For the second year, the Disability in the Arts Festival will span the month of April, concluding with an Arts Gala. The festival aims to celebrate the accomplishments of artists with disabilities, showcasing the work of artists, actors, filmmakers and performers. Organizers hope that by making the work available to others with disabilities and the community as a whole that they will inspire inclusion and creativity. Through workshops and interactive events, the festival also aims to create a forum in which these artists can share their craft, skills and vision.
The month-long festival will include speakers such as John Hockenberry, the four-time Peabody Award winner, four-time Emmy award winner and Dateline NBC correspondent, who will speak on Thursday, April 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the Vandervort Room as part of the President’s Forum Series. Author and HWS alum Jesse Saperstein ’04 is also set to join the celebration with a talk and reading of his memoir, “Atypical: Life with Asperger’s in 20 1/3 Chapters.”
The festival will also feature a series of workshops in a number of different artistic realms. Those interested can enroll in creative writing, filmmaking, performance and visual arts workshops led by members of the HWS community and the Arc of Monroe, Ontario and Schuyler. There will also be performances put on by the Arc of Monroe; guests are invited to attend a collection of dances titled, “A Moving Experience,” that embrace the concepts of peace, love and acceptance, and a reimaged Shakespearean play, “Hamlet: Prince of Denmark.”
Also be sure to check out the film festival hosted by filmmaker Adrian Esposito. Esposito will show his documentary, “We Can Shine: From Institutions to Independence,” which explores his own struggles with autism. Local filmmakers from ARC and HWS are encouraged to submit their own short works.
The festival will culminate with the Arts Gala finale on Wednesday, May 4. The gala will feature an art show, dance and movement performances, poetry and book readings, film shorts and a multitude of other expressions that embrace and celebrate the work of artists with disabilities.
For a full schedule of events including complete event descriptions, visit http://www.hws.edu/festival/.