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[Audio] "Hope & Glory: The Art of Inclusion" Makes Art Accessible to Adults with Disabilities

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

The Murray-Calloway County Endowment for Health Care will use an Arts Access Grant from the Kentucky Arts Council to support hands-on arts experiences over the next year. The project is entitled “Hope & Glory: The Art of Inclusion.” Award-winning writer Constance Alexander, Murray Art Guild Executive Director Debi Danielson and Murray State University Professor Nicole Hand speak with Todd Hatton on Sounds Good on how arts-related programming and community outreach will celebrate adults with disabilities and increase awareness of their contributions to the community’s well-being.


After conducting a community focus group, Alexander says grant writers chose to focus on adults with disabilities because they are an underserved population.


Murray and Calloway County do so many good things for children with disabilities but when those kids age out of the various programs they’re involved in there is not too much available in the arts,” Alexander said.


Alexander’s project will publish stories of adults with disabilities in the Murray Ledger & Times and online to raise awareness of the need for accessibility in public spaces. Danielson will implement a mosaic mural project accessible to anyone interested in participating. Hand’s project will help individuals with disabilities create artist books that tell their stories visually or in a written format. The books will be displayed at the public library.


Danielson says the project should involve as many people as possible to start conversations that will help overcome stereotypes of people with disabilities. Danielson, Hand, and Constance hope the project initiates a program that continues into the future and builds on the conversations originated by the grant project.

Todd Hatton hails from Paducah, Kentucky, where he got into radio under the auspices of the late, great John Stewart of WKYX while a student at Paducah Community College. He also worked at WKMS in the reel-to-reel tape days of the early 1990s before running off first to San Francisco, then Orlando in search of something to do when he grew up. He received his MFA in Creative Writing at Murray State University. He vigorously resists adulthood and watches his wife, Angela Hatton, save the world one plastic bottle at a time.
A proud native of Murray, Kentucky, Allison grew up roaming the forests of western Kentucky and visiting national parks across the country. She graduated in 2014 from Murray State University where she studied Environmental Sustainability, Television Production, and Spanish. She loves meeting new people, questioning everything, and dancing through the sun and the rain. She hopes to make a positive impact in this world several endeavors at a time.
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