Features

Michael Graves sitting with book in hands.
On the day we were scheduled to interview Michael Graves, the celebrated architect, designer, professor, and National Medal of Arts recipient passed away at the age of 80. But as...
Man pointing to colors for man in wheelchair to choose.
Most of the patients at Matheny Medical and Educational Center will never have the physical ability to leap across a stage or even grasp a paintbrush. Some will never form...
Gold car hanging from ceiling in museum.
Christopher Smit has spent his life and career at the intersection of art, culture, and disability. An associate professor of communication arts and science at Calvin College in Grand Rapids,...
“I think the worst form of discrimination is someone judging what a person is capable of learning.” -Kitty Lunn, founder of Infinity Dance Theater, which features physically disabled dancers Read our piece on Infinity Dance Theater , and see how other organizations around the country...
In 1979, music teacher Doris Walker was conducting class when one of her students—blind, autistic, and normally shy—told her offhandedly the key of a certain song. Surprised, she pushed further, and discovered a talent for singing. If music could reach an unreachable student, who else...
Two disabled dancers dancing with wheelchairs
Imagine you are taking a trip to the ballet. The lights and set are bright and colorful; the costumes and music are elegant and grand. The choreography is challenging but...
An elderly man playing violin to a couple of children.
When Caroline McElroy moved into the NoHo Senior Arts Colony, she never imagined it meant speeding up, rather than slowing down. Although in the golden years of retirement, she teaches...
Two photos of a section of the hospital before and after redesign.
When St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children moved from its historic home in Philadelphia to a former industrial site almost two miles away, the hospital faced two challenges: how to make...
Air Force troop drawing on paper.
“There’s always somebody who’s got it worse than you,” said Master Sergeant Earl I. Covel, talking about his 12 overseas combat deployments as a member of the Special Operations Tactical...
As I get to the end of my first quarter as NEA Chair, I’ve been thinking about how the arts foster creativity for the current generation of arts leaders, and also what we need to foster creative leadership for future generations. What defines a creative leader? What skill sets does that person need...

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