Location: Avenue 50 Studios, 131 North Avenue 50, Highland Park, CA 90042
Curator & Host: Loretta McCormick
(Image: Sue Austin Deep Sea Diving in Wheelchair)
Too often the disabled or variant body is reduced to a narrative device used to explain or dismiss bad behavior, imbue a character with pathos or to reinforce class, social or economic stereotypes.
In tonight’s discussion and reading, artists and writers explode these stereotypes and continue to make space and interrogate access, publishing, art and representation for people with disabilities.
Jackie Hymes – is a second year poet in UCR’s MFA program. Obsessed with the mouth, much of her poetry involves agency and voice. Her newer poems focus on loneliness amidst absence and presence. Her work has appeared in Winter Tangerine, Nailed Magazine, and The Legendary, and her poem about her hearing loss has been anthologized in We Will Be Shelter: Poems for Survival. Aside from poetry, she is currently at work on a memoir about family dysfunction, trauma, and instability in the San Fernando Valley.
Jane Engleman – works in rhythms. Until the past three years, she has lived with the extremes of bipolar disorder, the beats of abundance and scarcity, the difference in the seasons, the circadian. She plays the syncopations and the thud in pain, rage, fear and confusion. And hope. Her work includes, “Finis,” an illustrated journey through suffering, and “Good to Hear Your Voice,” sketches of personal experience, poetry and art from people with mental issues. LELA (Lived Experience LA) is using this book to begin conversations with the public about mental suffering. She also volunteers for the Painted Brain, an organization that advocates online against the stigma of mental suffering.
Katherine Schneider – Ph.D. is a retired clinical psychologist living in Eau Claire, WI with her ninth Seeing Eye dog. Her books include, /To the Left of Inspiration: Adventures in Living with Disabilities/, /Your Treasure Hunt: Disabilities and Finding Your Gold/, and /Occupying Aging: Delights, Disabilities and Daily Life/. She originated the Schneider Family Book Awards for children’s books with disability content through the American Library Association and an award for superior journalism about disability issues through the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. More about Katherine and her non-profit work can be found at: http://kathiecomments.wordpress.com
Obed Silva – is an Assistant Professor of English at East Los Angeles College. A high-school dropout, he received his GED while serving 9 months at Los Pinos Conservation Camp in Orange County. Only months after his release, while attempting to rob a mini-mart, he was shot in the back by the store’s clerk. As a result, he became completely paralyzed from the waist down. A year later, he was charged with attempted murder for shooting a gang rival from his wheelchair and looking at a life sentence. Fortunately, he was sentenced to 5 years gang-terms probation. It was during this time that he began attending community college and taking his education seriously. In addition to being an educator, he is also a writer and painter. At the present time, he is working on a memoir tentatively titled My Father the Pope.
Danielle Perez – is a Los Angeles based stand-up comedian best known for being the woman in a wheelchair, with no feet, who won a treadmill on The Price Is Right. She appeared as a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live! for her hilarious reaction to winning the awkward prize, has opened for Maria Bamford, and was profiled by Refinery 29. In addition to performing at comedy clubs and festivals across the country, Danielle has written and stared in videos for BuzzFeed, Funny or Die, Channel 101, and Snarled. This Fall, Danielle will be featured on CNN’s “Great Big Story” and star in the web series “Thank You Come Again”. Danielle is a founding member of Thigh Gap Comedy and produces GENTRIFICATION, a monthly comedy show in her hometown neighborhood of Highland Park.
Facebook event page here.
**Street parking only.
** This space is wheelchair accessible.
** We ask that attendees refrain from scents or fragrance in order to make the event accessible for guests with chemical sensitivities.