James Sanders, Odyssey (detail), part of Cultural Arts Center from SpArc Services.
City Hall Art Exhibit Celebrates the ADA at 25
Philadelphia, PA – In celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Art In City Hall presents Creative Voices – the ADA at 25, featuring the artistic achievements of Philadelphia area artists and local organizations serving people with disabilities. The exhibit will be located on the 1st, 2nd and 4th floors of City Hall, NE corner.
An artist reception is scheduled for Thursday, June 18th, from 5-7 pm in the Council Caucus Room, City Hall, 4th floor.
Creative Voices is presented in collaboration with the following partners: Arc of Philadelphia, Art-Reach, Form in Art-Philadelphia Museum of Art, HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy, Main Line Art Center, Mayor’s Commission on People with Disabilities, Mid-Atlantic ADA Center, Moss Rehab-Einstein Hospital Network, Office of Councilman Dennis O’Brien, Pennhurst Memorial and Preservation Alliance, Pennsylvania History Coalition Honoring People with Disability, Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, and 10 professional artists from the Philadelphia region:
Nancy Alter, DoN Brewer, Elizabeth Core, Gerard di Falco, Eiko Fan, Terri Fridkin, Beth Ann Johnson, David Neisser, Tecu’Mish Munha’Ke and Carol Saylor.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) came into effect in 1990 as a civil rights law prohibiting discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to ensure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.
Creative Voices will include the story of Pennhurst, an early twentieth century asylum created at a time when people with disabilities were considered a “threat” to society. This historical narrative, presented by Pennhurst Memorial and Preservation Alliance and the Pennsylvania History Coalition Honoring People with Disability, will serve as a reminder to how far society has come, and features the important work of the Arc of Philadelphia – part of SpArc Philadelphia – one of the organizations responsible for the closure of Pennhurst.
James Wilson, a board member of the Arc of Philadelphia, reflects on his involvement with the ADA and ending Pennhurst: “These were tumultuous times leading to huge advances in opening the schools, establishing community services and ultimately ADA. The Pennhurst case spurred changes to the Social Security Act and in the establishment of community services across the country, ultimately leading to the Americans with Disabilities Act. All this started with Pennhurst.”
SpArc Philadelphia’s Cultural Arts Center will celebrate the work of its artists beside the Pennhurst display on the fourth floor near City Council Chambers. Their participating artists are:
Yolanda Hilliard, Richard Johnston, James Sanders and Jennifer Williams.
The Art Gallery at City Hall, located on the first floor within the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, will feature works by professional artists, including artists from Main Line Art Center and Moss Rehab’s permanent collection. The gallery will also partner with Art-Reach to host a workshop for the visually impaired led by ceramic artist Beth McGuigan on Monday, June 8th. The finished clay sculptures will be on display on June 18th for the opening reception. Visitors who are visually impaired or legally blind will be encouraged to touch these works on exhibit.
“Having City Hall as a venue to celebrate the ADA’s 25th anniversary shows how the power of art can be a platform to celebrate one of the most important pieces of legislation in current history,” said City of Philadelphia’s Chief Cultural Officer, Helen E. Haynes. “Creative Voices connects art to civil rights.”
Near the Offices of the Mayor on the second floor, Creative Voices will present works by student artists from Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, the HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy, and works by Romaine Samworth and Michael Gieschen from the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Form in Art program.
Philadelphia will take part in the national celebration of the 25th anniversary of the ADA on July 25th at City Hall and the National Constitution Center. The ADA Legacy Tour Bus will promote its theme: Disability Rights are Civil Rights at both locations before heading to Washington D.C. on July 26th, the official birthdate of the ADA. For more information, visit: http://www.adaanniversary.org/
Instrumental in bringing this celebration to Philadelphia is Charles Horton from the Mayor’s Commission on People with Disabilities, and Councilman Dennis O’Brien, a tireless advocate for people with intellectual and developmental disability.
“Our community has accomplished many great things over the years and the ADA has been the catalyst for change,” said Charles Horton. “Legislatively, economically and socially we as a community have begun to reach a level of empowerment and inclusion and therefore we must continue our fight for independence.”
Councilman Dennis O’Brien also recognized the impact of the ADA: “While we still have a long way to go, the ADA has opened so many doors for individuals with disabilities and this artwork is a celebration of that.”
Creative Voices – the ADA at 25 runs from June 8th to July 31st.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
For more information, visit: http://adata.org
The Arc of Philadelphia and SpArcPhiladelphia
For more information, visit: www.sparcphilly.org and www.arcphiladelphia.org
For more information, visit: http://www.art-reach.org
Form in Art – Philadelphia Museum of Art
For more information, visit: http://www.creativeaging.org/creative-aging-program/6372
HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy
For more information, visit: http://hmsschool.org
Main Line Art Center
For more information, visit: https://www.mainlineart.org
The Mayor’s Commission on People with Disabilities
For more information, visit: http://www.phila.gov/mcpd
The Mid-Atlantic ADA Center
For more information, visit: http://www.adainfo.org
For more information, visit: http://www.mossrehab.com
Pennhurst Memorial and Preservation Alliance
For more information, visit: http://www.preservepennhurst.org
The Pennsylvania History Coalition Honoring People with Disability
For more information, visit: http://disabilityhistorypa.com
Pennsylvania School for the Deaf
For more information, visit: http://www.psd.org
Tu Huynh, City Hall Exhibitions Manager, Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, 116 City Hall, Philadelphia PA 19107, 215.686.8446 (Office) | 215.686.9912 (Direct) www.creativephl.org www.facebook.com/artincityhall
Read DoN‘s review of Creative Voices on DoNArTNeWs.com
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