Eli Picked as 2020 Disability Futures Fellow

Eli Picked as a 2020 Disability Futures Fellow

Disability Futures: Montage of photos of people's faces. There are a mix of genders and ethnicities. Ford Foundation. Mellon Foundation.

Eli has been picked as one of twenty disabled artists in the first cohort of Disability Futures Fellows. He feels lucky, surprised, grateful for the time and space this money will give him. At the same time as a white, disabled, genderqueer activist-survivor-poet who dreams a world without police and prisons, without psych wards, group homes, and nursing homes, without capitalism and white supremacy,  he hates the meritocracy of art awards.

Eli keenly feels the absence of intellectually disabled artists among the Fellows; the absence of grassroots, kitchen-table artists who have no credentials, no publications, no recognition and whose zines, buttons, open mic performances have made his work possible. Why only 20? Disability art and culture–particularly BIPOC, poor, queer/trans disability art–is such a collective endeavor.

Disabled/Mad/Deaf/sick/neurodivergent artists have often worked in profound isolation. Or our art and lives have been made possible by our relationships with each other. Eli wants to use and redistribute this award to create more fierce survival, fierce beauty, fierce ugliness, and fierce dreams.