Milwaukee Public Theatre
Press Release

Annual Tap the Potential Celebration features Artists & Performers with Disabilities

Tap the Potential of Artists with Disabilities

By - Oct 10th, 2014 10:58 am

October is Disability Awareness Month—a time to “Tap the Potential” of artists with special needs in Milwaukee County.  Tap the Potential is designed to challenge stereotypes of disability through performances and artworks presented by artists who have disabilities themselves.

Milwaukee County Office for Persons with Disabilities, Milwaukee Public Theatre, Goodwill Industries and VSA Wisconsin are leading partner agencies in presenting free-to-the-public arts events  in October. The 2014 events are dedicated to the memory of Jeff LaDow.

Milwaukee Public Theatre sponsors free performing artist appearances at locations throughout the area. Performers who have confirmed to date include:

  • Thursday, October 2, 11 am: Art Exhibit Reception with speakers and performers, Mitchell International Airport; Exhibit runs through October 22
  • Wednesday, October 8: Cammy Draheim, visual artist, presenting Watercolor Painting Therapy and Angela Smith, Nia session, at Milwaukee Secure Detention Center (not open to public)
  • Sunday, October 12, Walk to Defeat ALS, 8 to 10 am: MPT artists entertain walkers at Greenfield Park
  • Wednesday, October 15, Noon to 1 pm: White Cane Flash Mob at County Courthouse
  • Wednesday, October 15, 12:30 pm: Mud River Lee, blues musician, at Washington Park Senior Center, 4420 W. Vliet Street
  • Wednesday, October 15, 1 to 2:30 pm: Barbara Leigh, workshop for Adaptive Community Approach Program (ACAP) at Waukesha Civic Theatre
  • Friday, October 17, 6-7 pm: Dan Johnston, guitar, Gallery Night at IndependenceFirst Exhibition: Threads of the World
  • Saturday, October 18: William Sweeney, piano,at St. Ann’s Rest Home Sweetest Day
  • Tuesday, October 21: Rose Onama, storytelling at Disability Resource Fair Fun & Fit Day, Kenosha
  • Wednesday, October 22, 11:30 am: Mud River Lee at McGovern Park Senior Center, 4500 W. Custer Avenue
  • Wednesday, October 29, 9:15 am: Barbara Leigh, “Survival Revival Revue Excerpts” , at Marquette University School of Nursing (for faculty/ students only)
  • Saturday, November 1, 3 pm: Mud River Lee and the Bluegrass Orchestra, one hour performance at Joyce Parker Productions, 2685 S. Kinnickinnic Avenue
  • William Sweeney, pianist at Wilson Senior Center, date to be determined
  • Rose Onama, storyteller, at Clinton Rose Senior Center, date to be determined
  • “Pieces: In My Own Voice” by NAMI-Greater Milwaukee, dates and locations to be determined
  • Jahmes Finlayson and Children of the Sun Deaf Drum Troupe, date to be determined at Gaenslen School

Milwaukee Public Theatre’s working definition of “Artist with Disabilities” is anyone whose personal or professional life has been impacted by a physical or mental health condition. No clinical diagnosis or enrollment in any specific program is required, and artists are not required to make any public disclosure.

Funding is provided by the Milwaukee County Commission for Persons with Disabilities. Milwaukee Public Theatre also receives support from the United Performing Arts Fund, CAMPAC Milwaukee County, and the Milwaukee Arts Board and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. More information on the performing artists will be available at

Please visit for a listing of events presented by other organizations, including: A visual art exhibition at General Mitchell International Airport, coordinated by Goodwill and VSA, October 1 – 22; IndependenceFirst features “Threads of the World,” October 1-30; and A “Miss We Believe In You” Pageant October 19 at Wisconsin Lutheran College, sponsored by Milwaukee County Office for Persons with Disabilities.

Tap the Potential lead agencies in 2014 are Milwaukee County Office for Persons with Disabilities, Milwaukee Public Theatre, Goodwill Industries of Southeast Wisconsin, and VSA Wisconsin. Other partners include IndependenceFirst, Milwaukee Center for Independence, Spina Bifida of Wisconsin, Easter Seals, Curative Care Network, ARC Milwaukee, Life Navigators and Donna Lexa.

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