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Published: May 12, 2018
The Art of Accessibility


by Gabe Taylor


When The Independence Center’s Courtney Stone and Tim Gore approached others at The IC about participating in the “First Friday Downtown” art walk, it was a no brainer. What a great opportunity to showcase the artwork of individuals from within the people with disabilities community.

Art provides a historical record of our past, drives curiosity, inspires innovation, and brings us together. And historically, a great number of famous artists have had disabilities. The presence of people with disabilities in the arts has a rich history. It
was in this spirit, and in the hope of making art accessible to everyone, that we at The IC named our art exhibit “Art of Accessibility.”

The Art of Accessibility is about creating a deliberate space for artists with disabilities to be the source of knowledge, by sharing their stories, vision, and creations. From oil paintings and photography to dance and music, the diverse perspectives of people across and beyond disability are shared in this space. Many people see it simply as a lovely work of art. We see it as advocacy and a road to access and inclusion.

The IC has held Art of Accessibility twice as part of First Friday Downtown, and will most certainly continue to do so going forward. With a festive atmosphere and foodie oriented theme, it’s hard not to have a good time. The most recent event, the “Haute Chocolate Hop”, was fantastic, with significantly more visitors coming to The IC than the original event. There were numerous delicious desserts to be found including chocolate bacon brownies – yum. The number of artists displaying their artwork has increased as well. It was so great to see the halls and conference rooms at The IC lined with the work of such amazing artists. To the right, you can see a few of the photos from Art of Accessibility.

This inclusion of diverse voice in the narrative of Colorado Springs & El Paso County nourishes and strengthens our community. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, “We inhabit a universe that is characterized by diversity.” We all benefit from welcoming and engaging with the full breadth of visions from our community’s past, present, and future – because from difference comes innovation.

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