Dancers Sarah and Shannon stand with arms bent in and tilting at the waist. This image was taken at a performance at the Peabody Essex Museum. © 2019 Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Kathy Tarantola

Ellice Patterson, Abilities Dance Boston – Grant Writer & Rehearsal Space for Abilities Dance Boston

Abilities Dance Boston seeks to disrupt antiquated ableist beliefs across the greater Boston area and drive intersectional disability rights. Our first performance was February 2017 and we have grown exponentially ever since. As the founder, I wanted a space for myself to perform and train in the greater Boston area as a dancer with a disability. I created that space for myself and others like me. Since then it has evolved into an organization beyond myself that really works with the community to not just perform but engage with lectures and workshops as well as providing classes with scholarship funds so finances aren’t a barrier to access education.

This seed grant is important to the work we do to be able to sustain our performing company through providing rehearsal space in an ADA-accessible space meant for dance in addition to hiring a grant writer to be able to secure even more funding to provide the stability we need to strengthen our programming. Through providing this funding boost, we will be able to take the work we do in our community and beyond at a larger scale.