'Crip Camp' Director Jim LeBrecht Among Disability Futures Fellows

Ryan-J.-Haddad-and-Jim-LeBrecht-and-the-artist-Tourmaline
Taylor Hill/FilmMagic; George Pimentel/Getty Images; John Lamparski/Getty Images

'The Politician' actor Ryan J. Haddad and artist-filmmaker Tourmaline are also recipients of an 18-month initiative designed to increase the visibility of disabled creatives and their works.

Jim LeBrecht, the co-director of Sundance doc Crip Camp, Politician actor Ryan J. Haddad and artist-filmmaker Tourmaline are among the Disability Futures Fellows, announced by the Ford and Andrew W. Mellon foundations.

The recipients of an 18-month initiative administered by United States Artists, which includes $50,000 grant to each fellow, is given to creatives in the hopes to increase the visibility of disabled creatives and their works.

Onscreen and off-screen disability representation remains staggeringly low. GLAAD's "Where We Are on TV" study of the 2019-20 season notes that of the 879 series regulars on broadcast, 3.1 percent had disabilities. USC's Annenberg Inclusion Initiative found that only 1.6 percent of all speaking characters in the top 100 grossing films of 2018 had a disability.

The fellowship, the only national and multidisciplinary award of its kind, hopes to help address the unique financial and professional challenges confronted by disabled creatives.

The full list of fellows are Alice Sheppard, Alice Wong, Carolyn Lazard, Christine Sun Kim, Eli Clare, Jeffrey Yasuo Mansfield, Jen Deerinwater, Jerron Herman, LeBrecht, John Lee Clark, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Mia Mingus, Navild "niv" Acosta, Patty Berne, Perel, Riva Lehrer, Rodney Evans, Haddad, Sky Cubacub and Tourmaline.