TigerTalks in the City: Innovations in Arts Accessibility

March 30, 2023 | 95 min

This extraordinary panel of Princetonians committed to disability justice and enhancing accessibility in the arts explored the advances to which our community has contributed.

Kay Gayner '86, is the Artistic Director of National Dance Institute. She began teaching for National Dance Institute in 2000 and is responsible for the direction of NDI’s In-School Program, which currently serves approximately 6,500 children in New York City public schools. She has served as Co-Creator and Co-Founder of the NDI DREAM Project since 2014, an inclusive program that provides children with disabilities the opportunity to dance and perform alongside a group of age-matched peers.

Christopher “Unpezverde” Nunez is a Visually Impaired choreographer and Disability advocate based in NYC. Núñez is a Princeton University Arts Fellow 2022-2024, a Dance/USA Fellow 2022, a Jerome Hill Fellow 2022-2024 and a Mellon Foundation Grantee 2023-2024. His work has been presented by The Joyce Theater, The Brooklyn Museum, The Kitchen, Danspace Project, among others. He has held residencies at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), The Kitchen, Movement Research, Center for Performance Research, and Abrons Arts Center. In 2020, Núñez was invited by the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs to share his story as a disabled and formally undocumented choreographer during Immigrant Heritage Week. Núñez received his green card in 2018 and continues to be an advocate for the rights of undocumented disabled immigrants.

In his course Introduction to Radical Access: Disability Justice in the Arts, Núñez invites all artists, from choreographers to theater makers, film makers, visual artists, writers and composers to immerse in a highly collaborative, improvisational, experimental and inclusive community to explore Disability Justice as a framework for creative, dramaturgical and curatorial practices.

Maysoon Zayid, is a comedian, actress, writer, and disability advocate. She is a graduate of Arizona State University and a Princeton Fellow. Maysoon is the co-founder/co-executive producer of the New York Arab American Comedy Festival and The Muslim Funny Fest. She was a full-time On Air Contributor to Countdown with Keith Olbermann and a columnist for The Daily Beast. She has appeared on 60 Minutes, CNN, ABC News, and Oprah Winfrey Networks. Maysoon had the most viewed TED Talk of 2014 and was thrilled to collaborate with Huda Beauty.

As a professional comedian, Maysoon has sold out top New York clubs and has toured extensively at home and abroad. She was a headliner on the Arabs Gone Wild Comedy Tour and The Together Live Tour. Maysoon appeared alongside Adam Sandler in You Don’t Mess With the Zohan and has written for Glamour magazine. She limped in New York Fashion Week and is a recurring character on General Hospital. She is the author of the best-selling memoir Find Another Dream and is collaborating with Scholastic on her debut comic book Shiny Misfits.

Michael Zhang, Ph.D. candidate in Princeton's Department of Art and Archaeology specializing in African art history, is a co-founder of Museumverse, a startup using VR and digital technologies to bring new dimensions of museum experiences and exhibitions and to strengthen community engagement.

A special thanks to Nassau Street Ventures for providing the venue at its Alumni Ventures Group NYC offices for this TigerTalks event.