Tom di Maria has served as Director of Creative Growth Art Center since 2000. He has developed partnerships with museums, galleries and international design companies to help bring Creative Growth's artists with disabilities fully into the contemporary art world. He speaks around the world about the Center’s major artists and their relationship to both Outsider Art and contemporary culture. Prior to his current position, he served as Assistant Director of the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive at UC Berkeley.
James R. Doty, M.D., FACS, FICS is a Clinical Professor of neurosurgery at Stanford University and founder and director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE), a part of the Stanford Institute of Neuro-Innovation and Translational Neurosciences. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon's Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart published by Penguin Random House in 2016.
RELATIONSHIP the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected. Relationships are the foundation for civility, for healthy work environments and for diversity to flourish, we need to honor and respect our fellow human beings. Let’s talk about relationships.
For the nearly 60 million Americans with disabilities who depend on Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act for health care and public services to survive, the prospective policies of the US administration could mean losing their health insurance, social safety net, legal protections and civil rights. Or it could not. With every new administration and election in the US and abroad, there is always a threat to lose what we have gained. Potential new laws in the United States may once again expose people with disabilities to the vagaries of the private insurance market.
Our imaginations need and want to soar. Art and artistic adventures are crucial to a healthy, inclusive society. With the trend towards funding cuts in the arts, we need to rethink our strategies to ensure the that the arts are kept alive and are inclusive. But the same time, in recent years, bolstering this mission have been mainstream arts programs, developments in assistive technologies, and creative expression around disability and diversity.
The stigma of disability can be as disabling as the condition itself. It thwarts people from realizing their potential and poses chronic barriers to inclusivity. Overcoming prejudice is the first step to beating the discrimination that people living with disability all too often face, with consequences ranging from poor healthcare, employment challenges and restricted community access, to the erosion of human rights, psychological damage and abuse. Efforts to surmount social bias must also recognize insidious factors such as self-stigma.