WATCH: OC Arts and Disability spotlights students and adults’ artistic accomplishments

Dozens of groups of students and adults with disabilities took center stage in front of their biggest supporters at the 48th annual Orange County Arts and Disability Festival at MainPlace Mall in Santa Ana on Saturday, April 27. 

Orange County Arts and Disability logo

Continuing its longtime partnership with the Orange County Department of Education, Orange County Arts and Disability hosted the daylong event to spotlight the artistic accomplishments of local artists with disabilities, showcasing writing, dance, music, theater and visual art. This year’s theme was “Make a Splash.”

“The goal of the festival is to provide opportunities for students and adults with disabilities,” Marleena Barber, director of Orange County Arts and Disability, said. “It’s also to educate the general public about disability and raise awareness about the amazing things people with disabilities can do.” 

Offstage, attendees were invited to participate in an array of activities, including an ocean-themed scavenger hunt, an art exhibit and a resource fair aimed at promoting awareness of arts and disability. Participating organizations such as OCDE’s Connections program, the Braille Institute, Girl Scouts of Orange County and Unlimited Possibilities were on hand to engage with community members with interactive experiences and valuable insights. 

The scavenger hunt guided participants through the mall, offering chances to explore the festival’s exhibit, which showcased nearly 700 pieces of artwork from individual students. Their work will be on display at MainPlace through Wednesday, May 8.

OCDE’s Media Services team supported the celebration and captured some of the highlights in the video above.