM is the passion project of Gail Williamson a well-known advocate for performers with disabilities. Gail is employed by Kazarian, Measures, Ruskin and Associates Talent Agency (KMR) in Studio City, CA. She works in their diversity department representing actors and models with diverse disabilities. KMR Diversity clients have appeared on PARENTHOOD, GLEE, NCIS, AMERICAN HORROR STORY, GOOD LUCK CHARLIE, SIGNED-SEALED & DELIVERED and more.

New Sign ReelAbilities Film Festival brings together the community to promote awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with different abilities. ReelAbilities Film Festival showcases films, conversations and artistic programs to explore, embrace, and celebrate the diversity of our shared human experience.

The U.S. Handicapable Square Dance Association sponsored the First U.S. Handicapable Square Dance Convention in 1988. This Convention was held in Chickasaw, Alabama (a suburb of Mobile, Al). The Convention was started to bring Handicapable Clubs together for a convention planned exclusively for them. The majority of the dancers consist of mentally retarded people from young adults to senior citizens. They also have wheelchair clubs of non-retarded adults who attended our first two conventions, and remain in close contact with our organization. Anyone who enjoys square dancing and having a good time is welcomed into their clubs. Friends, families, and interested people provide support and participate in our activities. The conventions are now held every other year. The U.S.H. Convention is held on the fourth Friday & Saturday of July (in even numbered years). However, sometimes they have had to move the convention up or back a week in order to get facilities. For more information email: ush@ushandicapable.org


State Listings


California

New Sign National Arts and Disability Center (NADC) is a leading consultant in the arts and disability community, and the only center of its kind. Their information is aimed at artists with disabilities, arts organizations, arts administrators, disability organizations, performing arts organizations, art centers, universities, and arts educators. The NADC is a program of the Tarjan Center at the University of California, Los Angeles - Semel Institute. Its programs are supported by UCLA and federal, state, and private grants and contracts. The mission of the (NADC) is to promote the full inclusion of audiences and artists with disabilities into all facets of the arts community. The information, technical assistance, and evaluation services of the NADC aim to: 1. Strengthen the capacity of the mainstream arts community to include artists and audiences with disabilities, and 2. promote the professional development of artists with disabilities through access to educational, vocational and community activities, suppprts and networks. There is a directory of California Artists and grant opportunities for artists with disabiities and art organizations who serve artists with disabilities.


Florida

New Sign The ArtThread Foundation makes art and creative expression more available to those impacted by illness, physical limitations, or social consequence. The Foundation partners with other non-profits to help them fulfill their mission by providing empowering tools for people to communicate via art. For more information contact them at 4104 Alpine Dr., Gainesville, FL 32605, or Phone: (352) 256-6351.


Georgia

New Sign VSA arts of Georgia, Inc has been in the community for more than 40 years. They work with artists and organizations to fulfill our vision of an inclusive community that encourages everyone to enjoy and participate in the arts. They help provide access to the arts for people with disabilities and those living with low income. VSA arts of Georgia, Inc. believes that regular access to arts and culture are essential to a life fully lived, and that all the arts are for all the people, all the time. Arts for All Gallery is a program of VSA arts of Georgia that brings the work of artists with disabilities to the patron public. They do this by sponsoring artists at Mason Fine Art, our for-profit location partner and by arranging exhibits and partnerships around the state. If you are an artist interested in working with them, visit their application online. VSA arts of Georgia is located at 415 Plasters Avenue NE, Suite 100, Atlanta, GA 30324 or Phone: 1-404-221-1270.


Illinois

New Sign The Arts of Life advances the creative arts community by providing artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities a collective space to expand their practice and strengthen their leadership. Creating. Sharing. Growing. Chicago Studio, 2010 W Carroll Ave, Chicago, IL 60612, or Phone (312) 829-2787. North Shore Studio, 1963 Johns Drive, Glenview, IL 60025, or Phone (847) 486-0808.


Minnesota

New Sign Upstream Arts uses the power of the creative arts to activate and amplify the voice and choice of individuals with disabilities. They will change mindsets about ability and disability and promote more connected and engaged communities by increasing intentional opportunities for shared creative experiences. Contact them at Upstream Arts, Inc., 3501 Chicago Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55407, phone (612) 331-4584 or send email to: info@upstreamarts.org

New Sign Connect WC: Activities provides information about several art organizations (including art, dance, music, theatre and meaningful play) in Washington County, Minnesota. Connect WC (Washington County, Minnesota) sponsors this page and is a place for self-advocates, families, friends and community members. They connect self-advocates, parents, guardians, caregivers, family and other interested community members to create inclusive and meaningful civic and daytime activities, employment opportunities, and community experiences with people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) through partnerships with existing service providers and nonprofit organizations.

