DisArt Festival: National Debut Advances a Region's Options

Opening Reception Friday, Apr. 10, 6 p.m.
After all the meetings of the last 18+ months, the little festival that could help reshape the way we look at ability, Grand Rapids' DisArt Festival, is finally happening.
As with any art show or festival in this city, each event provides an opportunity to open the door to a new level of understanding about the lives of others. The artists of DisArt Fest, living locally and around the world, offer viewers a chance "to reconsider the importance of community, identity, and difference."
One key highlight of this first-time event is the U.S. premiere of Art of the Lived Experiment, an exhibit whose origins begin at the DaDaFest in Liverpool, UK before landing on our side of the pond. 
This truly life-changing collection of art includes many of the top international and U.S.-based contemporary disability artists. The ALE exhibition will be on display at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Grand Rapids Art Museum, and Kendall College of Art and Design Fed Galleries from April 10th to July 31st, 2015 but on Friday night you can freely wander from gallery to gallery as part of a community celebration of the arts. 
Please note that Friday's event is a progressive opening with DisArt Festival's Director Chris Smit welcoming attendees at the GRAM at 6 p.m. followed by a curators' talk with Amanda Cachia and Aaron Williamson, curators of the Art of the Lived Experiment exhibition.
Be sure to visit the site's calendar for art locations throughout the city as well as to see all the programming, which includes movies, lectures, a fashion runway show, dance performances, and much more.
This is all part of Grand Rapids Mayor Heartwell's mission to make 2015 the Year of Arts + Access in our city. Many upgrades to the streets of the city will be in place, making many of the goals of the festival a reality before the visitors begin to arrive in our city. 
Sometimes when we get things right it is hard not to want to shout from the rooftops how amazing it can be to live here. Let's keep on keeping on.
Admission: Varies but the art exhibitions are free. Visit DisArt Festival's website for the full schedule of events.

Publisher's Note: We covered the creation of this event and how it seeks to make big changes to our cultural and civic landscape. Please read and share DisArming stereotypes with art.  Thank you. - TA


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