Sunday, September 25, 2022

Expand the Ford and Mellon Foundation Expansion Initiatives for Disabled Artists

A Fellowship for the Disabled Future initiative, established after the recent collapse of the Ford and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support disabled artists, is expanding. On Friday, the foundations announced that they would pledge an additional 8 million for the initiative by 2025, including the support of 20 more partners.

This fellowship, created by people with disabilities, was conceived as an 18-month initiative. It has provided 20 disabled artists, filmmakers and journalists, selected from across the arts, with a limited 50,000 grant run by the Arts Funding Group USA Artists.

But Margaret Morton, director of creativity and free expression at the Ford Foundation, said it was clear from the outset that it could not be a one-time venture.

Projects adopted by members of the first population will be shown first Disability Future Virtual FestivalMonday and Tuesday, including programming of the country’s top disabled artists, writers, thinkers and designers. It’s free and open to the public.

Highlights include: a session on disability painting with filmmakers Jim Lebrecht and Rodney Evans, painter Riva Lehr and journalist Alice Ong; A conversation led by Patty Burn explores the connection between climate justice and disability justice; And a virtual dance party hosted by garment maker Sky Cubacub, with music by DJ Who Girl (Kevin Gotkin). Evening runway performances of models wearing items from Reuberth Garments in Cuba and a meditative experience tap with enterprising black power naps featuring Navild Acosta and Fanny Saussure

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Emil J. Kang, director of the Mellon Foundation’s arts and culture program, said in an interview, “It’s really deep for me to see how much the Fellows who are selected for the first visit are interested in promoting others in the community.” “Thursday.

The next class of Fellows will be announced in 2022. They have chosen mentors of the same age who are themselves disabled artists.

But the first-class response, Morton said, was clear: Do better in the selection process

“There’s only one Native American ally there,” he said, “one of the followers challenged us. “” And we appreciated it and were challenged to get it right and make sure we had a deeper pool. “

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Grants provide flexible compensation options. Depending on what works best for the artist, this money can be distributed in multiples, in payments or even deferred.

The fellowship “has made an incredible difference in my life and career,” author and photographer Jane Derinwater said in an email. “It has allowed me more financial freedom without the risk of disruption and the exclusion of healthcare services, such as pursuing more artistic pursuits like music.”

Morton said the epidemic has created a “conscious awareness” of the challenges that professionals with disabilities face, with one in four adults in the United States having a disability. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We’ve gained a deeper idea and perspective about it as we move around the world,” he said.

An important goal of the program is to help artists make connections, Morton said.

“Our biggest dream is visibility,” he said. For the audience to see the artists and the financiers to see that “they should invest in disabled practitioners.”

Nation World News Desk
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