The arts enrich our lives. from fashion and film to dance or design, the arts challenge, encourage, educate and inspire us. Get to know three arts and-culture-focused nonprofits that are creating beauty in various fields as they promote inclusion and access for those with disabilities.
Runway of Dreams
In 2014, Mindy Scheier’s son wanted to wear jeans to school like his friends. But Oliver, who has a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy, couldn’t manage the buttons or zippers. Realizing a need for fashionable and accessible clothing,
the idea for the Runway of Dreams Foundation was born. Since 2018, Runway of Dreams has hosted A Fashion Revolution, an industry changing fashion show featuring adaptive clothing and models with disabilities during New York Fashion Week with additional events in Las Vegas and Miami. The nonprofit offers scholarships, a summer internship program, wardrobe grants and more.
Easterseals Disability Film Challenge
Launched in 2014, the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge creates a unique opportunity for filmmakers—both with and without disabilities—to work together to tell stories that showcase disability in its many forms. During the weeklong competition, filmmakers work together to write, produce and complete a 3- to 5-minute short film, with winners selected by a panel of industry professionals. The nonprofit, founded by actor Nic Novicki, seeks to provide a platform for new and underrepresented voices in the film industry. Since its inception, Challenge filmmakers have created more than 150 short films viewed online and at festivals.
National Arts and Disability Center
A program of the Tarjan Center at the University of California, Los Angeles – Semel Institute, the National Arts and Disability Center is a leading consultant in the arts and disability community and the only center of its kind. The NADC,
funded by UCLA as well as federal, state and private grants and contracts, seeks to promote the inclusion of artists and audiences with disabilities into all facets of the arts community through technical assistance, training, professional development, community and vocational activities and more.