50 People You Need to Know, Now – San Francisco Public Library presents Changemakers: Bay Area Disability Pride

For Immediate Release: December 3, 2019

Kate Patterson, San Francisco Public Library
(415) 557-4252 / kate.patterson@sfpl.org

50 People You Need to Know, Now

San Francisco Public Library presents Changemakers: Bay Area Disability Pride


San Francisco– Marybeth Baluyot lives without a left hand and is a record-breaking power-lifter, Owen Bragg is an artist with autism who has published five books, Nina G. is a stuttering comedian and Haben Girma is the first Deaf blind person to graduate from Harvard Law School. These are just a few of the exceptional individuals celebrated in San Francisco Public Library’s presentation of Changemakers: Bay Area Disability Pride. On view from January 11 to March 15, 2020, on the 6th floor of the Main Library, the exhibition features 50 portraits created by artists with disabilities who participate in such esteemed art programs as Creativity Explored, ArtReach, NIAD, Artful Steps and The Pomeroy Center.

“This delightful exhibition introduces us to the energetic and dynamic disability communities of the Bay Area,” says San Francisco Public Library Curator Joan Jasper.  “Visitors will love seeing the diversity and creativity of these portraits and learning about how these “changemakers” are making the world better for all of us.”

With funding from the Library Services and Technology Act and federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, San Francisco Public Library, San Mateo County Libraries and San Jose Public Library joined forces to develop a series of programs aimed at advancing a more inclusive society for people with disabilities. SFPL worked with curator Fran Osbourne to develop the Changemakers exhibition, which also appeared at the San Mateo Public Library in 2019. Osbourne orchestrated the selection process for the featured “changemakers”, which includes over 50 people who have made outstanding contributions to the disability community through activism, arts and culture, business, education, leadership, science and technology and sports. She also partnered with local art programs considered to be leaders of social change and inclusion. All of the exhibition artists have a regular artistic practice and work in studios with a group of their peers. Instructors are usually professional artists and offer support rather than direction.

“I’m proud of the fact that San Francisco Public Library’s support of the disability community goes beyond accessibility of our physical spaces,” says project lead, Access Services Manager & ADA Coordinator Marti Goddard. “Just as important, is our commitment to sharing their stories and triumphs through original exhibitions like Changemakers, so that they can see themselves represented in the work that we do and so that we can foster greater understanding and appreciation for this incredible community.”

The Library will offer the following free public programs in conjunction with the exhibition. More information can be found on www.disabilitychangemakers.org.

The Main Library is accessible for wheelchair users. American Sign Language interpreters will be provided. To request other accommodations, please contact marti.goddard@sfpl.org or call 415-557-4557. Requesting accommodations at least 3 business days in advance will help to ensure availability.  

Opening Event: Bay Area Disability Pride

THURSDAY, JANUARY 16, 4-6:30 PM – Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, Latino/Hispanic Community Room & Skylight Gallery

Hosted by our favorite stuttering stand-up comedian, writer and disability advocate Nina G., this event features San Francisco disability activist and social entrepreneur Tiffany Yu and ASL teacher and Deaf event organizer Francis Refan Phiri. The celebration will close with a dance presentation by students of Access SFUSD and a drag performance by one of their alumni, DeMian Williams, performing as Serena Jackson.

Enjoy button-making and a visit with Canine Companions for Independence before moving to the Skylight Gallery on the 6th Floor,from 5:15 – 6:30 PM, to view the exhibition of Changemaker portraits and have refreshments with Melody and Russ Stein, Deaf entrepreneurs, activists, co-founders and owners of Mozzeria, a pizzeria in San Francisco’s Mission District.

Art: Interdisciplinary Exploration

FRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 1-4 PM, Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, Latino/Hispanic Community Room

Facilitated by blind artist, teacher and labyrinth facilitator Maia Scott, the program invite participants to explore creative processes including writing, art and movement as tools for nurturing the stories that arise from their bodies and lives.

Scott will lead participants in the meditative practice of walking the labyrinth to release habits of judgment and free up creative space and then engage participants in various art making activities. This is a general art workshop for the public and for artists with disabilities.

Film: Superfest Disability Film Festival Showcase

THURSDAY, MARCH 5, 5:30-7:30 PM – Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, Latino/Hispanic Community Room

A selection of award-winning documentary films from the 2019 Superfest Disability Film Festival will be shown. Superfest International Disability Film Festival is the longest running disability film festival in the world. One of the few festivals worldwide that is accessible and relevant to filmgoers with all kinds of disabilities and their allies, Superfest celebrates cutting-edge cinema that portrays disability through a diverse, complex, unabashed and engaging lens.

Alex Locust in Conversation with Changemakers of the Future

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11, 6-7:30 PM – Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, Latino/Hispanic Community Room

Alex Locust is known as The Glamputee and a disability justice activist, through his popular workshops on disability awareness and micro-aggression. He is on the Advisory Council member for the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability at San Francisco State University and works as a certified counselor for the AIDS Foundation. He will be in conversation with local disability community members about their lives and work.

Dance and movement workshop with Antoine Hunter

SATURDAY, MARCH 14, 10 AM – NOON- Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, Latino/Hispanic Community Room

A family-friendly dance workshop for deaf and hearing people of all ages. Choreographer and dance star Antoine Hunter, a powerful disability advocate at home and internationally, founded the Urban Jazz Dance Group in Oakland and the Annual Bay Area Deaf Dance Festival. Everyone is welcome – from beginner level students to fluent ASL signers.

Deaf Dance Performance Antoine Hunter and dancers of the Urban Jazz Dance Company

SATURDAY, MARCH 14, 1-2:30 PM – Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, Koret Auditorium

Urban Jazz Dance Company is a convergence of artistic forces where raw energy, rooted in freedom, is expressed through the athletic body and passionate dance.  The company’s mission is to show the world that no matter who you are, your dreams are possible. 

These programs were funded by a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant and federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services that are awarded by the State Library to eligible California Libraries.

About San Francisco Public Library:

San Francisco Public Library is dedicated to free and equal access to information, knowledge, independent learning and the joys of reading for our diverse community. The library system is made up of 27 neighborhood branches, the San Francisco Main Library at Civic Center and four bookmobiles.

To learn more, please visit sfpl.org and follow on Twitter @SFPublicLibrary and on Instagram @sfpubliclibrary.