New Sign VSA Minnesota provides services, information and occasional funding opportunities to artists with disabilities living in the state who seek to advance their artistic pursuits. This includes: Exhibiting opportunities; Performing opportunities; Emerging Artist Grant Program; Referral to groups of artists with disabilities around the state; Referral to organizations that provide arts programming for individuals with disabilities. In addition, VSA Minnesota publishes news relevant to and about artists with disabilities. VSA Minnesota is not a space where artists with disabilities come to do their work. Rather, it is a center of information and resources that people can access through a phone call, email message or office visit. Staff are ready to assist individuals who are active in visual arts, music, writing, acting, dance and photography.


Missouri

The Disability Project is an ensemble that engages in conversation, writing, sound, movement and theatrical exercises to develop performance material around the culture of disability. With both disabled and non-disabled participants, from 18-70 years of age, the Project endeavors to empower individuals, honor their stories, spark imaginations, foster community and enhance public awareness about disability. Some of the challenges facing the participants have included spinal cord injury, blindness, Spina Bifida, Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, AIDS, alcoholism, asthma, epilepsy, cancer, Polio, stroke, amputation and depression. They meet most Saturday mornings from 10am to 1pm at The Washington University School of Medicine Program in Occupational Therapy, 4444 Forest Park Blvd., in the Central West End. For more information about this or any other at Uppity Theatre Company production,4466 West Pine Blvd., Suite 13C, St. Louis, Missouri 63108, or Phone: 314.995.4600, Fax: 314.534.6591 or please e-mail Director@UppityCo.com.


New Jersey

Artistic Realization Technologies (A.R.T.) is a non-profit organization that create systems that enable the uncompromised creative self-expression of people with the most severe physical challenges. Most of their clients do not speak or have the use of their hands. As a consequence, their thoughts and feelings remain locked within. The key to their liberation lies in the power of Art, not as therapy or recreation, but as a critical means of articulate self-expression. For the past six years, A.R.T. has developed and tested tools and techniques that allow a person with the most minimal ability to move to create subtle, exacting works of art. Their systems currently include drawing, painting, sculpture, and photography. Carefully trained studio facilitators, "trackers, act as neutral arms, executing the visions of the physically challenged through laser-guided tracking and other exacting technologies. Clients indicate precise selections concerning tools, materials and placement of these materials, and trackers follow these directions with absolute fidelity. The works produced are sophisticated, rich and stylistically consistent. The high quality of the art has been recognized through numerous exhibits and awards, and garnered national media attention. To contact Artistic Realization Technologies write to 11 Whippoorwill Way, Belle Mead, NJ 08502, call (908) 359-3098, fax (908) 359-9206 or email at info@artrealization.org


Oregon

New Sign Disability Art and Culture Project (DACP) is to further the artistic expression of people with both apparent and non-apparent disabilities. They view disability as a natural and valuable variation of the human form. They believe affirmative disability identity is intertwined with racial, gender, social, and economic justice. DACP accomplishes this mission by supporting the creative expression of people with disabilities. DACP utilizes the performing arts as a method of examining disability in relation to society. DACP also supports established and emerging artists, as well as the community at large, in developing knowledge and expression of disability culture and pride.


Pennsylvania

New Sign PA Department of Education - Inclusive Arts Education Developed over a number of years under the leadership of William Pearce, the site contains specific information about the disabilities most common in a Pennsylvania classroom with techniques on how to adapt the classroom generally for students with disabilities. In addition, this excellent site also provides adaption ideas for each of the four artistic disciplines: Dance, Music, Theatre and Visual Art. Each disability is looked at individually in each discipline with suggestions that fit the needs of students with that specific disability. Many of these suggestions can be adapted for adults as well.


Wisconsin

Encore Studio for the Performing Arts offers an innovative, inclusive, and professional environment where all people work together in the pursuit of artistic and theatrical excellence. A professional theater company for people with developmental disabilities, the Encore mission and vision are to assist and support people with disabilities in the attainment of a professional career in the performing arts. Encore actively promotes an environment where each individual's talents, skills and abilities can be fostered and developed to reach their goal of having a career as a performing artist. Encore has since traveled all over the state of Wisconsin and beyond with a full performance schedule. With a troupe of 10 resident actors and 5 staff, Encore has produced 10 original works to date, with many more to come. Contact: Kelsy Schoenhaar, Artistic Director, 1317 Applegate Road, Madison, Wisconsin 53713, or call 608-276-9209 x226, or e-mail encorestudio@reminc.com


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