Disabled Artists

Ten years ago, a German music conservatory refused to accept a young singer because he couldn't play the piano. If all bureaucrats had remained adamant, today's star baritone Thomas Quasthoff would have never had a chance, since he was born with no arms. It seems like artists with disabilities are taken more seriously in the United States. Yesterday (June 16), a three day conference ended in Washington, D.C. It brought together representatives of arts organizations, institutions for the disabled, delegates of the American government, and several hundred artists. The conference took place at Washington's prominent Kennedy Center, and the discussion revolved around topics such as proper training, career development, and finding jobs. Sponsorship of the conference was provided by the American Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Kennedy Center. The organizers are describing the conference as the first of its kind, and Georg Hirsch was there.

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