Art Installation at Capitol Rotunda Features the Voices and Images of People with Disabilities (PA UCEDD)

November 27, 2015

The Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania presented a multimedia art installation entitled Here. Stories from Selinsgrove Center and KenCrest Services. Here. exhibited from October 19 through October 23, at the Capitol Building Main Rotunda, Harrisburg, PA.

Through image and audio interviews, Here. Stories from Selinsgrove Center and KenCrest Services invites viewers to meet 19 people with intellectual disabilities who live and work in Pennsylvania. The settings (a State center and a sheltered workshop) may be new to many viewers, but the exhibit offers insight into the lives of the "narrators" by way of 18 volunteer "interviewers" who visited them at the Selinsgrove Center and KenCrest Services in the spring of 2015.

Audio interviews and photographs by renowned photographer JJ Tiziou tell a complex story and highlight the rich humanity of people who are often seen for their difference, if at all. In a specially designed listening room to be erected in the main rotunda at the Pennsylvania Capitol Building in Harrisburg, visitors will hear people with intellectual disabilities share how they live, work and participate in the community. While the interviews play, visitors will see beautiful, honest images of the speakers at home and at work.

Here. is part of a yearlong arts and civic engagement project called A Fierce Kind of Love. Celia Feinstein, the Institute's co-executive director, says that the A Fierce Kind of Love, including the exhibit Here., evolved from the Institute's Visionary Voices program. "Our objective has been to collect the stories of people with disabilities who lived through, and benefited from, the Intellectual Disabilities Movement of the 70's and 80's and from the family members, policy makers and others who helped shepherd that movement."

Lisa Sonnenborn, producer of A Fierce Kind of Love says that this exhibit invites viewers to look and listen differently. "Here. finds beauty in the dignity of work, in giving and receiving support, and in the simple act of being."

The complete interviews and all photographs from the Here. Stories from Selinsgrove Center and KenCrest Services are available on the Institute's web site: