The Look. At. Me. Project
Creating an extraordinary artistic space where communities come
 to pause, learn.
..and embrace the fellowship of persons with disabilities.

 Once that happens, 
so 
much is possible.

©2013-2014  The Look. At. Me. Project.  All rights reserved.

Look. Social-Change Catalyst.  
At.    Community Awareness Model.  
Me.   National Tour 2015 - 2020. 
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From the Director...


"
We know that there are many of you whose lives have been profoundly touched by association with someone with a disability; you already understand the profound blessings of that relationship.

"Look. At. Me. is designed to convey that understanding to the wider population - one community...one person at a time.

"The project is built around an interactive exhibition of great art, a follow-up online curriculum, and some of the greatest museums in the world.


"Our team has spent 24 months, honing the synergy that will be necessary to affect measurable systemic change.  We invite you to join us with your ideas, your enthusiasm and your support.  Welcome."


Elizabeth McClancy, L. A. M. Project Director

Photo from East Carolina University's DanceAbility, 2014, http://www.ecu.edu/cs-admin/news/danceability.cfm Used with permission.
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The L. A. M. Mission 

The simple and profound mission? To create a layered interaction with great art and these particular 9 people; one that will enlighten viewers as to the extraordinary benefit of relationship with a person with disabilities.   
A place to
learn to begin...to look.                                                           
from the L'Arche series,  Brian A. Taylor Photography

How will it work? A powerful community awareness model 
Wonderful art exhibitions are distinctive destinations, placing those who enter into a suspension where authentic self and beauty and truth can converse and reinforce each other. The "place" defined by the L.A.M. exhibition within the Look. At. Me. Project  will create the teachable moment, provoking a liberating appreciation of how profoundly these vivacious individuals can enrich our lives.

Look. At. Me. Project Components 
  • The narrative beside each painting will teach visitors how to begin that relationship;
  • The interactive sound & sculptural components will find and then fill the voids in our understanding;
  • Film segments will reveal the mission in action;
  • The follow-up, age-appropriate curriculum will translate the learning to each attending group’s real world (classroom, community, etc.) environment;
  • Each installment will be leveraged by major museums to launch ongoing programming with their disabilities communities. 
  • Long-term attitude change will also be reinforced with online curricular materials; and
  • Prior to each installation, the Project will have done groundwork with regional community organizations to make them aware of the project and various ways it might be leveraged to support their distinctive missions. 

The exhibition will debut in New York City in 2016 and then tour throughout the U.S.  This interactive model of mutual learning, once formalized, can tour domestically and abroad to the benefit of regional and local communities, connecting them to their own populations of individuals with disabilities.
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Photo from Disabled People's Movement, http://rawalpindi.olx.com.pk/disabled-people-s-movement-iid-8734362#

A Major Gifts & Grassroots Funding Model 

We estimate that it will take no less than 18 months to pull the core of this project together. Start-up monies will be sought from foundations and major donor and corporate gifts.  
However, we intend to raise $50,000 of the core funding from grassroots donationsHundreds of modest contributions will engender shared support across the national disabilities community.
Nothing would please us more than to receive
$10 from each of 5,000 donors,
…and nothing could be more powerful.

A single voice from a galvanized, global community,
United in a simple, welcome, liberating message:
Look. At. Me.
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The Look. At. Me. Project is registered with the IRS as a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation.
All contributions are tax deductible.

The L.A.M. Director’s Vision 
Welcome.  I think the clearest way to convey where we are headed with the Look. At. Me. Project is to walk you through a recent conversation. I have a wonderful friend in Washington.  Her 17-year-old daughter’s intellectual disability is compounded by physical and developmental disabilities that prevent her from seeing, hearing and swallowing. I recently asked her, "If we put an individual in front of a painting of her, what do they need to understand?" This was her response.
"I have come to believe that these individuals are 90% divine. She doesn’t know Peoplemagazine; these guys don’t know self-consciousness or maneuvering for stature or the gross penalty for flaunting cultural norms. She and they are free of all that."
She went on to explain that the power of these disabilities pulls one into that purer reality.  Once engaged with a person with a disability, one’s self-consciousness, one’s need to establish stature and to comply with established norms all fall away. In the immediacy of this consecrated relationship, those concerns have no negotiable part to play. To be with these people is to be instantly and necessarily unburdened of all that.

That was my moment of revelation. Simple, welcome, and profound. 


One of my favorite words is Kairos, a Greek word for "time."  Its antecedent doesn't exist in English.  It means "a moment in time that will never come again because of the integrity of the initiative in question, the caliber of the people gathered together, and the situational factors in place to do what must be done."  
         
This is such a moment.
    
                                                           

Elizabeth McClancy                                                  
L.A.M. Project Director, 2014

Who should see this?
 

  • Major corporations - disabilities-awareness & diversity training
  • Small businesses -          "              "                 "           "
  • Faith-based organizations
  • Community groups - Community service
  • Families - Awareness of available community resources; to educate extended family, friends, teachers, peers
  • K-12 classes - Community service; to make informed mainstreaming choices; 
  • Higher Education - enhance special needs curriculum; community service opportunities; science/therapy/education disabilties-related programs
  • National and regional nonprofits that serve this population - visibility; opportunity to interact w/ wider nonprofit community; mission-reach
Ultimately, the entire community -- businesses, organizations and individuals -- will benefit from the enhanced quality of life. 

from the L'Arche series,  Brian A. Taylor Photography. 
        
