March 2007 - May 2007: Issue 22

News And Notes

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Festival Of The Blind Will Take Place In October

The Fifth International Festival of the Blind and Visually Impaired BIT (Blind in Theatre) will take place in Zagreb from October 5 to 12, 2007, according to an announcement by Vojin Peri, Managing Director of the host theater Theatrical Company Of The Blind And Visually Impaired New Life, and Lynn Manning, poet, playwright and actor.

In the announcement, these regulations were formulated for the participation of any company in the festival:

  1. The ensemble participating in the festival shall have a minimum of 50% of blind and visually impaired actors.
  2. The project applying for the festival can be a full evening production, a performance or any other theatrical piece resulting from experimental work on stage.
  3. Groups can prepare workshops, lectures or presentations for the festival.
  4. Groups cannot present at the festival only a workshop, without a production.
  5. Groups participating in the festival can have a maximum of 15 members, unless agreed differently with the organizer.
  6. Participants renounce any kind of performance fee.
  7. In addition to the application, participants shall provide the organizer with promotional material and a video of the production.
  8. The confirmation of the participation in the festival shall be delivered to the organizer in a written form not later than March 1, while the complete application documents shall be delivered not later than April 15, 2007.
  9. Incomplete applications shall not be considered.
  10. The applications shall be verified and possibly answered positively by the festival manager 15 days at the latest on receipt of the complete application documents.

The organizers conclude their announcement by expressing "Best wishes to all, and to those accepting the invitation we extend a warm welcome and look forward to our artistic exchange."


Abilities Arts Festival To Be Held In Toronto

Abilities Arts Festival, a week-long multidisciplinary arts celebration showcasing the Artistic excellence and the talent, artistic vision, passion and creativity of artists with disabilities, will take place October 25 - November 1, 2007 in Toronto, Canada. Using the power of art both as a unifying and as a transformational media, Abilities Arts Festival seeks to engage people in the arts, while facilitating diversity, inclusiveness and participation in the arts by people with and without disabilities.

Some of the events and activities planned for the 2007 Festival include:

Contact information

ELA Scholarship Announcement

The Ethel Louise Armstrong Foundation, Inc. (ELA) has announced that its 2007 scholarship application is now available at in the scholarship section.

The ELA Scholarship provides financial assistance to women with physical disabilities who are enrolled in a college or university graduate program in the United States. ELA Scholarship awards are based on merit and are given in an objective and nondiscriminatory basis. Each applicant is required to submit an application packet, including an application form, a college transcript, two letters of academic recommendation, a medical verification form and an essay outlining how she will "Change the Face of Disability on the Planet." Scholarships range from $500 to $2,000 per year. The application deadline is June 1, 2007.

The mission of the ELA Foundation is to promote, through grants and scholarships, the inclusion of people with disabilities. The ELA Scholarship is designed for women with physical disabilities who join with us to pursue this vision. Contact Deborah Lewis at for more information about the ELA Scholarship.

Contact information:

Deborah B. Lewis,Executive Director
ELA Foundation
2460 N. Lake Blvd. PMB #128
Altadena, CA 91001
(626) 398-8840

VSA Arts To Present Young Soloists Concert

VSA arts presents the 23rd annual VSA arts International Young Soloists Concert featuring performances by outstanding emerging musicians with disabilities. March 21, 2007 at 7:30 pm in the Terrace Theater of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. For more information, check out the VSA arts web site at or call 202-628-2800 or 202-737-0645 (TTY).


Penn State Offers $100,000 Scholarship

Alumnus Jerry Polis teamed up with the Newcombe Foundation to establish the Polis Charitable Foundation-Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation Scholarship for Students with Disabilities at Penn State University.


