Is it a disability event if the topic is disability?

Listen to this post: 

A good friend asked me “Is something a disability event if the topic is disability?” Excuse me, but that is an awesome question! Different people will have lots of answers. I’m sure a common one would be, “Depends.”

Here’s what’s on my mind. This applies any group on the margins. A project probably ought to have a few things in place:

  1. Folks leading, organizing, and making decisions about the project need to include members of the community the project focuses on. No fancy titles required. Real trust, leadership and decision-making is required. This isn’t about developing a good looking roster of interesting people. This also isn’t about saying “I know I’m white, but I consulted five people of color before staging the play I wrote about people of color. So I get it.”

  2. The project shows the reality of the community without judgment whether it’s positive or negative, fiction or true. It’s the decision of the community members working on it.

  3. Labels like “disability art” are only used if the people on the project want it. Just because I think you have a disability doesn’t mean you are disabled or that you make disability art. Even if you think you have a disability, you might not be a disability artist. You might just want to call yourself an artist or a person.

The other thing on my mind right now is Black Deaf filmmaker Jade Bryan and her current fundraising campaign for “The Shattered Mind.” Visit www.gofundme.com/1vhm00 to learn more about the film and donate. I posted a few months ago when Wobbly Dance had an online fundraising campaign, and that campaign was funded. No, not because of my post. It was because the community came together to agree that Wobbly’s mission and art are worth supporting. And to say that audiences demand that more folks have access and opportunities to dance, perform and create art.