ABILITY CHICAGO INFO, by Jim Watkins
published: Sept. 4, 2014
3Arts announced today the creation of two 3Arts Fellowships at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), unprecedented artist residencies focused on supporting the creation of new work by local artists with disabilities who are actively engaged in raising awareness about disability culture on and off campus. For the inaugural 2014/15 year, two past 3Arts Award recipients were invited to apply; following this pilot, the process will be opened to qualifying artists in the Chicago metropolitan area.
The inaugural fellowship recipients, 3Arts Awardees Robert Schleifer
(theater and performing arts) and Riva Lehrer
(visual arts), will be given full access to the resources available on the UIC campus, support in making new work, and paid opportunities to engage with students and faculty, and through public programming in organized critiques, studio visits, public forums, and workshops. Schleifer is currently working to translate Yasmina Reza’s Art
completely into American Sign Language, involving the UIC community in workshops this fall. The new play will be titledArt in ASL
. Lehrer’s fellowship, beginning in February 2015, will explore issues of portraiture and power in a series of collaborative portraits.
“It has been so satisfying to find an institutional partner in UIC that is anything but institutional—one that is visionary, flexible, and open to the needs of individual artists, while serving as an anchor and making profound connections to people on and off campus,” said 3Arts Executive Director Esther Grimm. "For the artists, can you imagine a better opportunity than to engage with UIC students, faculty, and the public, while being supported in developing new work? And this is only the beginning!”
“These fellowships support both the artists and the institution as they acknowledge the value that each can provide for the other,” said UIC School of Art & Art History Director Lisa Yun Lee. “The university provides resources for the artists to catapult their emerging careers, and the artists help the university to expand and further develop its culture around art and disability and further our mission of creating knowledge that advances social change and transforms people’s lives.”
UIC plans to utilize the fellowships to create space for more interdisciplinary artistic approaches to art, and study of the intersection of research methods and artistic processes—such as the connection between the medical humanities and art.
“We hope that these fellowships will shed light on different models of creative expression, focusing on questions of accessibility and educating the campus and public more on disability art, disability culture, and inclusive learning,” said UIC Department of Disability and Human Development Associate Professor Carrie Sandahl.
Driven by the belief that the vitality and creative spirit of Chicago is reliant upon a diverse spectrum of artistic voices, 3Arts is a nonprofit organization that advocates for Chicago’s women artists, artists of color, and artists with disabilities who work in the performing (dance, music and theater), teaching and visual arts. By providing cash awards, project funding, residency fellowships, professional development and promotion, 3Arts helps artists take risks, experiment and focus on their creative process. In the past six years, 3Arts has distributed nearly $1.5 million to Chicago's women artists, artists of color, and artists with disabilities. For more information on 3Arts, please visit www.3arts.org
About the University of Illinois at Chicago
A major research university in the heart of one of the world's greatest cities, UIC provides a world-class education for its students. It is committed to creating and disseminating new knowledge as a university of growing national and international stature.
The largest university in the Chicago area, UIC has 27,580 students, 15 colleges—including the nation's largest medical school—and annual research expenditures exceeding $335 million. UIC operates the state's major public medical center and serves as the principal educator of Illinois' physicians, dentists, pharmacists, nurses and other health-care professionals.
A truly global institution, more than a third of UIC students speak English as a second language. UIC's student body—approximately 61 percent undergraduate and 39 percent graduate and professional—is recognized as one of the nation's most diverse. For more information on UIC, please visit www.uic.edu
IMAGE: Ability Chicago