Disability Culture Leadership Initiative Launched

Disability Culture Leadership Initiative Launched

Chicago-based nonprofit grant-making organization 3Arts has announced today the launch of the Disability Culture Leadership Initiative (DCLI). The initiative features a new online platform dedicated to promote Deaf and disabled artists. The initiative also encourages the arts and culture sector to prioritize Disability Culture in programming and organizational efforts.

The initiative also features candid video conversations among eleven Chicago-based Deaf and disabled alumni of the 3Arts Residency Fellowships at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). The video also reports that chronicles the trajectory of the Fellowship and the city’s approach to creating and supporting the Disability Art and Culture movement.

Six years ago, 3Arts partnered with UIC’s Bodies of Work-an an artist and organizational network that showcases and celebrates the disability experience. The partnership established the 3Arts Residency Fellowship. Building audiences for disability art and strengthening the professional pipeline for artists in the Chicago metropolitan area was the aim of the Fellowship.

“With this new initiative, we are reaching beyond considerations of accessibility and ADA compliance, as important as those issues are,” said 3Arts Executive Director Esther Grisham Grimm. “We want to recognize the revolutionary and expansive nature of the Disability Culture movement and the important role that Chicago artists play in its development.”

The goals of DCLI are:

  • To document the experiences of alumni in the program
  • Advocate for the artistic and economic mobility of Deaf and disabled artists
  • And highlight the potential for disability aesthetics to expand and enrich every artistic discipline.

Managing editor of the Chicago Morning Star

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