The Felix Awards were conceived to celebrate powerful cultural work that delves deep into disability’s power to think differently, move differently, perceive differently, and connect differently. Since 2014, we have honored the graphic novelist Cece Bell, the poet Ilya Kaminsky, the dancer Jerron Herman, the playwright Amy Herzog, the director Sam Gold, the writers Steve Silberman and Andrew Solomon, the actor and comedian Maysoon Zayid, the cartoonist Liana Finck, the choreographer Rebecca Alson-Milkman and the OT Jill Mullin (who compiled and edited a book of autistic art).
We consider any sort of cultural work: movies, plays, fiction, nonfiction, poetry, comics, podcasts, dances, music, tv, art exhibits, performance art, basically: art in all its manifestations.
We are looking for original, unexpected work that breaks through the otherness of disability. Perhaps exposing its naturalness and inevitability. Perhaps delving into its complications, pain, potential, insight. Perhaps investigating its marginality. As a group, the disabled top the charts in terms of poverty, imprisonment, unemployment, and isolation, yet disability is often treated as an afterthought in the civil rights movement.
Honorees do not need to have a legally vetted disability, but they should identify as members of or fellow travelers with the disability community. We recognize that “the disability community” is in some ways a fiction, but it is our fiction. We take it to mean those whose lives are directly woven in with disability, whether it be their own or a loved one, and who recognize a commonality between all sorts of disabilities, be they physical, mental, cognitive, learning, emotional, or behavioral, and who sometimes prefer the oddity, interdependence, and humor of the disability world to the absurdities and posturing of the so called normal one.
While we will consider writers and artists from other places, we do have a bias towards people in the NYC metropolitan area simply because we do not have a big travel budget, and we do want our honoree to come to the gala and show off what they do so well.
Nominations are made through emailing Eliza Factor (firstname.lastname@example.org) with Felix Award Nomination in the subject heading.