DisArt made its debut with the inaugural DisArt Festival in April 2015. Considered a grand success, this international festival attracted more than 48,700 visitors who enjoyed a variety of exhibitions, performances, and workshops centered on Disability Arts and Culture.
The DisArt Fashion Show highlighted the need for accessible clothing that is not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing. DisArt worked with three different groups who created and designed accessible clothing to put on a glamorous showcase of talent to celebrate Disability.
The 2015 DisArt Independent Film Festival featured a retrospective of some of the best examples of independent disability film from around the globe. The festival screened the largest collection of Disability Cinema ever collected, showing film works by disabled actors and filmmakers as well as leading discussions with the artists themselves, such as actor Mat Fraser and director Simi Linton.
The closing performance of DisArt, DisStories was a night of art, music, theater, dance, and more featured over a hundred disabled performers, ACTion Drummers, Paper Mache Birds, Dancers, and a Choir directed by Erinn Epp.
Art of the Lived Experiment
DisArt offered free access to local, national, and international art. The festival featured the Art of the Lived Experiment exhibit, originally shown across the pond in Liverpool, England for DaDaFest. The festival marked the first time an exhibition was shared between the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM), Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA), and the Fed Galleries at Kendall College of Art and Design.
Arts + Access
At the DisArt Hub, Arts + Access events connected the community with organizations who already understood the human condition of disability and were committed to building healthy relationships between people with and without disabilities. These events included discussions, breakdancing workshops, and presentations about disability.
DisArt Strives to...
people through art.
and honor disability as a natural human experience.
opportunities for people to gain a greater appreciation for the complex identities of those around them.
people about the role of disability in human life, the need for creative expression for all people, and the importance of community.
the social inclusion of people with disabilities by reducing the social barriers that might otherwise prevent them from engaging in the community.
to the sustainability of Grand Rapids by promoting its collective efforts to be an accessible and welcoming city.