The Power of Art, the Power of Us

Our imaginations need and want to soar. Art and artistic adventures are crucial to a healthy, inclusive society. With the trend towards funding cuts in the arts, we need to rethink our strategies to ensure the that the arts are kept alive and are inclusive. But the same time, in recent years, bolstering this mission have been mainstream arts programs, developments in assistive technologies, and creative expression around disability and diversity. These areas haves experienced a virtual renaissance, offering a vibrant representation of disabled subjects across cultures and media platforms. 

The Power of Art, the Power of Us will extend the focus to today’s social, legal, political and economic arrangements into their reflection in the interconnectivity between arrangements fueling—or frustrating—change at the cusp of disability and art. How do such arrangements determine who is or is not empowered to curate aesthetics surrounding non-normative bodies and minds? What role do aesthetics play in disability rights and justice movements? We want a stirring exchange aimed at illuminating and impacting lives and careers. 

We will examine prevailing models of thinking around artists, leaders, audiences, advocates, activists, media professionals and clinical practitioners, while also inviting more critical models of navigating artistic spaces. Which resources and alliances are needed to produce exhibitions, performances and media content? What are best practices for engaging collaborations? What are some of the cultural initiatives having a positive social and/or environmental impact, and what is required to sustain and expand such efforts?

Beyond articulating fresh perspectives, The Power of Art, The Power of Us will also celebrate compelling artistic endeavors by and for the community. A forum will bring together leading talents and community participants to highlight achievements in the arts and encourage a thoughtful exchange of ideas.

 The team is interested in receiving proposals including but not limited to the following topics:

  • Curating aesthetics around disability and diversity;
  • Policies and structures needed to enable disabled artists to practice;
  • Representations of disability in the visual and performing arts;
  • The role of prosthetics in creative expression;
  • The challenges and opportunities of disability in arts practice;
  • The role of arts as a form of resistance, as political theatre, and as social justice;
  • Best practices and initiatives in promoting employment and entrepreneurship in the arts;
  • New inclusive initiatives in the cinematic arts – whether it be representation, hiring practices or training programs;
  • Programs and initiatives aimed at integrating disability related issues in all aspects of art education and production, whether it be film, theatre or dance;

If you have a proposal that may not fit in to the above targets, we will welcome them as part of our discussion. We welcome proposals in any presentation format.

Please see presentation formats on our webpage at /presenters/formats. Please check the criteria for each format and ensure that you have the appropriate number of presenters for your chosen format. You may also submit ideas for performance or ideas for visual representations at the conference. You may submit proposals online at: /submissions or send your proposals via email to

For more information about this topic area, contact Annie Moriyasu (co-chair),; Laura Blum, or Charmaine Crockett at cccrocke@hawaii.eduFor general information on the conference, please contact Charmaine Crockett at, (808) 956-7539. For registration questions please contact the registration desk at (808) 956-8816, fax (808) 956-4437 or email