VAE Raleigh has spent the past five years working to build trust with our local disability communities and highlighting the creative contributions made by artists with disabilities. This fall, we want to continue this work by bringing Barak adé Soleil, a performance artist with disabilities, to Raleigh, NC for a community-build performance. Barak would visit from August 13-17, 2018. He would spend the first two days of his visit in conversation with members of our local disability communities, talking with individuals about their everyday experiences traversing spaces in our city, including Lichtin Plaza, a particularly contentious space. Licthin Plaza sits in front of Raleigh’s performing arts center and its wide expanse of concrete must be traversed to reach the front doors. Visitors with disabilities and visitors who cannot walk long distances must traverse Licthin Plaza’s wide expanse in order to access the performing arts presented inside. This is been a longstanding problem that has been discussed in community, with the venue, and with the City of Raleigh. Barak will spend time talking with community members about their experiences with the plaza, their attempts to negotiate structural or policy alterations, and their frustrations with the lack of change. He will use these conversations to create a dance that will be performed on the plaza. This event offers the community a chance to see their frustrations be turned into a piece of work, performed in the very space that caused their frustration. It also brings the performing arts out of the giant building on the other side of the plaza and makes them accessible to everyone. The following two days of Barak’s visit will be spent with young artists with disabilities, talking about his career, motivations, and upcoming work. This part of the visit is a partnership with Arts Access, North Carolina’s only statewide organization focused on the intersection of arts and disability.
What our grantee is saying: "This support is AWESOME! We value artists and do not work with them unless we can pay them for their time and talent. This funding means that VAE Raleigh, a small nonprofit, will be able to support artist Barak adé Soleil as he makes a new piece of work with our local disability community. This would not have been possible without the support from Awesome Disability!"
Funded by Disability (July 2018)