11 Jul #ADA30 Artist Spotlights – Week 1 Roundup
July 26, 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which granted civil rights to people with disabilities across the United States. To celebrate this historic milestone, MAC will be featuring a different disabled artist on our social media (Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook) every day throughout the month of June! Check this blog every Saturday for a roundup of all the artists we have featured in the past week.
Rachel Handler (she/her)
“I’m an actor, screenwriter, and filmmaker based in New York City. Most recently I won the AT&T Underrepresented Filmmaker Award for my short, “Committed” and the Sundance Co//ab June Monthly Challenge for my script “The A Doesn’t Stand for Accessible.” Since joining the disabled community I’ve found a passion for writing, producing, and directing; advocating for inclusion in every project I create. My credits include the award-winning short films, “The Housewarming,” “Committed,” “The Vanished,” and “Authentically Me” which won the Reelabilities 27 Second Film Competition and screened in taxi cabs throughout NYC. My TV acting credits include Law & Order: SVU, Goliath, New Amsterdam, Bull, and NCIS: New Orleans. Some of my favorite stage credits include Marian in The Music Man, Lady Anne in Richard III, and Maria in The Sound of Music.”
Follow Rachel at @bionic.brunette on Instagram!
Jerron Herman (he/him)
“I’m an artist because it is the best way to offer myself to the world, to tell stories and repair pathways. Whether re-imagining PE or creating a disabled-led party utopia, I’m interested in facilitating freedom. My works are my activism and in them I play with forms to help alter our realities. My biggest goals as a creative are to engage a sustainable network of artists in work and life; find people who share with me, grow with me, and work with me.”
Nicole D’Angelo (she/her)
“Lack of Autistic representation on stage drew me to theater, and my hope is that I can be the person I wish I had seen on stage when I was a teenager. Recently in quarantine my efforts in the theater have been dedicated towards producing socially-conscious readings of plays, casting actors authentically in roles that reflect their lived disability experience, and also bridging gaps between the worlds of neurotypical theater and neurodiverse theater in the process. A highlight for me was reading through The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time with a cast that included 4 Autistic female-identifying Christophers. My biggest pride as an artist is in the work I have done with EPIC Players, an NYC-based professional neurodiverse theater group. Through EPIC I had the honor of playing Audrey in their off-off Broadway production of LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, and so many other neurodiverse artists are given a platform to be seen and heard.“
Follow Nicole at @nicole.m.dangelo on Instagram!
Christine Lewis (she/her)
Christine is an artist at the LAND Studio & Gallery, a nonprofit day-habilitation program for artists with developmental disabilities. She began attending LAND in 2011. Her mesmerizingly detailed drawings, paintings, and collages transcend the boundaries of shape and color. Fascinated with 19th-century fashion and culture, she depicts Victorian women with her own distinct definition and perspective. She often draws inspiration from architectural booklets, home-style magazines, and trips with her family. With her unique eye for composition, Christine creates dreamlike cityscapes from around the globe.
John McGinty (he/him)
John McGinty lost his hearing at a young age and for years headed toward a career in Finance. But theater kept calling him, and he finally answered by moving to New York to see if he could make it. His life is full of twists and turns of that journey and what keeps him motivated and focused. John also opens up about lessons he learned, and that we all can learn, from his Broadway debut in the revival of CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD, KING LEAR, many more. He is a huge advocate in diversity and inclusion with AEA (Actors Equity Association) and wants to see more opportunities for the younger inclusive generation.
Follow John at @thejohnmcginty on Instagram!
“I am an artist and children’s book author/illustrator. I was born in the Bronx in 1989 and live with my family on City Island, New York. I was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of 2. Ever since I was very young, I’ve loved children’s books because they provide me an escape into a realm of adventure and fantasy. I decided to create my own books on themes of identity and embracing who we are. Among these are The Upside Down Giraffe, The Odd Duckling, In the Street Full of Badgers, and I’ve illustrated Dottie the Dodo. Much of my inspiration comes from animals – both real and mythical. I paint, sculpt, and create maquettes and dioramas, and have started hand-sewing plush versions of my own original characters. I am inspired by books and works of anime, animation, and stop-motion cinema, as well as to create artwork and books from my own imagination.”
You can find Elisa’s book The Upside Down Giraffe on Amazon!
Louise Kavadlo (she/her)
“A self-taught artist, I began drawing at the age of three and continued to explore art throughout my childhood. After years of creative dormancy I once again found inspiration upon joining Fountain House. My primary mediums are watercolor, pastel, and collage on paper. I believe in using my artwork to advocate for those who are marginalized.
I want to use my artwork to promote a better world than we are living in now. I’m an extreme tactile and visual learner, and enjoy researching artists for inspiration. Art allows me to express my thoughts on social justice issues, mental health, and the environment.”
To see more of Louisa’s work, visit https://www.artsy.net/fountain-house-gallery/artist/louise-kavadlo.
Kiah Amara (she/they)
Kiah is an actor, producer, UPM, and fierce disability inclusion advocate. She strives to create and support the stories of Disabled Artists, especially Queer Disabled Womxn. She designs spaces and processes that are welcoming to all to truly radicalize representation in media. Kiah is the founder and producer of IndieVisible films, a production group and artist collective empowering radicalized representation and intersectionality in the media industry.