Friday, December 14, 2018

Independence Center's Art of Accessibility program honored by Colorado Business Committee for the Arts

Posted By on Fri, Dec 14, 2018 at 5:16 PM

click to enlarge CAYC WOLFF
  • CayC Wolff

On Dec. 11, the Colorado Business Committee For the Arts, which encourages collaboration between businesses and arts organizations in order to elevate the arts throughout Colorado, announced its 2019 Business for the Arts Award honorees.

Among the six winners: The Independence Center, an Indy Give! nonprofit based right here in Colorado Springs. The Independence Center provides resources, services and community events to people living with disabilities in the Pikes Peak region, and advocates for their rights. Among their diverse programs, which include independent living services, health care resources and more, they offer an “Art of Accessibility” program.

Here’s what The Independence Center has to say about the program, in part:

Over the past two years, the Art of Accessibility initiative has invited and celebrated local people with disabilities as practitioners of art. By using the Independence Center itself as a pop-up gallery, the greater Colorado Springs community has been empowered to consider those questions of access and inclusion through the inviting and universal lens of art.

Though arts programming falls well outside its mission or range of experience, the Independence Center used this outreach tool more and more effectively with each successive iteration of the Art of Accessibility (AoA), which grew from a one-off exhibit into a semiannual festival of inclusive creative expression, from tactile paintings to adaptive fashion design to music and dance. At each juncture the arts served as a font of joy and a tool for advocacy, with intriguing results.

We wrote about one of AoA’s initiatives recently, a photo project meant to document barriers to accessibility throughout the community, as well as situations in which people with disabilities felt empowered and seen.

The CBCA honored The Independence Center for the entirety of the Art of Accessibility initiative, which will no doubt help the organization create their template “so other communities across Colorado can use their local arts scene as a driver for inclusion. “

Awards will be given to all honorees at a luncheon in March at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. See the full list of honorees on the CBCA website.

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