An arts and disability advocacy organization
Who We Are
Access to the Arts, Inc. is an all-volunteer arts and disability advocacy organization.
For years arts and disability advocates have been involved with removing architectural barriers. This did not increase the number of disabled patrons of the arts. We wondered why. We found some barriers are hard to "overcome" with advocacy. We found few disabled people have financial resources or experience with an inaccessible environment and most have a fear, an apprehension, of trying something new.
In 1989, The Advocado Press, Inc. developed the Access to the Arts Project to "overcome" the final barriers between people with disabilities and art. The Advocado Press, publisher of The Disability Rag/Ragged Edge magazines, originally funded the program from a grant from the Kentucky Arts Council.
In 1991, Access to the Arts (A2A) incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The Board of Directors and volunteers for Access to the Arts include artists, persons with disabilities, and community volunteers. We have taken people with disabilities to art; we advise art groups on access and relevant disability issues; and we assist disabled artists by providing them with information on exhibits, classes, fellowships, etc.
What We Do
Our programs have included:
1. The Audience Development Project, which raised money, provided tickets to events and provided "peer" volunteers to escort people to art. Participants reacted positively by continual participation--often paying part of their way--and by volunteering as peer escorts.
A2A has received local, state and national grants, and donations from individual contributors. We're a small organization of volunteers and we realize we can do as much as our resources and energies allow.
Since 1990 Access to the Arts Inc. has joined with others to bring disability art to the community.
In April 1990 A2A and Artswatch co-sponsored Jean Stewart reading her poetry and from her novel, The Body's Memory, at the Kentucky Center for the Arts.
In April 1993 A2A and Artswatch, co-sponsored Cheryl Marie Wade performing from her work, A Woman with Juice, Disability Style, at the Kentucky Center for the Arts.
In August 2002 A2A organized a reading of disability writers for our first evening of disability readings. The readers were: Fred Otto, Julie Shaw Cole, Cass Irvin and special guest reader, Barry Bernson. That same evening, Access to the Arts, Inc. and the Advocado Press co-sponsored a book signing and sale of books from the Advocado Press, publisher of The Disability Rag and Ragged Edge magazines.
Access to the Arts, Inc. promotes access art, especially American Sign Interpretation, and Audio Description of performances.
The Kentucky Center
A2A provides scholarships to arts access ADA workshops.
As you may know, Access to the Arts, Inc. (A2A) has been on a bit of a hiatus while our director took time off to work on a major writing project. We are happy to announce that Cass Irvin, our Executive Director, has written a memoir, Home Bound, published by Temple University Press.
In Home Bound, Irvin tells of the remarkable journey that transformed her from a young girl too timid to ask for help to a community activist and writer who speaks forcefully about the needs of people with disabilities. This book also is testimony to the importance of community building and organizing as well as the story of one woman's struggle for independence. MORE.
Very Special Arts (disability art/artists)
The Kentucky Arts Council (Go to this site to find other state arts councils)
To contact us:
Access to the Arts, Inc.
© Copyright 2004 A2A, Inc.
This Website produced by Cliffwood Organic Works