Dancers With Disabilities Oral History Project

The Regional Oral History Office of the Bancroft Library at the University of California at Berkeley has announced the launch of the Artists with Disabilities oral history project. You can read transcripts and view video selections from in-depth oral history interviews with five pioneering performance artists and dancers with disabilities, including Lynn Manning, Neil Marcus, Bill Shannon, Judith Smith and Greg Walloch, by going to:

Funded, in part, by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the interviews in this collection explore the lives and works of these seminal artists in dance and performance art. All of the interviews probe the artists' formative influences, education and training, career trajectory, and creative process. They address a range of themes, including:

The Bancroft Library's Disability History program, which includes an extensive collection of interviews on the disability rights movement, in addition to the Artists with Disabilities project, received an Art and Culture Award from the Corporation on Disability and Telecommunications. The award honored the program for "…its outstanding contribution to building, honoring and preserving disability culture."


New Database For Deaf Performers

Are you a talented deaf or hard of hearing actor or actress? Deafcasting.Com is looking for you. features information on actors, actresses and entertainers who are deaf or hard of hearing, or CODAs/KODAs. A database featuring deaf or hard of hearing people involved in show business has extended its deadline for submissions of headshots and resumes, which was launched on Feb. 5. believes in the importance of having roles realistically portrayed by actual deaf or hard of hearing talent, and provides a centralized source of talent. Producers, directors, filmmakers, event facilitators, conference coordinators and other industry people can easily seek talent by checking its comprehensive, searchable database. The company is not an acting or theater company, but is an online casting company that provides referrals. also makes referrals for deaf community events in order to bring more performing opportunities.

To be included at, send your headshot and resume. Some guidelines:

For more information, e-mail


Inclusive Casting Company

Headquarters Casting, which bills itself as "all inclusive casting services from background to principal talent," has talent searches organized into types. It operates in film, television, music videos, print and commercials and can be reached at


Website Teaches Deaf Students Shakespeare

For the first time, Deaf people can go online and learn about Shakespeare in both their native American Sign Language (ASL) and English text. The fully accessible, bilingual website,, launched today by Peter Novak at the University of San Francisco (USF), provides a wealth of information about Shakespeare and his plays for both Deaf and hearing audiences.

The website supports both students and teachers with ASL movies, image galleries, and free culturally specific lesson plans. The site was funded by the U.S. Department of Education through a program that makes cultural programming accessible to Deaf audiences.


Casting For World Premiere Of "This Island Alone"

The Vineyard Playhouse on Martha's Vineyardunder the artistic direction MJ Bruder-Munafo will produce the world premiere production of This Island Alone by Catherine Rush and Adrian Blue on Martha's Vineyard. Rehearsals begin May 22nd. The performance dates are June 13th-July 7th. Directed by Adrian Blue. This Island Alone is a bilingual (sign language and English) community lives in harmony during at the turn of the 20th century until two newcomers arrive, ask one question and change the community forever. The play is performed in ASL (American Sign Language) and English simultaneously.

We are seeking for 7 actors, (4M, 3F)

Audition dates - TBA. Please send headshot and resume to both: and and be sure you put "This Island Alone" on subject heading. Pictures and resumes can also be sent via post to Adrian Blue, 7305 Emlen Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19119. Email submission preferred.


Music Conference And Music Festival Hosted By The Association Of Adult Musicians With Hearing Loss (AAMHL)

If the answers to any of the questions is YES, then we have a wonderful opportunity for you!

The Association of Adult Musicians with Hearing Loss (AAMHL) will hold our first music conference and music festival June 19 - 21, 2007 at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma. There will be a music recital, several workshops and opportunities for you to learn about making music with drums, handbells, and even find out whether it is possible to learn to sing if you have a hearing loss. We plan to offer other fun and exciting activities, such as an open mic session and discussions on whether current hearing technology are adequate for listening and making music. Assistive listening devices and real-time captioning will be provided at this conference.

AAMHL was formed with the purpose of creating opportunities for adult musicians with hearing loss to discuss the challenges they face in making and listening to music. It also creates opportunities for public performance either individually or in groups by adult musicians/music students with hearing loss who might not otherwise have access to these opportunities.

Please visit our web site ( ) for more information on this Conference and Music Festival.