"Thigh-high Boots, a Scooter, and a Stage", a play about the life of 2017 Boston Foundation LAB (Live Arts Boston) Grant recipient Donna Folan, premieres June 1, 2018 at Wheelock Family Theatre.
This new play is about the life of Boston actress and VSA teaching artist Donna Folan. She is founder of Access to Theatre, the award-winning, inclusive theatre program with Partners for Youth with Disabilities, and her belief in creative expression and passion for inclusive theater practices also imbues her company, Until Tomorrow Productions.
Written and directed by Susan Kosoff, "Thigh-high Boots, a Scooter, and a Stage" presents a bias-breaking, assumption-kicking story of a woman driven by the practice of theater. The play is performed by Folan and interpreted in American Sign Language by Jody Steiner.
"Donna is that charismatic, slightly deranged storyteller you should probably report to the PC police, if you could only stop laughing." – John Bay; actor, director, educator, colleague and fan.
"A feisty bad a** truth teller" – Jeremy Alliger; Executive Director, Alliger Arts.
Fashion is political. Fashion is powerful. Fashion allows us to express the autonomy we have over our bodies and our identities to the world. However, the many barriers that exist in the fashion industry and its historical marginalization of the disability community have often left people with disabilities out of the conversation.
To flip this script, Epicenter Community (now Transformative Culture Project), in collaboration with Arts Emerson, convened many partners, including VSA Massachusetts, to launch the Fashion Accessibility Project (FAP) : a celebration of disability, beauty and humanity through fashion.
FAP convened people with disabilities and fashion designers to create custom-made outfits that were showcased in a fashion show at the Paramount Black Box Theater on June 24, 2017. The show created a platform for community to get dressed up, feel beautiful and celebrate our common humanity, but more importantly, it gave visibility and urgency to this conversation.
This exhibit is a visual retrospective of the FAP process and show, and allows us to continue the conversation, highlight the great work that’s happening around adaptive fashion, and create a call for continued change.
Reception May 31, 2018 6-9pm, Panel Discussion 6:30pm with:
● Nicole Agois, Moderator, VSA MA Managing Director
● Heather Watkins, Activist and blogger
● Keith Jones, Activist, advocate and performer, President of SoulTouchin' Experiences
● Jay Calderin, Fashion designer, and Director of Boston Fashion Week
● Arielle Gray, Writer, and Social Media and #AssembleBOS Coordinator, TCP
● Nicole Olusanya, Special Initiatives Manager, ArtsEmerson
Posted Saturday May 19 2018 at 6:28 pm
It was Wednesday, April 11th 2018 and I bundled all up with my winter clothes on (yes in April!) and headed to a 2 hour Mindfulness Training. I was cold, it was dark, at night and my thoughts were racing with all the items on my to do list for prepping for my next art sessions AND everything else in life, right!?!
At first, I didn't know if I was in the right location, it was quiet and the lights were off . . . but then I realized that I was in the right place for my whole being!
As I entered the space, I saw yoga mats were laid out in a circle with blankets on them. Floor lights lit the space, battery candles were going, and the smell of essential oils from a humidifier filled the air. A sense of intentional space and calm filled the area.
At the center of the circle of yoga mats was a spring collection of items like twigs, pine cones, flowers, etc. Linda shared that by creating a warm and welcoming space, this welcomes in our whole being, and encourages us to already be present without consciously knowing this.
Posted Wednesday May 02 2018 at 4:22 pm
Sometimes, believe it or not, as an art teacher, you can feel like a bit of a weird-o. You are usually the only art teacher at your school. You have the largest amount of supplies at schools but often times the least amount of space. Some adults even think that all you do is facilitate play time and they wonder if the kids really are participating in rigorous learning.
At the National Art Education Conference you are not a weird-o. You are in a place that validates strongly held beliefs that art is essential for growth and learning, that it is an anchor and a necessity for so many kids, that art makes learning alive and makes mistakes interesting.
One sentiment that was repeated by several of the artists who's talks I attended was, art helped them figure out who they are, and remember who they are through difficult times. Their art, especially as teenagers and young people gave them something that was all their own and grounded them. And like art does, it helps you find your friends and kindred souls.