Celebrate the talents and creativity of people with disabilities at the Aquarium on the weekend of Jan. 30-31, and enjoy live music, dance, art, and demonstrations


At the Festival of Human Abilities, visitors 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; 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; and other inspiring performing artists. The festival will feature Nick Guzman, a singer and guitarist with autism who has performed with David Crosby, Steven Stills, Graham Nash, and Neil Young.


Along with these music and dance performances, the Aquarium will feature art demonstrations and displays, including mouth-stick art by local artists with disabilities. Cody Unser First Step Foundation will lead adaptive SCUBA demonstrations to show that people of all abilities can enjoy this therapeutic sport. Cody Unser began the foundation at age thirteen after she was diagnosed with transverse myelitis, the autoimmune condition that left her paralyzed. Visitors are invited to meet Unser, who will be the first person in a wheelchair to be inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame™ in spring of 2016.


A variety of free creative workshop classes will be held on site, lasting thirty to forty-five minutes per session. Participants will have the opportunity to learn to sing in sign language with Love in Motion, create wheelchair art with artist Tommy Hollenstein, paint a hat with Michael Seale Jr., and try 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.

Abilities Dance Class

Abilities Dance Class

HONOREE:    The Aquarium’s 2016 GLENN MCINTYRE HERITAGE AWARD will be presented to Arts &

Services for Disabled, Inc. Accepting the award will be Helen Dolas, founder and CEO. The primary mission of Arts & Services for Disabled, Inc. is to provide lifelong learning, community service, and vocational opportunities through the creative arts for people with disabilities of all ages in an environment of warmth, encouragement, and inclusion.


      WHEN:           Saturday and Sunday, January 30-31, 2016, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

                        Award ceremony: Sunday, January 31, 2016 at 11:45 a.m.


      WHERE:         Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802


      COST:            $29.95 adult (12+), $26.95 senior (62+), $17.95 child (3-11), and free to kids age three and under and members


      INFO:              (562) 590-3100 or http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/events/info/festival_of_human_abilities/


  Credit:   Aquarium of the Pacific:   The nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacific is a community gathering place where diverse cultures and the arts are celebrated and where important challenges facing our planet are explored.

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