The Symposium: Academic StandUp is a monthly show that uses comedy to educate the public about research, science and social justice issues. This monthly interdisciplinary comedy show trains academics to take the stage alongside professional comedians. Together they teach the audience something to laugh and think about through standup comedy. Past shows have included specials about #NastyWomen, a show about fierce women and women of color in history, Brain Awareness Week — which featured comedy from researchers studying neuroscience and brain cancer alongside comedians who have suffered brain injuries. The Symposium: Academic StandUp also hosts comedy and storytelling workshops (primarily for minorities) to give individuals new skills to better share their stories, perspectives, and lived experiences to the world. Recently, The Symposium: Academic StandUp partnered with Science Gallery Labs Detroit for a “Hustle” themed show and workshops to celebrate the resilient community and history of Detroit.
On Sunday, October 14th, The Symposium will host a special Persons with Disabilities Comedy Showcase featuring performers with disabilities to celebrate their perspectives and life experiences. We'll also provide workshops for persons with disabilities to develop their storytelling and standup comedy talents in preparation for the show.
We are partnering with a new accessible venue in NYC called Caveat. They are interested in learning how to create accessible programs and engage diverse publics. We will be using the funds to make the show as accessible to audiences as possible as well as provide workshops and rehearsal time for the performers so they can be comfortable navigating the new space on the night of the performance.
This show is about celebrating diverse experiences, fighting for representation, and raising up under-appreciated perspectives.
What our grantee is saying: "I'm so excited to be able to use the Awesome Foundation Disability Chapter's grant to  showcase the wonderful perspectives of a diverse group of performers with disabilities and  demonstrate and learn how to better produce supportive, accessible live shows. As a gatekeeper for opportunities and a fellow minority, I am so conscious of how important diversity and representation is on any given platform, be it live on a stage or on digital media. It is so important for minorities to experience our own likeness reflected on a stage, but even more powerful is feeling like our diverse perspectives and lived experiences are represented and worthy of a spotlight. I am thrilled to partner with the disability community to create an evening of comedy and celebration for underrepresented artistic, comedic performers. Making a comedy show by the community for this community would not be possible without this grant, so I thank you so much for this chance from the bottom of my heart."
Funded by Disability (September 2018)