Thanks for a great year!

Dear friends of the Disability Art and Culture Project,

Thank you for being part of our most successful year yet! You can help us jump-start our work for 2013 by making a tax-deductible gift to DACP before 11:59pm on December 31!

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2012 was fantastic for DACP!

We had our second annual Sex, Love, and Disability fundraiser and the fifth Disability Pride Art and Culture Festival since our founding in 2005. The Festival’s theme was the power of art to cultivate social change. We had live performance, panel discussion and a Theatre of the Oppressed Workshop with The-TREE Institute. We are proud to have worked with incredible writers and performers in our community, and with Antoine Hunter, the Oakland-based African American Deaf and Hard of Hearing Choreographer, Dancer, and founder of the Urban Jazz Dance Company. Hunter performed solo dances and worked with local dancers to choreograph and premiere a collaborative piece at the Festival.

In 2012, Aireen Joven was hired as our first ever organizer. She built relationships with individuals and organizations, developed and recruited volunteers, and helped DACP set the stage to run more smoothly. She brought an invaluable artistic and racial justice perspective to her work. Your donation will help us develop new leaders and continue our racial justice work!

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Since 2008, Inclusive Arts Vibe has had dance classes at Lynch View Elementary School. This year, Rachel Esteve, IAV Dance Company member, is interning there as an Assistant Dance Teacher. IAV also added dance classes at Alder Creek Middle School, perfomed in the Festival, and were featured performers at the disability-themed Colored Pencils in August. IAVDC welcomed three new dancers this fall, and the company is in rehearsal for their upcoming May performance.

This summer, we organized an online community survey and Community Listening Session at Portland Community College’s Cascade campus. DACP wanted—wants!—to hear from our community. We used what we learned to determine the direction of DACP—regular arts programming, opportunities for cross-cultural listening, continued work on anti-racism, more space for disability art and culture, education within our various diverse communities on racial justice and disability justice and their intersections. We have had rich discussions about art and social justice. The Community Listening Session also featured a presentation by artist Rupert Kinnard on race, disability, sexuality, gender, and art.

In the fall, DACP analyzed survey data, applied for and received partial funding to continue the IAV dance classes, and in November partnered with Story Minders to host Disability Comedy Movie Night. Cheryl Green premiered her film “Friending with Brain Injury!” We had an incredible conversation about disability culture, dark humor, insider/outsider dynamics, and the role of comedy in social justice work. Over fifty people got together for food, conversation, and fun!

We have a lot to look forward to in 2013:

Starting on January 11, 2013, DACP will host an accessible, low-cost life drawing group  every second Friday of the month, at Project Grow. We will break down barriers to disability art and culture making one art session at a time!

In the spring, DACP will partner with GimpGirl, In Other Words, and local and national humanities experts and Disability Studies scholars to launch a Disability Studies reading group! Expect to read academic and non-academic, fiction and nonfiction, works on intersectional disability justice and diverse disability cultures. We’ll have lectures by local and national Disability Studies scholars, and both in-person and online discussions.

We’ve started to plan a springtime art-auction fundraiser for the Inclusive Arts Vibe Dance Company performance with youth art classes facilitated by local artist Lavaun Heaster. And, of course, IAVDC’s recital will be in May!

We’re also tentatively planning a symposium on the intersections of race and disability in visual culture, and a book launch/poetry reading with local poet William Alton. With every event, we further the artistic expression of people with both non-apparent and apparent disabilities, support our communities in understanding disability culture and pride, and help the wider culture reimagine the definition of disability, art, and culture.

We would like to ask you to consider making a personally significant year-end gift to Disability Art and Culture Project to kick off a spectacular new year. To those of you who have given your time and resources, thank you. We accomplished so much this year with volunteer time, donations, and the determination and creative flair that our disability arts community is famous for. We couldn’t have done it without you. All of us at the Disability Art and Culture Project want to thank you for a fantastic 2012, and we look forward to building vibrant disability art and culture with you in 2013 and beyond!

Sincerely,

Kathy Coleman, Artistic Director
Sarah Doherty and Cheryl Green, DACP planning committee

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