Stories from the brainreels guests Caitlin Wood, Kathy Coleman and Lavaun Heaster

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We’re kicking off the new year with a lot of new arts buzz!

I decided to have some chats with three of the women with disabilities on the Portland arts scene who’ve been most influential in my development as an artist and with my identity as a person with a disability. I wanted them to come on the show to promote their work and reach out to some new audiences.

One big theme that came up with each of them is the idea of community and that people with all types of impairments or disabilities may have a lot more in common than differences. Sure, someone with only a physical impairment in their legs might not have the same difficulties with memory, attention, organization, and communication as someone with a brain injury like me.

At the same time, we do have some common experiences around feeling like people find our requests for access to be too much trouble sometimes.

Or they talk to our friends and family about us, instead of talking to us, even if we’re right there in front of them ready to talk.

Or they decide whether they think we’re disabled, not disabled enough, or over-identifying with our disability.

Happens across the board, regardless of impairment type. And so there’s great value in connecting in these cross-disability conversations to work toward more inclusion in general.

The best part (I think, with my weird sense of humor) is that during the interviews, I didn’t realize how many similar things I was talking about with all three of them. I certainly didn’t remember what I talked about with each person by the time I went to talk to the next. Yet, there they all are. So many common ideas.

Plus, there’s just some damn fine art being created that I think everyone should know about.

Teasers for the radio show: Caitlin Wood of Where’s Lulu and I will talk about our upcoming Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) grant-funded project called “Criptiques On Film.” Kathy Coleman of Disability Art and Culture Project talks with me about the upcoming Disability Pride Art and Culture Festival and the 3rd Sex, Love and Disability Fundraiser. Finally, Lavaun Heaster and I talk about her upcoming working group for entrepreneurs with disabilities to network and share ideas and experiences for successfully running your own small business.

Join me Friday, January 3rd at 1:00 pm Pacific time.

Click here for an accessible transcript of podcast episode #014.