Socially Distant Art is a grassroots arts organization founded by a small group of Disabled and ally artists. We model ourselves after practices from Disability Justice and mutual aid movements. We’ve developed a no-fee, fully-online arts residency program. It is designed to be flexible and self-paced to meet the needs of Disabled artists, as well as creators juggling complex personal and professional commitments that often create barriers to participating in traditional residency programs. Our primary goal is to introduce artists, creators, and arts leaders to accessibility practices (such as Audio Description, captioning and image description,) within an arts context, and to encourage the integration of those features during the art making process - instead of as an add-on done primarily by curatorial, editorial or institutional staff.
We believe that creators have the opportunity to build a more equitable and accessible Arts world, if they consider Disability Justice, Universal Design, and accessibility features at the core of their work. As artists ourselves, we’ve been exploring these concepts over the last few years - as individuals and within collaborative projects - and we see exciting opportunities for creative applications of accessibility practices that both serve their essential function and provide unique art experiences.
Our year-long program (launching with its first cohort this July) includes virtual community gatherings, an online forum, art prompts, collaborative projects, and Disability Art and Justice related guides. An essential aspect of our residency program will be monthly virtual community gatherings, which will provide an important space for residents to talk through ideas. These gatherings will be one hour events (hosted via zoom) in which our cohort discusses the specific Disability Arts and Justice related topic of that month, and explores ideas for creative and practical applications of accessibility features into their artwork.
What our grantee is saying: "Socially Distant Art is thrilled to start our second art residency cycle with the support of an Awesome Grant from the Disability Chapter! This grant will allow us to provide more robust accessibility services during our virtual community events, including ASL and CART services. We are excited to put these funds towards creating equitable access for all our residents, while also developing stronger relationships with grassroots ASL interpreters. Thank you so much to the Awesome Foundation for contributing to the development of our program!"
Funded by Disability (June 2022)