2020: Leadership in Arts and Culture

AUCD for All 2020 Gala: Celebrating Leadership in Arts and Culture

On April 22, 2020, the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) held its annual AUCD for All Gala as a virtual event to celebrate leadership in arts and culture and the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Ensuring inclusion and belonging for people with disabilities and their families in all aspects of life includes access to, and participation in, the arts and culture. From community theatre to school programs to nationally and globally recognized artists, the opportunity for everyone to contribute to and take part in this important part of our society is paramount.

There are numerous examples of celebrating and advancing inclusion and access in disability arts and culture across AUCD’s network of centers and programs in every U.S. state and territory. The Institute on Disabilities at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, collaborates with local and global entities to make “Philadelphia the most accessible city for the arts in the U.S.” Read more about their Media Arts & Culture program. The Institute on Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago is home to the Program on Disability, Art and Humanities (PDACH) and Bodies of Work, which “explores the disability experience, advances the rights of disabled people, and widens society’s understanding of what it means to be human.” On the west coast, the Tarjan Center at UCLA has a rich history of arts and culture collaboration with many communities in Los Angeles and beyond through the work of the National Arts and Disability Center, which “champions and fosters connections between diverse voices of performing, visual and literary artists with disabilities and the arts community.”


Event Program

Watch the pre-recorded virtual Gala on AUCDNetwork YouTube channel.

  • Welcome – Sachin Pavithran, AUCD Board President
  • Introduction – John Tschida, AUCD Acting Executive Director
  • Award presentation to Riva Lehrer – IL Senator Tammy Duckworth
  • Video of Riva’s work – slideshow narrated by Jalyn Marks, AUCD
  • Riva Lehrer Award Acceptance
  • Award presentation to Kinetic Light – Jeiri Flores, AUCD Board Council member
  • Video of Kinetic Light’s work – narrated by Kinetic Light
  • Kinetic Light Award Acceptance
  • Introduction of Joe Shapiro, NPR – Jeiri Flores
  • Joe Shapiro speech
  • Thank you and close of program – John Tschida


AUCD 2020 Honorees and Speakers


Thank You AUCD 2020 Sponsors