Community Members Sky Cubacub, Riva Lehrer, and Perel Receive Disability Futures Award

A Filipinx nonbinary person wearing colorful clothing throws back their head and smiles. A white woman with short white hair, geometric earrings, and white collarless shirt poses seated. A white nonbinary person in a black power suit stands with cane.
From left: Sky Cubacub, Riva Lehrer, Perel. Images courtesy of the Ford Foundation and the artists

Three School of the Art Institute of Chicago community members—alum and garment maker Sky Cubacub (BFA 2015), Assistant Professor, Adj., painter, and writer Riva Lehrer (SAIC 1993–95), and alum and interdisciplinary artist Perel (MFA 2011)—are among the country’s first recipients of the Disability Futures award. Cubacub, Lehrer, and Perel are three of 20 creative practitioners that were chosen to receive a $50,000 grant for their work, totaling $1 million for the entire initiative.

Recently launched by the Ford Foundation and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by United States Artists, Disability Futures is the only national award that focuses on artists with disabilities; according to Hyperallergic, it’s "the first multidisciplinary award of its kind and scale."