MISSOULA – Nina G, who bills herself as “The West Coast’s Only Female Stuttering Comedian,” will bring her one-woman show to the University of Montana this month.
The comedian, social activist and author, who also has a learning disability, will present “Going Beyond Inspirational” at 7 p.m. Monday, March 21, in the University Center Theater. The performance, sponsored by the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities at UM, is free and open to the public. It may contain mature content not suitable for some audiences.
Nina G also will present a workshop earlier that day on how to create a diverse work environment for all people, including individuals with disabilities. Sponsored by UM’s Access Partners, it will take place from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in UC Rooms 326-327. It is open to all UM faculty, staff and students, and registration is available online at https://www.umt.edu/accessibility/accesspartners.php.
Nina G’s one-woman show is based on her real-life experiences. In a world where people with disabilities often are portrayed solely as being “inspirational,” or are otherwise presented through the filter of perceptions of people without disabilities, “Going Beyond Inspirational” is carefully crafted to validate the disability experience for people with and without disabilities.
“There is an ongoing struggle of tending to be preachy but wanting to be funny at the same time,” she said. “I think that’s a balance that I really need to have. For the topic of disability, it’s especially important to use humor as a tool to open up dialogue, because people's defenses are so high.”
Nina G will present for 30 minutes, and then she will be joined by Mike Beers of Summit Independent Living Center in Missoula for a 30-minute panel discussion. The event will close with a 30-minute audience Q-and-A session.
The Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities at UM engages in research, provides education and interdisciplinary training, and develops model services that improve the skills, abilities and quality of life for people with disabilities in rural communities, including their families and those who support and partner with them. More information is online at http://ruralinstitute.umt.edu/.
Access Partners is an alliance for UM faculty, staff and students to promote a campus environment that goes above and beyond disability compliance. The alliance’s goal is to promote a diverse campus community that welcomes all individuals by creating a more positive and innovative UM experience for all people. For more information visit http://www.umt.edu/accessibility/accesspartners.php.