DisArt had the honor to be part of both the cast and crew of the virtual ADA30 Lead On event celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Aired on July 23, 2020

ADA30 Lead On was established for the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.Our goal is to continue to bring recognition to the history, impact and purpose of the ADA through a celebration of diverse disabled artists, innovators and advocates and their allies.At this time in our nation’s collective conscience, we are asked to confront the harsh realities that are residual echoes of the American ”dream.” As in every social justice movement in this nation, the Disability Rights Movement was born out of the unfulfilled parts of America’s potential and its unrealized and inaccessible dream. Whether it be for suffragists, Freedom Riders, Stonewall rioters, Feminists, each arose as response and appeal to the nation – “Do better. BE better.” However, even in those movements, the roles of ableism and racism were and are quite prevalent. That simple truth is what makes this ADA 30 celebration even more significant.

The 50-member ADA Lead On “Core Production Team” (in front of and behind the camera/keyboard) and 22 ADA Generation bloggers, influencers and signal boosters were focused and determined to set the record straight, flip the script on educating, entertaining and empowering people with (and without) disabilities with the creation and production of ADA30 Lead On: Celebration of Disability Arts, Culture, Education & Pride with a two hour, 15 minute entertaining, educational and empowering journey through the five titles of the Americans with Disabilities Act, landmark civil rights legislation.

All too often ignored by Hollywood and media employers, ADA30 Lead On Production Team created and presented an all-star ensemble cast of Deaf and disabled performers, artists, filmmakers, storytellers, disability leaders, policymakers and key influencers who boldly own this narrative and created this show – meeting weekly for months – all from their own homes, across the country during this pandemic (instead of our original plan at the Kennedy Center) – with Disability Power & Pride. People with disabilities represent 26% of the population – only 2% of media – and 100% cast and crew of ADA30 Lead On: Celebration of Disability Arts, Culture, Education & Pride.

Hosted by Danny Woodburn & other disability rights leaders, performers, artists, singers, dancers, poets, filmmakers, and storytellers with disabilities.

Appearances include: Tony Award-winner Ali Stroker; Academy Award-winner Marlee Matlin; Comedian/performers Maysoon Zayid, Geri Jewell, Kathy Buckley, Nic Novicki, Nina G., Andy Arias, Shannon DeVido, Selene Luna, and Michael Beers.

Singer-Songwriters: Emmanuel Kelly/NEVER ALONE; Anita Hollander/BODY OF THE FIGHTER with ASL Deaf Performer Alexandria Wailes; Elaine Kolb/WE WILL RIDE and NOT DEAD YET; Jeff Moyer/ADA ANTHEM; Johnny Crescendo and the Pop Squad/PRIDE; and KripHop Nation’s Leroy Moore & Keith Jones/MY ADA STORY. NEVER ALONE In Memoriam edited by Bus Door Films’ Bradley Gantt and Ruan du Plessis with ASL Deaf performers: Michelle Banks, Erika Chirino, CJ Jones, Dickie Hearts, Krissy Lemon, and John McGinty.

Dancers: Alice Sheppard’s Kinetic Light/DESCENT; Heidi Latsky Dance/ON DISPLAY; Infinite Flow/Marisa Hamamoto and Auti Angel; Alie B. Gorrie, Evan Ruggiero, Blake Stadnick; and Full Radius.

Performers and/or ADA30 Birthday greetings: Poet Maria R. Palacios/CRIP WORDS OF ADVICE TO A YOUNGER GENERATION; Camryn Manheim and Cole Sibus, CJ Jones, RJ Mitte, Christine Bruno, Eileen Grubba, Diana Elizabeth Jordan, David Harrell, David Zimmerman, Marilee Talkington, Natalie Gross; Tal Anderson, Treshelle Edmond, Jerald Creer, Antoine Hunter, Performing Arts Studio West, Jenni Gold, Mark Ozdoba’s Mr. & Mrs. Snowman; SAG-AFTRA’s Gabrielle Carteris, Rebecca Damon and Camryn Manheim.

