Maryland native, Alyscia Cunningham, recently presented “How You Can Make Your Art Accessible” at this year’s TEDxDeerPark in Long Island.
SILVER SPRING, MD – Silver Springer resident, Alyscia Cunningham, has a new honor to add to her growing list of accomplishments: TEDx speaker. On Oct. 28, the award-winning artist, photographer and filmmaker was one of 12 speakers to grace the stage at Suffolk County Community College’s Van Nostrand Theater in Long Island as part of TEDx DeerPark’s event for women.
“I am always grateful for opportunities provided, but doing a TEDx was definitely next level for me. I'm always seeking opportunities to grow and push myself out of my comfort zone. I was honored to have this opportunity to do just that,” she said.
Last week, TEDx Talks published Cunningham’s presentation titled “How You Can Make Art Accessible” to its YouTube channel. Her 11-minute presentation can be viewed at this link.
As the first independent artist to create a multi-sensory art exhibition accessible for all in 2021, Cunninham’s topic, which a TEDx curator determined, focused on her journey to bringing it all to fruition.
“I learned that TED doesn't choose duplicate topics, not even a bit similar, and that my topic was different from anything that had been shared previously about accessibility,” the Montgomery County resident said.
For several months, Cunningham consistently practiced and perfected her presentation.
“I lived and breathed my TEDx presentation. I practiced it every day for myself and for my family (husband and children). Once I had the idea down, I sent my presentation to the TEDx DeerPark team, who then helped me to polish my presentation. Everyone provided me with all the support I needed and more,” Cunningham said.
When it came time to finally take the stage, Cunningham made sure to leave the audience with one important message: Whether someone is blind or deaf, art can be made for EVERYONE to enjoy. It’s not impossible.
According to Cunningham, when other artists watch her TEDx presentation, she hopes they learn from her experience and incorporate it into their own work. She also hopes it encourages museums and art organizations around the country to make their exhibits truly accessible.
“I am more than happy to help them [museums] to do just that. I would love for them to reach out to me,” she said.
TEDx events are fully planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis. The goal is to inspire a passion for spreading ideas in local communities from within. More information can be found at this link.
ABOUT ALYSCIA CUNNINGHAM: Based in Silver Spring, Maryland, Alyscia Cunningham is an entrepreneur, author, speaker, filmmaker and photographer with contributions to National Geographic, Discovery Channel, America Online and the Smithsonian Institution. After the success of Cunningham's first book, Feminine Transitions: A Photography Celebration of Natural Beauty, she continues her contribution to social change with her new book and upcoming documentary film, I Am More Than My Hair: My Outward Appearance Does Not Define Me.