The Ford Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundations committed US$5 million in new funding to the Disability Futures program, the program announced on Friday (July 16).
Disability Futures launched last fall as the first fellowship of its kind created by and for disabled practitioners. The program is administered by United States Artists and provides 20 disabled creatives working across disciplines and around the U.S. with unrestricted $50,000 grants.
The new funds announced on Friday will help support the initiative through 2025, including providing support for two new cohorts of fellows.
The inaugural Disability Futures fellows include Crip Camp co-director Jim LeBrecht as well as Navild Acosta, Patty Berne, Eli Clare, John Lee Clark, Sky Cubacub, Jen Deerinwater, Rodney Evans, Ryan J. Haddad, Jerron Herman, Carolyn Lazard, Riva Lehrer, Jeffrey Yasuo Mansfield, Mia Mingus, Perel, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Alice Sheppard, Christine Sun Kim, Tourmaline and Alice Wong.
The group of Disability Futures fellows cover disciplines including filmmaking, writing, journalism, photography, painting, dancing, garment making, and more.
The fellows’ work will be honored next week at the first Disability Futures Virtual Festival. The event runs for two days beginning on July 19, featuring art and ideas from leading disabled artists, writers, performers and designers. The free, open-to-the-public festival is produced by the Ford Foundation in partnership with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and United States Artists.
Registration to the festival is open to the public on Disability Futures’ website.