by Dot Cannon
The Aquarium of the Pacific is gearing up for its fourteenth annual Festival of Human Abilities.
And hip-hop dancer and singer Auti Angel will almost certainly get you moving to the beat.
Gifted singer Kodi Lee could hold his own against any Grammy nominee.
The Love in Motion Signing Choir have a tendency to draw a capacity crowd.
And they’re all performing this Saturday and Sunday, January 28th and 29th, as Aquarium of the Pacific celebrates the talent of artists with disabilities, in its Festival of Human Abilities.
Both days, the Festival is set to feature workshops, art exhibits and performances.
You’ll get the opportunity to learn to sing in sign language, try your hand at wheelchair hip-hop dancing and create your own art–as just three of the classes offered.
Artists with and without disabilities will be teaching free workshops.
(These run from thirty to forty-five minutes. Visitors get the opportunity to explore dance, art and music interactively–and still have time to see the art exhibits and entertainers.)
Once again, the Aquarium’s Main Hall will feature art displays, support organization exhibits and interactive diving–which was hugely popular when we attended last year.
Nonprofit organization Diveheart will be doing adaptive scuba-diving demonstrations, both Saturday and Sunday. (Diveheart offers educational scuba diving programs, open to any child, adult or veteran with a disability.)
Innovation, community and fun
On Sunday morning at 11:45, there will also be an award ceremony. Andrew Skinner, co-founder of the Triumph Foundation, will be honored for his work. (The Triumph foundation mentors individuals with spinal cord injuries, helping them maximize their abilities.)
And, of course, besides the festival, you’ll get to see all the Aquarium’s regular denizens!
Our personal favorites include the jellies (they look like they’re lit from within!), tiger sharks and sea lions. The Aquarium provides audio tours for guests who are blind, and all Festival of Human Abilities programming, this weekend, will include sign language interpreters.
Come down and enjoy–with two fair warnings.
First, come early for the workshops, which have limited space. Here’s a link to their schedule.
And secondly, you can’t avoid missing something. Both days are filled with all kinds of special events. Think “choose your favorite kind before you go into the candy store”, and we’ll see you there.
The Aquarium of the Pacific’s fourteenth annual Festival of Human Abilities happens this Saturday and Sunday, January 28th and 29th, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entertainment programming starts at 10 a.m., and Festival activities are free with Aquarium admission.