Disability Art and Culture Project has served Portland since 2005. Following Artistic Director Kathy Coleman’s sudden passing in February 2020, Heather Minton, a current DACP staff member, was named Interim Director on March 1, 2020. All of DACP’s plans and programs were halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic as of July 2020.
In the months following, DACP’s staff and board continued to connect with members of the community to rediscover how to serve Portland’s disabled population. During that process, a number of concerns were raised by community members. DACP has a long history of showcasing disabled artists and celebrating artistic expression, but the organization has also historically and repeatedly harmed members of the community, particularly Queer people and people of color.
As one step toward change, DACP sought the services of LaVant Consulting, a consulting firm led by Andraéa LaVant, a disabled Black woman whose work focuses on disabled equity in the workplace. Learn more about LaVant Consulting here.
After speaking with the DACP’s board, current and former staff and community members who’d been involved with DACP, LaVant Consulting produced the report we’re sharing here.
The report identifies a number of potential paths forward for DACP. We have collectively made the decision that the wisest path is for the current board and staff to step down, and in their place install a new board and a new collective leadership model. Rebel Sidney Black has been named Executive Director. Find out more about Rebel here. This transfer of leadership will officially take place July 1, 2021. The goal of this change is for DACP’s board and staff to more accurately resemble the population it represents, and to repair harm done by DACP to the community.
All DACP’s programming remains paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but new and good things are on the horizon.