Signs and Storytelling Workshop


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Signs and Storytelling Workshop

April 10 @ 3:00 PM 5:00 PM

This free and virtual workshop is inspired by Tom Olin’s 1990 photograph documenting the ADAPT protest. The photograph is part of the Permanent Art Collection at Access Living is a collection of work showcasing work by artists with disabilities.

Image is a black and white photograph. Disability activists use their bodies and wheelchairs to block the entrance to a building. Many of them have protest signs. A row of police officers stand at attention in front of the protesters.
Photography by Tom Olin

The workshop will include:

  • (1) a presentation about the photograph itself and signs used in the protests
  • (2) a group workshop making personalized banners with found materials
  • (3) a discussion of our own experiences with disability movement/activist/daily struggle.

Register here.

Our suggested material list for participants includes, but is not limited to:

  • Cardboard (any type or size!)
  • Any type of paper, preferably at least letter-sized
  • Markers of any kind (Crayola or Sharpies for example)
  • Paint of any color
  • Crayons (seriously, they work!)
  • Fabrics (including but not limited to t-shirts, towels, sheets, curtains)
  • Magazines to cut text or pictures out and add to your sign
  • Glue to hold things together
  • Mod Podge if you’d like your sign be more waterproof
  • Any other material that you would like to make a sign with!

An important part of this project will be an on-going submission platform for folks to submit their stories via writings, video, recordings, or art work on their movement work via Google Sites. Stay tuned for more updates!

Access Information: We will be providing CART services for this event.

This event will be hosted by Justin Cooper, Genevieve Nutley, sarj, and Johanna Tesfaye.

Register here.

Questions? Please email Johanna Tesfaye at

This event is brought to you by the Disability Culture Activism Lab (DCAL), a joint project of Access Living and the department of art therapy and counseling at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Disability Culture Activism Lab (DCAL) is housed under the department of art therapy and counseling at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. DCAL is a platform for creative advocacy projects and disability allyship training. In partnership with Access Living’s Arts and Culture Project, DCAL provides teaching and hands-on learning through disability justice–a framework that examines disability in connection to other forms of oppressions and identities. Using a peer support and collective care model, disability community members and art therapy graduate students collaborate as disability culture makers for social change.

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.