Cripfest for the ADA’s 25th
Listen to this post:
If you have a disability, are related to someone with a disability, or work with people with disabilities, you’re probably aware of the Americans with Disabilities Act anniversary each late July. Because this year is a big one (25 years!), I want us to all put forth a challenge: let’s please, please, please encourage non-disabled people to attend our ADA anniversary celebration events. I can’t think of a single reason why they shouldn’t. They’re fun events with a vibe of celebration and a frank discussion of what work is still needed.
Now, I don’t say non-disabled people should engage with the disability community just for that oft-repeated reason that you may join this community at any time or that non-disabled people really are only temporarily able-bodied. Get involved now to get a head start, before you’re one of us!
That argument isn’t a deep enough reason. It doesn’t get at the heart of why we have isolation, segregation, and oppression of the disability community, especially in poor communities and communities of color. The reason I encourage non-disabled people to spend time in the disability community–at ADA events, performances, or just hanging out–is because you’re people and we’re people. In fact, we need the non-disabled community involved with us in a meaningful way. That’s a big solution to the isolation and segregation that are still powerfully present today.
It’s with much joy that I get to announce a very different kind of ADA celebration event: Cripfest! Yep, we make art and culture, whether it’s got a disability theme and aesthetic or not. Or a biting and satirical name like Cripfest. Art! Fun!
[Image description: A mashup of the UK and US flags with a yellow banner in the middle and “cripfest” in grungy black text.]
The City of Portland ADA celebration events always include the arts. Always. We are more than patients, social service recipients, benefits recipients, and students no matter what we prefer to call our events.
So if you happen to be in Brooklyn and you want to go to a very unique ADA celebration, check out Cripfest! This is not about speeches on accessibility, legislation, policy, or really speeches about anything. This is art, artsy-ness, artistry, artistic, and fabulousness. Two of the lead organizers and performers are my idols, Mat Fraser and Liz Carr. They, along with others in this event regularly perform for non-disabled, disabled, and mixed audiences. Ethnically, the performers don’t span a big range at all, but in terms of type of disability, you are going to get a whole barrel-full of unique and amazing experiences.
The lineup: Mat Fraser, Liz Carr, Simon Minty, Gregg Mozgala, Bill Shannon, Laurence Clarke (and probably more in the cabaret at 9:00 pm)
Please visit their website at cripfest.splashthat.com whether you want to reserve a free ticket or you are a sad non-New Yorker like me who wants to learn more about the amazing UK and US artists participating but can’t attend!
Saturday, July 25th, 2015
Doors open at 1:30 pm
321 Ashland Place
Brooklyn, NY 11217