Fundraising: What is needed and what it will do 
We are presently funding Phase I of the Look. At. Me. Project (see first two columns, below). Of the overall budget for this creation phase, we would like to raise $50,000 directly from the grassroots community of people who already understand the supreme value being in relationship with a person with disabilities.  (A detailed budget is available upon request.)


The Look. At. Me. Project is registered with the IRS as a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation.  
All contributions are tax deductible.

Please click here to see Gift Levels and Perks.


Project Calendar 2014 - 2016 & beyond 
  


If you would like to stay informed about the Look. At. Me Project and/or share a suggestion, please do so by means of the Contact Form below.  

Thank you for visiting the Look. At. Me. Project site.  Welcome.

Elizabeth McClancy 

Look. At. Me. Project Director

ecmcclancy@lookatmeproject.org
Look. At. Me. Project   Information Sign-up 
Please keep me informed about the progress of The Look. At. Me. Project.

We are looking for input from individuals who understand or seek to understand the tremendous blessing of being in relationship with someone with a disability. 

Welcome.

First Name:
Last Name:
Email:
Comments:

"ShhhDon't stare, dear...

We've been taught from childhood - not to stare at someone with a disability.
A well-intentioned rationale, but not a wise one.



We
need to look. Not
for the benefit of the person with the disability, but for the respite, peace and perspective their presence offers us. 





I
t's a simple,
liberating, and welcome revela-tion that only needs a place in time to happen. 



A moment.  
Not long.  
Set aside to guide us through epiphany.
 
We call it...
 
      Look. At. Me.



    
   World Class Art Exhibition
+ Online Curriculum
+ Nonprofit Partners
+ Art Museum Programming

= Look. At. Me.
The 12 L.A.M. Subjects

 Look. At. Me. is built around three artists' responses to 9 individuals with disabilities. The subjects will be representative of age, ethnicity and manifestation of intellectual, physical and/or developmental disability.

To date, seven of the 9 subjects have been selected.
The Artists 
Elizabeth McClancy
paintings. text.

"Senator Paul Wellstone," McClancy. (2007) Oil on canvas.
www.elizabethmcclancy.com

Michelle Jaffé
sound. sculpture.

"Wappen Field," Chrome plated steel helmet sculpture; immersive sound environment. Michelle Jaffe, 2012
http://michellejaffearts.com

videographer TBD
documentarian TBD
Exhibition Venues 

2016 NYC Debut & Exhibition

The NYC exhibition will open at  a high-profile Manhattan venue with ample public access.  The precise venue will be determined by L.A.M. Advisory Board. (Tickets to the Opening Gala will be made available in early 2016 or may be secured immediately as a benefit of designated gift levels.)


Tour of Major Metropolitan U.S.

After the NY show, the exhibition will tour major cities in the U.S. and abroad; in each case, at a neutral exhibition space, convenient to major art museums.

Implementation Capacities 
  • Flexible
  • Adaptable
  • Mobile
  • Scalable
  • Responsive to regional needs & interests
How does Look. At. Me. benefit the Disabilities Community?   

In every city that hosts the exhibition, the art will offer the disabilities community
  • A high-stature resource to leverage as a centerpiece for awareness- and fund-raising events; 
  • A top-tier, dynamic space in which to kick-start community conversations;
  • A locus of contact to serve the disabilities community for developing both intra-organizational relationship and systemic effect;

Throughout the duration of each art exhibition, L. A. M. can serve as a high-visibility backdrop for special-needs related events.

The project's Universal Design creates art interactions for people with visual, hearing, and/or mobility impairments.


The project's design incorporates local people with disabilities and local representatives of disabilities nonprofits at every stage of planning and during the exhibition itself.


The project's most modest donation level ($1 to $9) was specifically designed to promote participation by persons with disabilities;


The concept is replicable and, therefore widely distributable;

The Project will commit to hiring persons with disabilities as part of the planning staff; and

The museum component offers ongoing, world-class programming for regional disabilities nonprofits.

Photo from WhizKids: http://www.whizz-kidz.org.uk/getinvolved/opportunities/volunteersuccesses/
The Social-Change/Education Components 

     Layers of Interaction
 
+
  
Integrated Research Strategies

=   
Enduring Social Change


I.
Immediate social-change on a universal platform
  • Within the exhibition, attendees will interact with each painting
  • Through strategically designed narratives by or about its subject
  • Through tactile & aural interaction with the sound and sculpture portraying each person
  • Message reinforced by 9 corresponding film elements
  • Person-to-person interactions with nonprofit representatives in attendance during the exhibition
  • As often as possible, person-to-person interaction with one or more individuals with disabilities in attendance

II. Ongoing social change on 3 fronts     

 

A.  The Look. At. Me. Follow-up Curriculum

  • A simple, accessible reinforcement tool for communities and classrooms
  • Translates the L.A.M. experience into the real-world setting to which it will be applied
  • Printed and online versions of curricular tools can be created to address specific populations and their goals
  • Activities & learning components may be added later, as appropriate 
B. Interface with Major Nonprofits
  • Mechanisms at three junctures will pair attendees with nonprofits that match their interests
  • Introductions to appropriate nonprofit(s) will be entirely voluntary
C.
Programming within Major Art Museums
  • World-class art museums across the United States will leverage each regional opening of the exhibition as the occasion to announce formal, ongoing relationships with individuals with disabilities in their community.
  • Programming will likely include features such as free admission, special tours, art experiences, etc.

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The Look. At. Me. Project is registered with the IRS as a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation.
All contributions are tax deductible.

  
Elizabeth McClancy
Project Director
ecmcclancy@lookatmeproject.org