Exhibition and Keynote Presentation by Riva Lehrer, an artist, writer and curator whose work focuses on issues of physical identity and the socially challenged body. Ms. Lehrer’s work has been seen in venues including the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian, the United Nations, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC, and the Arnot Museum.

Ms. Lehrer is considered one of the foremost artists and curators in the field of Disability Culture. Her writing and visual art are included in publications including Criptiques, edited by Caitlin Wood; Sex and Disability, edited by Robert McRuer and Anna Mollow; TriQuarterly, the literary journal of Northwestern University; Lesbian Art in America, Harmony Hammond; and the Feminist Studies Journal.

Photo by Ronit Bezalel 

Lehrer on the web.

Keywords: Representation, Portraiture, Identity (Politics), Embodiment, Curating

Sara Hendren is an artist, design researcher, and professor based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She makes material art and design works, writes, and lectures on adaptive and assistive technologies, prosthetics, inclusive design, accessible architecture, and related ideas. Her work has been exhibited in the US and abroad and is held in the permanent collection at MOMA (NYC), and her writing and design work have appeared in the Boston Globe, The Atlantic Tech, FastCo Design, and on National Public Radio (US), among others.

Hendren on the web.

Keywords: Inclusive Design, Prosthetics, Accessible Architecture, Adaptive Technologies

Julie McNamara is a disabled artist and activist working on the frontline. Artistic Director of Disability-led theatre company Vital Xposure, her work is driven by social justice. With 15 plays under her belt, she is renowned for unveiling unpalatable truths through extraordinary stories from voices on the political periphery. ​

McNamara on the web.


CANCELED: Keynote Address

** We regret to share that the originally scheduled keynote speaker, Ruth Gould, is no longer able to join the DisArt Symposium this year. We hope you will help us welcome Julie McNamara, friend and colleague of Ruth, to fill this respected position.

Ruth Gould, MBE is the Artistic Director of DaDaFest, and previously was its Chief Executive Officer, since February 2001. DaDaFest is an innovative disability and Deaf arts organization that delivers a biennial festival, arts events and projects for all age groups that promote high quality disability and Deaf arts from diverse cultural perspectives. Ruth is a leader and pioneer in this field and continues to be passionate about empowering disabled artists.