Careers in the Arts Online Dialogue

August 12, 2016

UCLA Tarjan Center's National Arts and Disability Center (NADC) was featured in the AUCD Digest. See below.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the UCLA Tarjan Center's National Arts and Disability Center (NADC) convened a Careers in the Arts Online Dialogue June 6 through June 19, 2016.

The purpose of the ePolicyWorks dialogue was to: 1) continue to explore how artists and arts administrators with disabilities have been successful in gaining employment, and 2) find out more how arts and disability organizations can support people in their arts careers. The online dialogue had 400 registrants who submitted 112 unique ideas, made 587 comments and 1095 votes. Artists, arts administrators, and their allies engaged in dialogue around five main topic areas: challenges and opportunities for Careers in the Arts; education and job training for artists and arts administrators, ; identity, disclosure, and representation in the arts; disability-specific or arts specific issues; and success stories and positive change.

Preliminary themes identified include: the inability to earn income and the fear of losing benefits and health insurance as independent artists (including visual artists and freelance actors, dancers, and musicians); the lack of opportunities in professional development and university-based training programs due to perceptions about disability; a lack of funding available for arts projects; the lack of advancement opportunity in a competitive environment; isolation and lack of transportation options in rural communities; lack of accessibility in many arts venues.

The NADC will be creating a report to further identify key themes and develop recommendations to help the NEA and NADC to better coordinate and collaborate with other federal and state agencies to advance arts education, preparation, and employment opportunities for people with disabilities.