Disability Leaders: Senator Tom Harkin, Judith Heumann, Tony Coelho, Haben Girma, ADAPT’s Anita Cameron and Heath Montgomery, Maria Town/AAPD, Kelly Buckland/NCIL, Jim Weissman/United Spinal, Shaun Castle/PVA, Diane Coleman/Not Dead Yet and Dan Fisher/National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery.

Government colleague greetings: Neil Romano/Chairman, National Council on Disability, Shelley Reeves/NIDILRR-ACL, Charles Baldwin/Mass Cultural Council, National Endowment for the Arts’ chairman Mary Anne Carter and Accessibility Director, Beth Bienvenu; Governor Tom Ridge; ADA/Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities – Victor Calise/NYC, Stephen David Simon/Los Angeles, Nicole Bohn/San Francisco, Rachel Arfa/Chicago, Kristen McKosh/Boston, David Newburger/St. Louis, and Rachel Tanenhaus/Cambridge.

Trailers – courtesy of filmmakers: Jim LeBrecht and Nicole Newham/CRIP CAMP, Day Al-Mohamed/INVALID CORP, Eric Neudel and Alison Gilkey/LIVES WORTH LIVING, Yaara Kedem and Isaac Zablocki/ReelAbilities Film Festival NY.

Visual artists: Gina Klawitter/ALL THE WAY TO FREEDOM, Oaklee Thiele-DisArt-Ford Foundation/MY DEAREST FRIENDS, plus Edmonroe and Neil Marcus/EvoluTOn of a Movement; Photographs – Tom Olin/The Tom Olin Collection, an AT&T Humanity of Connection recipient.

Sponsor greetings: AT&T’s David Huntley, Bri King-Offord, Abdi Warsame, and Yasmine Jonaidi; Rodger DeRose/Kessler Foundation; Nic Novicki/Easterseals Disability Film Challenge; Candace Cable/Foundation for Global Sports Development and Sidewinder Films; Kathy Martinez/Wells Fargo; Karen Goss/Mid-Atlantic ADA Center; and Laura Owens/TransCen.

Accessibility: Open audio description and open captions provided by Woman of Her Word and Point 360, audio described by Michele Spitz. Sign Language interpreters Mara Bassani-Santamaria and Elena Lee provided by Bill Pugin’s The Sign Language Company. CART for planning meetings provided by ACS.

ADA30 Lead On logo design: Dan Wilkins.

Music Supervisor: Reggie Luck

Editors: Liz Pritchard, Tim Doran, Trelanda Lowe, Jd Michaels and Sady Paulson

Writers’ Zoom – Danny Woodburn, Day Al-Mohamed, Mark Ozdoba and Tari Hartman Squire

Production & Design: Jd Michaels

End credits: Exceptional Minds.

Thanks to Talent Outreach Committees and Allies: Christine Bruno, Kallen Blair Prosterman, Andy Arias, Nina G., Alie B. Gorrie, Diana Elizabeth Jordan, Nic Novicki, DisArt’s Jill Vyn and Chris Smit, Elisabeth Axel/Art Beyond Sight, Beth Bienvenu/NEA; Casting Society of America’s Russell Boast, Caroline Liem, Danielle Demchick, Kendra Castleberry, John Ort, Michael Sanford, and Stephanie Klapper.

Website Design Team: Dustin Snowadzky, Gina Klawitter, DisArt’s Jill Vyn, and Chris Smit, Mark Ozdoba.

Social Media ADA Generation blogger coordinator: Anita Cameron;

Produced and directed by Tari Hartman Squire and Danny Woodburn; Associate producer Karen Goss; Production assistants: Emma McElroy, Allilsa Fernandez, Candace Cable, and Mark Ozdoba.

In appreciation of Yoshiko Dart for blessing our ADA30 Lead On name with Justin Dart’s signature phrase, Lead On.

The Numbers (as of July 29, 2020)


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