Creative City Project Aims to Raise Awareness of the Deafblind Community
“The arts have the capacity to change lives, to challenge perceptions, to inspire, and to create dialogue.” – Kerry Thompson, keynote speaker at the 2018 UP Awards hosted by the Massachusetts Cultural Council and WGBH
Kerry Thompson, DeafBlind dancer, dance teacher, and human rights advocate, and founding executive director of Silent Rhythms, reminds us that access to the arts is considered a human right, for all. Kerry is committed to creating opportunities that foster greater inclusivity in the arts, particularly for the DeafBlind community.
Kerry shares, “as I was learning to dance, I made friends along the way. Friends who had no experience with disability but through dance they got to learn about who I am as a person and about the world through my viewpoint. That’s what I love about dance, it brings people of different backgrounds together.”
Movements to Move the Marginalized from the Margins, Kerry’s Creative City supported project, offered monthly salsa dance lessons to fellow DeafBlind community members in partnership with DEAF Inc. As a dancer who is also DeafBlind, Kerry states, “I am familiar with the challenges and fears of learning something new as well as wanting to learn something new yet not having access to it. I wanted to pay it forward to my own community and help them learn something new, something fun, and something I absolutely love doing.”
This summer, Kerry is also creating space within the salsa community to welcome more DeafBlind dancers at MetaMovement’s weekly Salsa in the Park event. On June 25, Kerry celebrated DeafBlind Awareness week and kicked off the 2018 Salsa in the Park summer series with MetaMovement. After monthly dance lessons, fellow members of the DeafBlind community built up the confidence to join Kerry in dancing together with fellow members of the salsa dancing community that evening.
On July 23, Kerry will also celebrate the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and continue to transform this public space and promote a more inclusive dance community at Salsa in the Park.
July 23, 2018 | Salsa in the Park – Celebrating the American Disabilities Act (ADA)
Blackstone Community Park, 50 W Brookline Street, South End, Boston | 6 PM - 9 PM
Free, outdoor summer series for all ages, backgrounds and abilities. Salsa in the Park takes place every Monday through August 27, 2018 - rain or shine.
Photos of Creative City-supported Kerry Thompson's Movements to Move the Marginalized from the Margins by Maureen White. This blog was written with contributions from former Creative City program coordinator Deidra Montgomery.