DANT has from the beginning been concerned with the lack of disability representation in the City’s cultural institutions and the general absence of disability arts experts on grant review panels, on boards and staffs, and within city agencies. We determined that we should develop a disability arts and advocacy training program to better prepare cultural workers to effectively shape NYC cultural policy and advance disability equity in the arts.
Therefore, in 2017 we designed a boot camp in disability equity for NYC cultural workers. The project was funded by the Cultural Agenda Fund, administered by the New York Community Trust. The boot camp model, focusing on intensive workshops and collaboration, is a useful tool for the cohort-based leadership training we proposed. Since there are so few opportunities for formal training in disability studies and disability advocacy, the program is a unique tool for building networks of expertise and knowledge.
The DANT Bootcamp inspired me to more deeply consider the unique role I have to play in the city’s greater cultural ecosystem beyond my position at the Museum. It had a tremendous impact on my understanding of disability arts in relation to the cultural landscape of New York City and connected me with a diverse cohort of cultural workers, artists and advocates working to advance disability artistry.Sasha WortzelDirector of Access & Community Programs, The Whitney Museum of American Art
I have never experienced such an comprehensive professional development program. It was a primer on disability artistry and policy, and a dynamic, truly accessible, community hub all in one. The disability arts community is starting to blossom in NYC and DANT is a key leader in this movement. The signature boot camp program is on the top of my list of recommended resources for my disabled and ally peers. I reference its teachings almost daily.Jeff KasperArtist; Instructor of Social Practice Art, Queens College CUNY; Visiting Professor, Pratt Institute Department of Fine Arts; Director of Engagement, More Art