For people with disabilities, the fight for equal access to the arts is part of a broader struggle for full community participation, including employment. The NADC and California Arts Council established the Arts and Accessibility Program in 2001. For over 20 years, the goal of the program was to further career opportunities for artists and foster equitable access to the cultural arts. As part of this program, 290 artists with disabilities were awarded project-based grants for professional development.
Some examples of ways the support was used was to rent studio space, create an online businesses, promote new work, produce, and record music, enter exhibits and film festivals, and for professional development. In addition, artists used the award to advocate for accessibility by hiring assistants and interpreters with disabilities, and teach others about disability rights, services, and accommodations.
The following artist stories were submitted through a Call for Artist Stories and represent a sampling of the many talented grantees we’ve awarded over the years. The artists share how the support helped their career, how they developed their artistic skills, learned the ‘business of the business’, built networks, or had their work seen, heard or presented. They share opportunities that came from the grants program and the steps they took to develop their careers.
If you would like to share your story contact NADC Arts Specialist, Beth Stoffmacher firstname.lastname@example.org