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Arts Wire Web Reports: ArtsACCESS

Source: Arts Wire

ArtsACCESS -- http://www.dcp.ucla.edu/nadc/conference.html -- is a two year online conference on arts and disabilities for the arts community. The conference will introduce new themes every 3 months between September 14 1998 and June 2000.

"Our intention is to provide information and resources, stimulate thinking, and create a dialogue amongst artists, arts administrators, educators, staff, and community support personnel regarding pertinent issues in the field of arts and disabilities," they state. "We want to strengthen the capacity of administrators, staff and community members to include persons with disabilities in their audiences and hiring of artists. We want to empower artists with disabilities to pursue their interests or careers in the arts by promoting their access to community and educational activities, supports and networks. We want the arts community to talk about the visual, literary, performing, and media work being created by artists with disabilities."

The site includes extensive resources including a directory services and supports for performers with disabilities, a Mixed Ability Dance Resource Listing, and a place to talk about issues such as "A Question of Identity? and "Who are our heros?" Articles on disability art and culture include "How We Got Where We Are: A Select Bibliographical Look at Disability Culture, Past, Present and Future" by Steven E. Brown; and "A Long, Strange Trip" by Jaehn Clare.

In "My Face Does Not Belong To Me", David Roche, a performer with a facial difference, chronicles touring his one-man show, THE CHURCH OF 80% SINCERITY. "And my face is a gift, because my shadow side is on the outside, where I have had to deal with it," he writes. "Paradoxically, I have been made whole through, and with, what originally seemed to be my flaws. I have learned to convey that process theatrically.

"Humor, the most subversive of the arts, is my primary tool. Disability culture has always nurtured a dark-streaked humor. It is a shamanic tool that can dissolve fears and open windows to the unconscious, reframing disfigurement and disability and paving the way for a less fearful, healthier world view. And in my work, the artistic metaphor of the scarred face conveys not fear but wholeness. This is a basic task for all of us in the culture of disability, to reclaim our own metaphor by using our best tools to stir the imagination of the audience."

ArtsACCESS is an online conference produced by the National Arts and Disability Center of the University Affiliated Program at the University of California, Los Angeles. ArtsACCESS is developed through a partnership between the National Arts and Disability Center, and Arts Wire a program of the New York Foundation of the Arts. For more information, contact: Olivia Raynor at Email: oraynor@mednet.ucla.edu

Arts Wire CURRENT is a project of Arts Wire, a national computer-based network serving the arts community. Arts Wire CURRENT features news updates on social, economic, philosophical, and political issues affecting the arts and culture. Your contributions are invited. Contact Judy Malloy, editor.

To encourage the exchange of arts information and perspectives, Arts Wire CURRENT contents are not copyrighted unless specifically stated. We ask that you cite Arts Wire CURRENT as well as Arts Wire's url (http://www.artswire.org) when reprinting material. In addition, Arts Wire is very interested in documenting the use of material from Arts Wire CURRENT in other newsletters, publications and on online networks. Please send a copy to: Joe Matuzak, Arts Wire Director.

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