2018 GIA Conference
Race, Space, and Place
Oakland, CA  |  October 21–24

More than Access

What funders can do to make a big difference in disability arts

Tuesday, October 23, 2:00pm – 4:30pm

Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts
1428 Alice St, Oakland, CA 94612

Organized by Beth Bienvenu, director of the Office of Accessibility, National Endowment of the Arts; Frances Phillips, program director for the Arts and The Creative Work Fund, Walter and Elise Haas Fund; and Esther Grisham Grimm, executive director, 3Arts.

Moderated by Beth Bienvenu, director of the Office of Accessibility, National Endowment of the Arts. Presented by Riva Lehrer, artist, writer, curator, and 3Arts Awardee; Marc Brew, artistic director and choreographer, AXIS Dance Company; Judith Smith, former and founding director, AXIS Dance Company; and Claudia Alick, artist and executive director, Calling Up Justice.

Disability activism of the 1960s and 70s included groundbreaking battles for disability rights, yet artists with disabilities across the nation often face significant barriers to working in the arts, from accessing professional development opportunities and covering essential expenses for personal assistants, to balancing eligibility for government healthcare benefits with award funding. With care and commitment, funders can turn this situation around. Choreographer Marc Brew, artistic director of Oakland-based AXIS Dance Company, which features dancers with and without disabilities, will start the session with a movement exercise.

The session will explore insights into the needs of artists with disabilities, efforts to build a field for these artists, policies in other countries from which US grantmakers can learn, the challenges and benefits of the intersectionality of disability and race, and ways that funders can innovate their practices to make field-wide change happen.