Discovering the Selinsgrove Center

Institute on Disabilities at Temple University

2017
$60,000

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Selinsgrove Center resident. Photo by JJ Tiziou.

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Selinsgrove Center. Photo by JJ Tiziou.

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Selinsgrove Center resident. Photo by JJ Tiziou.

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Selinsgrove Center. Photo by JJ Tiziou.

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Selinsgrove Center grounds. Photo by JJ Tiziou.

The Institute on Disabilities at Temple University will engage in a discovery process with the goal to illuminate the complex history and lived experience of institutionalization. Working with a group of multidisciplinary artists and historians, the Institute will develop an arts-based methodology and artist residency model. An extension of the Institute’s advocacy work with and for people with disabilities, the year-long project will conduct pilot residencies on the grounds of Selinsgrove Center, located in Central Pennsylvania, and home to over 220 people with intellectual disabilities. Given that many institutional residents communicate non-traditionally, the Institute posits that artists are uniquely situated to gather and interpret first-person narratives from individuals whose voices have traditionally been omitted from the historical record. Participating artists include oral historian Nicki Pombier Berger, social practice artist Harrell Fletcher, public historian Donna Graves, dancer KC Chun-Manning, and documentary photographer Ruddy Roye.