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.

   
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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  

From now through mid-2016, renowned portrait artist Elizabeth McClancy will create a series of paintings of those we tend to overlook - or look away from - individuals with disabilities. She will be joined by three other world-class artists in the mediums of sculpture, sound and film. Together, their work will form a major, four-artist exhibition scheduled to debut in NYC in 2016, and then tour major U.S. and international venues.  The simple and profound mission? To create a layered interaction with great art and these particular 12 people; one that will enlighten viewers as to the extraordinary benefit of relationship with a person with disabilities.
               ...To begin to look.                                                          
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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 & sculptures 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. and abroad.  This interactive model of mutual learning, once formalized, can tour domestically and abroad to the benefit of regional communities and 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 Grassroots Funding Model 

We estimate that it will take two years to pull the core of this project together. The internet makes possible hundreds of modest contributions that will represent shared support across the international disabilities community.  We intend to raise $50,000 of the core funding from grassroots donations.
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 People magazine; 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

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Who should see this? 

The entire community will benefit - businesses, organizations and individuals - from a new-found inclusion of people with disabilities. Throughout the duration of each exhibition, L. A. M. can serve as a high-visibility backdrop for special-needs related events. 

  • Major corporations
  • Small businesses
  • Faith-based organizations
  • Community groups
  • Families
  • K-12 classes
  • Higher Education
  • National and regional nonprofits that serve this population

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.)

  Phase I  
                                        Phase II                          Phase III
   
Funding now.                              Please note: Phases II & III not included in current fundraising.

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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.

Please click here to see Gift Levels and Perks.

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:
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Comments:



"Don'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 revelation that only needs a place in time to happen.

A moment.

Not long. 


Photo: Santa Rosa Medical Center
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 12 individuals with disabilities. The subjects will be representative of age, ethnicity and manifestation of intellectual, physical and/or developmental disability.

To date, four of the 12 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
Benefits to the Disabilities Community  
  • A high-stature, shared resource to meet a fundamental, shared need;
  • A top-tier, dynamic space in which to members of the disabilities community may hold events;
  • A locus of contact to serve the disabilities community for developing both intra-organizational relationship and systemic effect;
  • Online $1-$500 gifts encourage ownership, stature, and breadth of participation;
  • The project will seek Friend-level donations from persons with disabilities;
  • The concept is replicable (via fine art prints, training in curriculum, etc.); and
  • The Project will commit to hiring persons with disability as part of the planning staff.
Photo from WhizKids: http://www.whizz-kidz.org.uk/getinvolved/opportunities/volunteersuccesses/
     Layers of Interaction 
+
 
Integrated Research Strategies

=  
Enduring Social Change
The installation will provide a series of layered opportunities for dialogue and interaction through:
  • The paintings
  • The narratives that accompany the paintings
  • The sound sculptures
  • The video elements
  • One or more persons with disabilities in attendance on designated exhibition days
  • Exhibition catalogue to lead viewers through the exhibition
  • Online curriculum for post-exhibition study and dialogue
  • Documentary chronicling the creation of the art and the social change as it unfolds
  • Usage of the installation space as a centerpiece for education & fundraising by regional nonprofits that serve this population
  • Ongoing gallery talks by representatives of the disabilities nonprofit community

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

The Social-Change/Education Components  
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 12 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