aanm.ca/Disabled artists put a unique spin on creativity causing us to go even further past our known and comfortable realities. Setting new heights in what the imagination can achieve.
I have been teaching Artists with intellectual disabilities for years, and I have found them to be some of the most creative people I know. The fact is, that Artists with intellectual and/ or physical disabilities do not have the same exhibiting and training opportunities as Artists without.
So WHY do we as an Arts Community need to make this a priority in our grant funding, training programs for artists, and add this to our exhibition categories?
It is quite simple really. Without providing an inclusive and accessible arts community for disabled artists you may be preventing the world from experiencing some of the greatest works of modern society. Exhibiting disabled artists should never be considered "taboo" or "difficult", but for some organisations it is.
So WHAT can we do as an Arts Community do to make exhibiting disabled Artists a much easier task?
Whether you are hosting an Arts Festival or Arts Exhibit for disabled artists, you are running a project and managing an income for an Artist. Artists with disabilities will need help curating, pricing, framing, and advertising their work. That is where you come in.
Currently there are no business, or cultural management training programs available to artists with disabilities relevant to Fine Artists and Artisans. If it wasen't for my career and education in management, sales and customer service, small business and project management, I wouldn't be the successful Artist you see today. There are business programs, grant funding, and small business loans available in Canada to Entrepreneurs, but not necessarily for Artists in general, never mind Artists with disabilities.
WE can change that! Here are some ways YOU as a cultural organization can contribute to moving disabled arts forward:
*Most importantly make your training available through webinars, so Artists do not need to travel, or can take the workshops or training program from home with a care provider.*
If you would like any help with any of the above suggestions, and need help making connections. Here is a list of great organisations located in Manitoba who are currently working towards helping disabled artists:
Stephanie A.E Strugar
Certified Grumbacher Painting & Drawing Instructor.
Certified Face/ Body & Temporary Tattoo Artist.
Public Speaker/Blogger/ Community Advocate