Alana Gracey’s career in social advocacy has been in service to women (mostly of color) who exist in vulnerable states of survival, namely intimate partner violence, teen homelessness, and sex trafficking. She is currently working as the Basic Needs Organizer with Mothering Justice. As a spoken word artist with a deep appreciation for the importance of writers of all ages having the opportunity to have their voices and their stories heard, Alana facilitates independent creative writing workshops, reading and discussion groups with The Tuxedo Project, and is a Teaching Artist with City Wide Poet’s, a poetry after school program for InsideOut Literary Arts.
Chanika Svetvilas is a Thai American interdisciplinary artist and cultural worker who utilizes lived experience to create safe spaces, to disrupt stereotypes and to reflect on contemporary issues.
She has presented her interdisciplinary work nationally in multiple spaces and contexts. Her work is also included in Studying Disability Arts and Culture: An Introduction by Petra Kuppers and NuyorAsian Anthology edited by Bino Realuyo. She holds a BS from Skidmore College and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College.
Gaia Thomas is a disabled poet living in Alameda, CA. She has lectured at UPenn, and Michigan State University on crip poetics. Her work has appeared in several anthologies, and will be featured in the upcoming sequel to Beauty is a Verb. Her manuscript, Serotine, was a finalist for the Carolyn Bush Award.
Jose Miguel Esteban
Jose Miguel (Miggy) Esteban is a Filipino-Canadian dance/movement artist and educator based in Tkaronto/Toronto. Miggy is a PhD student in the Department of Social Justice Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. His research engages with disability studies, dance/performance studies, and embodied practices of research-creation to encounter the interpretations of gesture as sites for inspiring a return to our bodies, to our (un)belonging within space, and to our movement in relation with one another.
kaje jasper wildz
mad disabled tender transgender queer creative sharing lived experiences thru multiple artistic expressions to help others feel less alone in their reality of this world.
Lisa Alexander, who lives in Duluth, Minnesota, is a blogger (often on mental health topics), writer, and self-taught artist. She has a commitment to connection, community, and holding space for diverse voices and experiences.
Maria Oshodi is a writer, arts consultant and the Artistic Director of Extant, the leading performance company of visually impaired artists in the UK. Her current independent project, A Trail of 2 Cities, is a reflection on London and Los Angeles by two blind African heritage artists.
Martin first joined the disability community as a parent, then as an advocate, and later as an assistive technology specialist. He has served on several boards and commissions in support of disability rights.
Composer and performer Molly Joyce was recently deemed one of the “most versatile, prolific and intriguing composers working under the vast new-music dome” by The Washington Post. Her music has additionally been described as “serene power” (New York Times), written to “superb effect” (The Wire), and “unwavering” and “enveloping” (Vulture). Her work is concerned with disability as a creative source. She has an impaired left hand from a previous car accident, and the primary vehicle in her pursuit is her electric vintage toy organ, an instrument she bought on eBay which suits her body and engages her disability on a compositional and performative level. Her debut full-length album, Breaking and Entering, featuring toy organ, voice, and electronic sampling of both sources was released in June 2020 on New Amsterdam Records, and has been praised by New Sounds as “a powerful response to something (namely, physical disability of any kind) that is still too often stigmatized, but that Joyce has used as a creative prompt.”
Self_Saboteur is a chronically-ill Bengali illustrator based in Canada. She creates zines, acrylic paintings and illustrations about disability and culture. Check her work out on Instagram and Twitter: @Self_Saboteur6.
Naomi Ortiz is a Poet, Writer, Facilitator, and Visual Artist whose intersectional work focuses on self-care for activists, disability justice, climate action, and relationship with place. Ortiz is the author of Sustaining Spirit: Self-Care for Social Justice (Reclamation Press), a non-fiction book for diverse communities on dealing with the risks of burnout. They are a 2021-2022 Border Narrative Grant Awardee for their multidisciplinary project, Complicating Conversations. Ortiz is a 2019 Zoeglossia Poetry Fellow whose poems have been nominated for Best of the Internet and listed on Entropy’s “Best of 2020-2021: Favorite Poems Published online.” Their poetry has been published in outlets such as Split This Rock Poem of the Week, About Place literary journal, Poems and Numbers, and VIDA, and performed at events such as the Disability Pride Parade in Chicago as well as shared through performances around the country. Ortiz is a Disabled, Mestiza living in the Arizona U.S./Mexico borderlands.
I write because I have to. I share because watching people connect and resonate fuels me. Making my words available means everything.
Shanti is a twenty-five year old writer, musician, and all around creative with disabilities. When she’s not performing with her Pop Rock Band ‘Rizzo Frenzy’, she is most likely reading a suspenseful book, dancing wildly, or eating apple pastries.
Find her here: @shantixtweet / @shantixinsta / @shantixttok