Who knew there was such a thing as a disability art and culture?!! And what is it, anyway? If you come to St. Martin’s Episcopal Church this Sunday, March 25, at 1:30pm you can experience it for yourself as St. Martin’s kicks off “EMBRACE THE SPACE” a disability arts and culture series at 5700 West Midway Park. With funding from the Chicago Community Trust, Bodies of Work, a program of the University of Illinois at Chicago, is partnering with St. Martins to introduce this unique form of artistic expression to parishioners and neighbors in the Austin community.
Disability Art refers to the creative work by people with disabilities that reflects a disability experience, advances the rights of disabled people, and widens society’s understanding of what it means to be human. It can be found in every artistic medium from the performing arts, literature, and visual arts to comic books, film, and design. Disability art plays a key role in articulating what disability means politically and personally, and that meaning translates into what many in the disability community consider its “culture.”
Opening the series this Sunday, March 25, at 1:30pm is solo performer, playwright, director and educator, Tekki Lomnicki. Tekki will present her story in a solo performance of “Paper Doll,” and then teach you how to use your experiences to tell your own story in her entertaining workshop, “What’s Your Story.” Be prepared to laugh and have a good time.
Coming on Sunday, April 15, is a printing workshop with artist Sandie Yi. In it you get to create some wearable art that you can take home! Two workshops, one designed for kids 6-12 years old, and another for adults are limited to a total of 40 people, so reserve your spot ASAP! Then on Sunday April 29, Alana Hodges Wallace, founder and artistic director of Dance>Detour, Chicago’s first physically integrated dance company, will lead a movement workshop - “So You Think You Can’t Dance” - for people of all abilities. The series closes on Sunday, May 20, with Carrie Sandahl presenting “Images of Disability in Films for Kids,” with a screening of film clips and a discussion with the audience of how Hollywood portrays people with disability in children’s films.
All events are FREE, wheelchair accessible, sign language interpreted, and audio described. And all are welcome – young people, single people, couples with or without children, and elders — everyone from the young to the young-at-heart. Food and refreshments will be served.
St. Martin’s is the ideal place to host this festival. No stranger to the Arts St. Martin’s recently commissioned the St. Martin’s Austin Repertory Theatre (SMART) as a forum for artists “on the margins” to perform, create, educate and transform lives. And, now in its 7th year, St. Martin’s has hosted “Blues in the Sanctuary” and “Jazz in the Sanctuary” to celebrate different styles of music, particularly American art forms that revolutionized music internationally. Learn more at www.cct.org.
For Embrace the Space program information, disability accommodations and to RSVP, phone 312/996-1967, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For Information about St. Martin’s Episcopal Church contact Rev. Christopher E. Griffin, Vicar, at 773 378-8111 or visit www.stmartinschicago.org.