“Festival of Human Abilities” at Aquarium of the Pacific – Los Angeles event report

Walk and Roll Dance Team.
Walk and Roll Dance Team.

Celebrate the talents and creativity of people with disabilities at the Festival of Human Abilities. It’s being staged once again at the Aquarium of the Pacific this coming weekend, January 24–25, and you can enjoy live music, dance, art, demonstrations and more.

A unique and moving performance event, the Festival of Human Abilities is now in its 12th year. This annually staged festival has served as an occasion for the Aquarium to reach out to the community by offering free admission for people with disabilities and an attendant during this festival. Between 2,000 and 4,000 people attend the Festival of Human Abilities for free each year.

The 2015 program will feature wheelchair dance, live music, signing choirs, art demonstrations, accessible SCUBA diving demonstrations, storytelling, interactive workshops, and other creative performances by people who have disabilities. As the nation celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), this annual event at the Aquarium is timelier than ever.


At the Festival of Human Abilities, guests with or without a disability can watch performances and learn unique adaptive skills taught by artists and other experts with disabilities. Featured at the festival are hip hop wheelchair dancer Auti Angel as well as the Walk and Roll Dance Team; Love in Motion, a sign language choir; Dat Nguyen, a world music guitarist who is blind; Kodi Lee, a singer who is blind and has autism; the ARC Handbell Choir; and other inspiring performing artists. 

Along with these music and dance performances, the Aquarium will feature art demonstrations and displays including mouth-stick art by local artists with disabilities. Diveheart will lead adaptive SCUBA demonstrations to show that people of all abilities can enjoy this therapeutic sport.

A variety of free creative workshop classes will be held on site, lasting thirty to forty-five minutes per session. These activities will include singing in sign language with Love in Motion, wheelchair art with artist Tommy Hollenstein, hat painting with Michael Seale Jr., and hip hop wheelchair dancing with Auti Angel and the Walk and Roll Dance Team. All major programming will have sign language interpreters, and the Aquarium will provide audio tours for guests who are blind.


Bethune Theatredanse - Robin Olive with Olivia Niro.
Bethune Theatredanse – Robin Olive with Olivia Niro.

The Festival of Human Abilities
Saturday and Sunday, January 24-25, 2015

9:00 a.m.-8:30 p.m.
Aquarium of the Pacific

100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802
Included with general admission to guests.

Free to Aquarium members; 20% off for their guests.
Call (562) 590-3100 or visit their official site for more information, including event schedule.


About the AQUARIUM:
The Aquarium of the Pacific, a nonprofit institution, celebrates our planet’s largest and most diverse body of water: the Pacific Ocean. The institution is dedicated to conserving nature and its resources by building interactions among people. Home to over 11,000 animals, the Aquarium explores the waters of Southern California and Baja and the Northern and Tropical Pacific. The Aquarium features hands-on discovery labs staffed by knowledgeable volunteers, the Molina Animal Care Center, Lorikeet Forest aviary, interactive Shark Lagoon, Ocean Science Center, Wonders of the Deep gallery, June Keyes Penguin Habitat, and new Discover the Wonder exhibits. The Aquarium is open daily 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (except Dec. 25 and during the Grand Prix April 17-19, 2015). Beyond its exhibits, the Aquarium offers educational programs for people of all ages, from hands-on activities to lectures by leading scientists. It is a community gathering place where diverse cultures and the arts are celebrated and important topics facing our planet and our ocean are explored by scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders in the search for sustainable solutions. A world of discovery awaits.





Pauline Adamek

Pauline Adamek is a Los Angeles-based arts enthusiast with twenty-five years' experience covering International Film Festivals and reviewing new Theatre, Film and Restaurants.


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