February 5, 2021 Community through Creativity – JDAIM 2021 virtual exhibit runs February 5 – March 5 February is Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance & Inclusion Month The mission of Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion Month (JDAIM) is to unite Jewish communities worldwide to raise awareness and champion the rights of all Jews to be accepted and included in all aspects of Jewish life, like anyone else. JSDD’s WAE Center loves this season of synagogue exhibits For many years we have partnered with congregations throughout our community to shine a light on the artists, speakers, and worshippers who often go unseen because of their disabilities. The WAE Center sets up art exhibits and the hosting congregations arrange artist receptions, suppers, and Shabbat services, all to make more room at the table for people in the IDD community. There is never a shortage of JSDD residents and WAE Center members who want to participate, and the process of “inclusion” is always dynamic, diverse, and profoundly impactful. This year we are hosting one single exhibit Community through Creativity – JDAIM 2021 Kitchen Table Printmaking Very early in the never-ending quarantine, JSDD’s WAE Center resumed classes in a variety of subjects. Yvette Lucas, a long-time WAE Center art facilitator, began with “Kitchen Table Printmaking” using materials that were readily on hand. Working at her own kitchen table, she “zoomed” with a steady group of artists. To say that these meetings were important to the participants is understatement. As we all came to feel disconnected from ordinary life, routines, and friends, this class provided a pivotal connection for each member and has continued to do so. Our virtual exhibit features 8 artists who regularly attend the printmaking class: Erik T. | Hiyas S. | Janet B. | Kari S. | Kevin C. | Kristen I. | Mark L. | Raven L. Visit the Exhibit Gallery According to Yvette, “In the earliest Zoom sessions, students explored the techniques of monotype, collagraph, and relief printing using wax paper, aluminum foil, cardboard, and Styrofoam as printing plates to create unique and multiple prints. As the WAE to Connect program grew, and art supplies were made available, members were given Gelli plates (a transparent rubbery surface) that opened new opportunities to explore more creative techniques. The resulting prints are as distinct, beautiful, and complex as the artists who created them.” This exhibit demonstrates and celebrates the talents, tenacity, and artistry of each participant. The virtual gallery experience is unfamiliar and replicates moving through an exhibit as though you were there. Please be patient with yourself and the experience, and you will become comfortable enough to fully enjoy the work. This month take a closer look at all the places in your community where members of the IDD community are rising to the challenge and leading full and rich lives.