Bodies of Work Preview – A Unique Opportunity for Chicagoans

The 2013 Bodies of Work Festival of Disability Arts and Culture Opening Celebration is generously hosted by the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. The celebration takes place Wednesday, May 15, 6-8:30pm, at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Randolph Street, Preston Bradley Hall. The evening’s honoree is Chicago playwright, Susan Nussbaum. A panel discussion, "Framing the Festival: A Critical Discussion on Disability Art and Culture” will address some of the history, trends, and cultural contexts of disability art in general, as well as specific representational and narrative strategies being presented at the BOW festival. The reception includes light refreshments and is free and open to the public.

On May 17 & 18 at 6pm, MOMENTA will collaborate, once again, with Access Living, to present Counter Balance IV  (SEE THIS) -- an evening of integrated dance, poetry, and spoken word that expores the intersection of disability diversity and art.  FREE ADMISSION!


Counter Balance is part of the 2013 Bodies of Work Festival and features Alice Sheppard, Baraka de Soleil, Lisa Bufano, Pennie Brinson, Tony Serra and Momenta Dancers Anita Kenney, Deborah Goodman, Ginger Lane and Kris Lenzo.

Personal Assistants, Sign Language Interpreters and Narrative Description will be provided.  Seating is limited. RSVP encouraged.

Read on for dates, times, and place, and the descriptions of the more than forty opportunities (including Counter Balance)to experience the very best, cutting-edge disability arts and culture.

For even more information about Bodies of Work, the Festival, and its programs visit their website at CLICK HERE


Bodies of Work (BOW) Festival is a an eleven day, multi-venue Chicago event featuring visual and performing arts that highlight the work of artists with disabilities. The festival celebrates national and international artists with disabilities who are creating today's cutting-edge theater, dance, literature, poetry, spoken word, film, and visual/performance art. It takes place at some of Chicago's most recognized cultural institutions, and includes free public panels and talks in conjunction with many of the events. 

BOW Festival perceives disability art as playing a key role in articulating what disability means personally, politically, and aesthetically. Artists involved in the disability arts and culture movement consider their bodily, sensory, cognitive, and neurological differences as wellsprings of creativity that provide unique perspectives of the world. The movement is intimately tied to and has grown up alongside the disability civil rights movement, and the urgency and vibrancy shared by both are present in the beautiful and challenging work showcased in this festival.

“We are particularly excited about this year’s festival because of its focus on professional artists with disabilities whose work illuminates important issues and emerging aesthetics of our community as well as the larger arts community," said Carrie Sandahl, Bodies of Work Director and Professor in the Department of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Bodies of Work: A Network of Disability Art and Culture is part of the Department of Disability and Human Development at University of Illinois at Chicago.


Eleven cultural/academic institutions and community groups are participating: Access Living’s Disability Arts and Culture Project, Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, Hyde Park Art Center, Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago, Lookingglass Theatre, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Poetry Foundation, Raven Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Woman Made Gallery. The 2013 Festival partners include all presenting venues plus Momenta Dance Company, University of Illinois at Chicago, and the Chicago Cultural Center. All venues are wheelchair-accessible and have accessible restrooms. Many performances include audio description, word-for-word captioning, and/or sign-language interpretation.

BOW is a network of artists and organizations formed in 2002 that explore and celebrate the contributions of artists with disabilities and the contemporary contexts of disabled lives. With thought-provoking programs of disability arts and culture, BOW serves as a catalyst to illuminate the disability experience in new and unexpected ways. The organization also provides a forum for on-going programs that honor and explore the accomplishments of local, national and international artists. It offers information to cultural venues about providing access and accommodations for both artists and audiences with disabilities.

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