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Ford and Mellon Foundations Announce 2022 Disability Futures Fellows

The Ford and Mellon Foundations Announce 2022 Disability Futures Fellows

On July 27, the Ford Foundation and the Mellon Foundation celebrated the 2022 recipients of the Disability Futures Fellowship, an initiative administered by United States Artists. The Fellowship supports 20 disabled creative practitioners whose work advances the cultural landscape. Each fellowship includes a $50,000 grant, totaling $1 million for the cohort overall. Now in its second round, it is the only national, multidisciplinary award for disabled artists and creative practitioners.

The intersectional cohort of recipients come from communities across the U.S., where they work as artists, activists, and educators. This year’s Fellows include poet Camisha L. Jones, filmmaker Nasreen Alkhateeb, community organizer Sandy Ho, writer Khadijah Queen, and journalist Wendy Lu. “We are delighted to reaffirm our commitment to this community of artists, advance their perspectives and ideas, and expand who is seen and heard in the creative landscape,” said Margaret Morton, program director, Creativity and Free Expression at the Ford Foundation.

Ford and Mellon Foundations Announce 2022 Disability Futures Fellows

M Eifler, “Masking Machine”; photo by An Xiao Mina, courtesy of the artist and Disability Futures.

Ford and Mellon Foundations Announce 2022 Disability Futures Fellows

Alison O’Daniel, “No Mathematical Logic”; photo courtesy of the artist and Disability Futures.

Disability Futures is on a mission to address a dearth of disability visibility in the cultural sector, lack of professional development opportunities accessible to disabled practitioners, and the unique financial challenges facing disabled artists and creative professionals. “I’ve received a number of fellowships in the past, but this one is particularly special for a few reasons,” said Christine Sun Kim, artist and 2020 Disability Futures Fellow. “It comes with so much pride of being recognized alongside other extremely talented disabled fellows; it has undoubtedly expanded the meaning of ‘disability’ to something much less reductive.”

The result of a yearlong research initiative commissioned by the Ford Foundation, and conducted by United States Artists, Disability Futures interviewed dozens of disabled artists and creative practitioners across the country to learn how to better serve disabled artists and creatives. The 2022 panelists—Petra Kuppers, Sean Lee, and Therí A. Pickens—selected finalists, who were confirmed by an advisory council of disabled creative practitioners that included Allison Hedge Coke, Cara Reedy, Emily Sara, Jade Bryan, and Michelle A. Banks. “Mellon is honored to support Disability Futures, a program that is very close to our hearts,” said Emil J. Kang, program director, Arts and Culture at the Mellon Foundation. “Created out of conversation, collaboration, and care, Disability Futures offers a chance to honor and learn from generations of artists. It’s wonderful to announce that this community just grew larger.”

Ford and Mellon Foundations Announce 2022 Disability Futures Fellows

Yo-Yo Lin; photo courtesy of the artist and Disability Futures.

Ford and Mellon Foundations Announce 2022 Disability Futures Fellows

QuestionATL; photo courtesy of the artist and Disability Futures.

Ford and Mellon Foundations Announce 2022 Disability Futures Fellows

Portrait of Naomi Ortiz; photo by Jade Beall, courtesy of Disability Futures.

Ford and Mellon Foundations Announce 2022 Disability Futures Fellows

Portrait of Camisha L. Jones; photo by Brandon Woods, courtesy of the artist and Disability Futures.

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Kelly Wearstler

THE WINTER EXPERIENCE ISSUE
2023

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