Wow. I'm still processing everything that we covered at yesterday's symposium. What a great event. What an important event.
Co-hosted by the Colorado Council on the Arts, PHAMALy, and VSA Arts, the symposium provided workshops and information about careers in the arts for persons with disabilities, and for a "non-disabled" person like myself, provided a lot of eye-opening experiences. I met a young man named Jason who has autism and is writing a play. I met a director named Nikki, who, like many directors new to the area, is struggling to find opportunities to work her craft. (Let's face it. Most everybody in this town holds pretty tightly to the all of the projects in their theatre corner.) Nikki, however, has an additional challenge: she is hearing and speech impaired. I wish that a few of the A.D.'s around town could have had the conversation with Nikki that I did. This lady's enthusiasm, passion, and drive make her definitely worth a look, in my opinion. I also met Naomi Morrow, a visually-impaired sculptor who has endeavoured to make her pieces accessible to "sighted" and "non-sighted" appreciation. Naomi's website is Artof2Morrow.com and includes an audio description feature for non-visual access.
Panels included representatives from Donna Baldwin Talent, the Arvada Center for Arts and Humanities, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Denver Commission for People with Disabilities, and many more.
Entertainment for the event was provided by the ImprovAbility Dance Company. I wish I had some video to provide you of their performance. (I'll see what I can find.)
All in all, it was a very exciting, informative, and moving day. I hope you all can make it to the next one.
More links from the event:
CollegeInColorado.org: an initiative of the state of Colorado and a free resource to help families plan, apply, and pay for college.
The Chanda Plan Foundation: Alternative treatments for the disabled.
Jewish Disabilities Network
And here is a teaser of the documentary that panelist and PHAMALy company member Mark Dissette is working on:
Check out this video: Theres Still Hope For Dreams Trailer
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