05 February 2009

Disability Pride

My friends, as a community of unique people, it is a great source of encouragement to become aware that we are not alone in carving out a place for ourselves in this world. As a historian, I take inspiration and encouragement from finding links between the past and the present. It was therefore, a great pleasure to discover parallels between the creator of this website, and an even earlier pioneer of the movement for inclusion, noted architect, Frederick Law Olmsted.

Karen took on the organized establishment, and their corrupting limitations about what was manageable and possible for a woman with cerebral palsy.

By learning to dance, fighting to earn a college degree, against overwhelming opposition, and refusing to settle for an isolated mediocre, she is restoring our hopes, and giving strength to our dreams.

Frederick Law Olmsted, himself a person with disability, as the result of an injury, had for the nineteenth century, an overwhelmingly progressive viewpoints on the role which people should play, in the lives of their community. He designed central park, in New York, and hundreds of others throughout the nation, as showplaces, "people’s parks" fully accessible, and open to all, an unheard of idea for the 1870’s!

Here, rich, and poor, young and old could spend time in rich surroundings in harmony. Leslie Fanelli’s masterwork "Promise of the Park" details his quest to build Central Park, and his commitment to providing gathering points, for people far more joyous than the graveyards, in which most of the people could gather on Sunday’s their one day off.

"Promise of the Park", details the story in musical format in Ms. Fanelli’s usually brilliant style. She shows through the teenage minds of Amy and Leslie her joint protagonists, what Olmstead saw as his vision, how he took on the ruling class of the glided age, to create an oasis of peace in the blusting city. Eighty five years before "Salient Spring", Olmstead had a holistic vision of environmental harmony, and conservation.

For a person of his disability to be active in this era, was unheard of. But Olmstead, like Karen dug in his heels, and remained true to his better self. I ask every reader of this blog, to give careful attention to my dear friend, Ms. Fanelli, as she shares a review of her fabulous work… Sean Dineen

"Disability Pride" is an exciting new music CD by Theatre in Motion! This beautiful, robust music appeals to not only the millions of folks with disabilities, but also to their families and friends. Musical Theatre that is intergenerational appealing! Anthems of the Disability Rights and Disability Pride Movements!

Broadway’s Harold Prince declared, "What a feel-good project . . . You and your colleagues deserve such praise."

The Honorable Judith Huemann wrote, "Beautiful music and history sung by disabled activists. This will be a wonderful addition to the Disability Studies movement. A great gift for anyone who likes good music."

Available at http://cdbaby.com/cd/theatreinmotion2
Theatre in Motion is an award-winning theatre company that features intergenerational creative and performing artists with and without disabilities–serving inclusive, intergenerational audiences.

Tracks for "Disability Pride"
1 Disability Rights
2 Disability Boogie Woogie
3 Lake Erie
4 My Wheelin’ Chair
5 History Of The ADA
6 We’ll Speak Out
7 Let’s Reach An Understanding
8 Rolling To Washington

9 Disability Rights (reprise)

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