Simi Linton, a wheelchair-riding social activist, takes us out dancing with the avant-garde of disabled artists and radical thinkers - unstoppable in their quest for “equality, justice, and a place on the dance floor!"

Icons of the Disability Arts Community: Part 1

A brief moment to witness an instance of cultural connectedness.  This week two of the icons of disability arts celebrated birthdays.  
Lynn Manning, April 30th, is an award winning poet, playwright, actor, and former World Champion of blind judo.  Riva Lehrer, April 25th, is an extraordinary artist, teacher, writer and more.  They have each, in theatre and in painting, worked with disability and brought a new light to it, a new way of seeing it.

Riva’s beautifully rendered portrait of Lynn is below (Lynn Manning: Comet), along with a self-portrait (At 54).   Following that is a photo of Simi, Lynn, Sharon Snyder and David Mitchell, taken at a conference on Representing Disability, Haverford College, 2006.   All were speaking or performing at that conference.  Further, Sharon and David are filmmakers (as well as theorists, writers and more), and Riva is the subject of their documentary Self-Preservation: The Art of Riva Lehrer.

Happy Birthday, Lynn and Riva.  A toast to you and your work.

“Lynn Manning: Comet”
2007 charcoal on paper

(Riva Lehrer drawing of Lynn Manning- tall black man, facing forward, bare chest, holding his white cane with tip in air above his head)

“At 54”
2012 mixed media and dimensional collage on Amate paper

(Riva Lehrer self portrait- white woman, red hair, in pink dress, suspended in midair like a marionette puppet)

Simi, Lynn Manning, Sharon Snyder & David Mitchell outdoors at the 2006 Representing Disability conference, Haverford College