The 2017 DisArt Symposium: Disability Arts Now! combined an academic conference, a multilayered arts exhibition, a showcase of access-design, and a workshop for local arts engagement. Its single-stream format allowed participants to dive deeper into conversations about identity, design, and community through a combination of presentations, performances, discussions, and disability arts entertainment.

Specific emphasis was placed on the current movement of disability arts and culture and how each one of us has a role to play in it. Community members were invited to participate in the keynote presentations and evening entertainment as an introduction into disability art and culture.

The production design of DisArt Symposium was a point of interest to all participants. Co-created with the KBOgroup of Grand Rapids, the symposium stage and seating area was like no other public event you’ve attended as it seamlessly integrated access technologies, alternative seating formats, and multiple experiential avenues.

Featured Exhibition

The Shape of Self | Work by Riva Lehrer which was on display at the Fed Galleries @ KCAD from February 14, 2017 – April 8, 2017 was considered the cornerstone exhibition for the 2017 DisArt Symposium. Through portrayals of the socially challenged body, Lehrer revealed assumptions about beauty, worth, and visual pleasure.


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