Thursday, October 8, 2015

Announcing the New Permanent Home of the Disability Mural Project Duluth!

The Disability Mural Project Duluth is being incorporated into the remodeling of the Northwest Passage Skywalk adjacent to the new Duluth Transportation Center.  Upon its permanent installation, the Mural will be a continually evolving statement on the issue of accessibility in the Duluth community through the means of this colorful, diverse public artwork.

Have a look at our new banner that is currently holding our place in the Northwest Passage Skywalk!

Banner featuring photos of Mural artists and artwork, some of which features messages such as "Disability is Natural: Create Universal Accessibility Now" and "Don't Leave Me Out, Please Include Me"
Click on above image to enlarge.

Thank you to Joan Henrik for her beautiful graphic design work, and to Chris Matthews at Advanced Design Awnings & Signs in Cloquet for printing our banner for us!

AAAWD would also like to thank its project team members who helped to make this permanent installation possible:
  • City of Duluth Human Rights Officer, Bob Grytdahl
  • Duluth Transit Authority: Jim Heilig & Dennis Jensen
  • Duluth Public Arts Commission, especially Peter Spooner & Mary Matthews

Thanks once again to all the artists, volunteers, project partners and sponsors who brought this important collaborative artwork to life!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The ADA Legacy Project's Road to Freedom Bus came to the Twin Ports today as part of 25th ADA Anniversary events sponsored by Access North CIL and North Country CIL.

Celebrations at the Mariner Mall in Superior, WI included a small temporary exhibit of the Disability Mural Project Duluth!

Find more photos and information here:

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Go West Disability Mural Project Duluth!

This winter, Disability Mural Project Duluth director, Bridget Riversmith met with Frances Valesco, founder of the international Disability Mural and Dmitri Belser, President of the Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley, CA. Mr. Belser expressed admiration for the success of the Duluth mural project, and extended an invitation for AAAWD to put together a temporary exhibit of select tiles for a show at the Ed Roberts Campus!

Friday, October 25, 2013

AAAWD Helps VSA Minnesota Create Disability Mural Projects in the Twin Cities and St. Cloud

In 2013, AAAWD co-founder, Bridget Riversmith served as a consultant to VSA Minnesota - The State Organization on Arts and Disabilities to help them create the Minnesota Disability Mural Project. Learn more and see more photos at their website:

Monday, October 10, 2011

Disability Mural Project Duluth: All Together Now!

We hope you will join us for "The Disability Mural Project Duluth: All Together Now," a one-day exhibit of over 300 - 12” square wooden tiles individually designed by people whose lives have intersected with disability in the Duluth area. The primary goals of this project are to recognize the important contributions of people with disabilities, to raise awareness of the need to invest in universal design in our public spaces and homes, and promote inclusiveness for all. This event is free and open to the public.
When: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 from 2:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Where: The DECC, Lake Superior Ballroom (Cityside Convention Center, 2nd floor), 350 Harbor Drive, Duluth, MN
Featured Speakers: 

2:30 pm: Frances Valesco, Director of the Disability Mural Project in Berkeley, CA
2:50 pm: Craig Dunn, Executive Director of VSA Minnesota
3:05 pm: Roberta Cich, Director of AccessNorth - CILNM
3:10 pm: Bridget Riversmith, AAAWD co-founder/Disability Mural Project Duluth coordinator
3:15 pm: City of Duluth Mayor Don Ness

5 - 5:30 pm: Poetry Readings featuring artists from AAAWD

5:30 - 6 pm: Performances featuring artists from CHOICE, unlimited ARTS Program

Accessibility Information:


Audio Description of the Disability Mural will be provided from 6 - 8 pm for this event.


ASL Interpreter services for speakers and performers from 2:30 - 6 pm for this event.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Press Conference with Mayor Ness on October 5 at Duluth City Hall

Duluth Mayor, Area Artists Announce Disability Mural Project Exhibit - First of Its Kind in Midwest

What: The Arrowhead Alliance of Artists With Disabilities (AAAWD) will stage a press conference to announce the upcoming October 19 exhibit at the DECC of the Disability Mural Project Duluth in celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. AAAWD's project partners, including Duluth Mayor Don Ness, will share a brief overview of this local initiative and how it's raising awareness of our community's increasing need for universal design in order to draw upon the strengths and abilities of all its citizens. Mayor Ness will deliver a proclamation for Disability Employment Awareness Month.

When: Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011 - 11:00 a.m. press conference

Where: Mayor's Conference Room (4th floor), City Hall, 411 W 1st St., Duluth - on-street metered parking

Who: Mayor Don Ness; Bridget Riversmith, Co-founder/Leader AAAWD and Coordinator Disability Mural Project Duluth; Roberta Cich, Director AccessNorth Center for Independent Living of Northeastern Minnesota; Sara Junge, Chairperson Duluth Commission on Disabilities; Bob Grytdahl, Human Rights Officer City of Duluth; and Xavier Bell, Director of Community Engagement Community Action Duluth.

Why: Duluth is the first city in the Midwest to participate in the international Disability Mural Project based in Berkeley, CA. We're also poised to become the first city to create our own permanent installation of the Disability Mural beyond Berkeley. Our Duluth project has not only produced over 320 - 12” square mural tiles, but also made visible as many personal stories of people with disabilities in our community. This sampling, though significant, is still quite small. For in the next decade, with returning veterans and nearly as many people in Minnesota turning age 65 as in the previous four decades combined, disability rates are expected to increase rapidly. This is why we must invest in universal design now, and the Disability Mural Project Duluth is a clarion call for this mutually beneficial innovation.

Opportunity to participate: If you created a tile for the Disability Mural Project, please RSVP if you'd like to participate in this press conference. Contact us at aaawdmail (at) gmail (dot) com by Monday, Oct. 3 to be included! Mural artists will be present holding their tiles in a silent tableau during the press conference, and, if they wish, can field questions from the media.

Over 300 New Mural Tiles Created Since Our Workshops Began on May 31, 2011!

AAAWD recently wrapped up phase one of our project! We facilitated 24 Mural tile workshops in 3 cities (Duluth, Cloquet, Two Harbors) in collaboration with 19 area partners including high schools, UMD, businesses, agencies and community groups (see blog side panel for complete list).
Thanks to everyone who participated in creating over 300 tiles for the upcoming October 19 exhibit of the Disability Mural Project Duluth at the DECC. Hope to see you all there!