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What are the Pros and Cons of Disability-specific Festivals?

With the support of Studio C and cSPACE, the SPARK Disability Art Festival 2018 is proud to present a panel discussion on Disability Arts and Intersectional Identities.

LOCATION: RGO Treehouse, 4th floor, cSPACE King Edward

ADDRESS: 1721 29 Ave SW, Calgary

DATE: December 6 from 6 - 7pm (Kick-off to the SPARK Festival Reception)

Join representatives from the Indefinite Arts Centre, Artistic Expressions, MoMo Movement, Inside Out Theatre and other special guests to discuss the benefits and challenges of festivals that exclusively feature disabled artists. Hear from artists and programmers of Calgary’s leading disability art organizations as they explore topics such as: Are disability art festivals the best way to experience work? And what are the pros and cons of identifying as a disabled artist?

Following the panel, the hallway galleries of cSPACE and Studio C will be open for the public to explore, showcasing juried SPARK artwork from around the world. Light refreshments and a relaxed reception will be offered at Studio C.

PLEASE NOTE: This event is open to the public and seating is limited. Please arrive early. Venue is wheelchair accessible.


Read on for more information about the different Artists and Disability Art Organizations that will be leading the discussion on December 6.


Artistic Expressions provides creative art programs for adults with a physical disability and/or acquired brain injury. The Artistic Expressions program believes that everyone has an inherent desire to express themselves creatively. Representing Artistic Expressions will be artist Kathy Austin.

Kathy M. Austin is a blind visual artist and performer. She serves as the Artist Representative to the Board for Artistic Expressions, and also performs/teaches with Calgary's Momo Movement. Kathy was recently hired by Inside Out Theatre to help develop their Good Host program, an initiative that improves inclusion and accessibility for theatre goers with disabilities.

Learn more about Kathy's creative endeavours by watching her profile as part of Darrel Janz's "Inspiring Albertan" video here.


The Indefinite Arts Centre provides artistic training, creation, and exhibition opportunities for people with developmental, physical, and acquired disabilities.

Every week, 300+ artists come through the IAC's fully equipped studio space in Calgary. Working alongside talented instructors, artists are supported and empowered to experience the entire artistic creation process – from conceptualization to exhibition.


Inside Out Theatre is a disability theatre company equally invested in artistic excellence, community development, and deepening our culture’s accessibility. They offer community-based drama programs to Calgarians with disabilities that foster a love of theatre, the joy of community, and the rewards of self-expression.

Inside Out produces and presents plays created by artists with disabilities and their allies that insist on and celebrate their place in the public sphere. They also work to improve theatre’s accessibility for audience members and to ensure their equity and dignity in attending performing arts in Calgary.


Momo Movement is shaping how disability is felt, perceived, understood, experienced, hailed and resounded through dance classes for youth and adults, performance and community programming. By working individually, Momo innovates one size fits one training by offering programs that are highly collaborative and participatory.

Momo Movement’s ensemble of mixed ability artists meets throughout the year to explore themes that are meaningful to them and create performance pieces of their own design. Working with choreographers from within the ensemble and collaborating with guest artists, Momo’s ensemble is challenging who gets to make art, who gets to perform it and what it looks like.


Studio C is Prospect's award-winning Collaborative Art Centre; a public studio and gallery that uses art to create inclusive culture. The studio and gallery is open to anyone wanting to express and explore their creative potential, serving serve many communities including: mental health, disability, Canadian newcomers, LGBTQ youth, seniors, and children. Representing Studio C will be artist Donna Marie Hamer.

Donna Marie Hamer is a painter, puppet maker, photographer, author, blogger and performer. She has an active arts practice through Rumble House and Studio C Collaborative Art Centre, and shares her unique process with her 4000+ followers online. Donna is an advocate for mental wellness and the power that creativity has to build skills and transform lives.

Learn more about Donna's creative endeavours by visiting her art blog here.

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