I started the Disability Arts and Culture Project (DACP) in the early 2000s because
there was a group of us who couldn’t find an accessible and welcoming place to dance.
As we continued to gather, share experiences, and review the research, we saw there
was a need for a cross-disability arts and culture organization embedded in disability
studies and the Disability Justice movement. Thanks to hard work, connecting with
partner organizations and, of course, dancing, we built an organization that supports
the development of disability leaders and serves as a home and family for disabled
people in Portland.
One of the key principles of Disability Justice is intersectionality, which includes and
celebrates all of our identities, not just our disability. This year we are excited to partner
with fellow MRG grantees Sankofa Collective (formerly PFLAG Portland Black Chapter)
and Living Stages to create plays, hold conversations, and gain a deeper understanding
of our partners in the movement. We also worked with partner ReelAbilities to host a
national film festival, Portland’s first disability film festival, and further elevate the work
being done by local and national disabled artists. By working with other social justice
organizations we are able to find connections, build relationships, and transform our
work to truly change perceptions around disabled people in Oregon.
My work with MRG Foundation as a grantee, Capacity Building Initiative cohort
member, and a grantmaker has provided me a strong and active network of
organizations and organizers who share my values and continue to help make DACP
and the movement stronger.
DACP Creative Director
MRG Foundation Grantmaker