Open Access Foundation for Arts and Culture


mia susan amir, Co-Director


mia, (she/they) is a queer, Crip+Mad Jew of mixed Ashkenazi and Sephardi ascent. mia works at the intersection of creative and community practice as an educator, cultural organizer, curator, producer, and transdisciplinary performance maker. mia’s artistic practice spans writing, sound design, dramaturgy, direction, performance, and political intervention. mia is interested in the ways in which live performance offers a prefigurative space to investigate the conditions shaping our world, to challenge and expand perception, to unearth relationship, and to engage in democratic narrative production, starting from the site of physical sensation. mia has taught and presented their research, as well as their solo and collaborative performance works, nationally and internationally. mia is also the founding Co-Producer of Unsettling Dramaturgy, and most importantly, mama to her kiddo, amadh solas.

Carmen Papalia, Co-Director


Carmen is a nonvisual social practice artist with severe chronic and episodic pain. Since 2009 Papalia has used organizing strategies and improvisation to address his access to public space, art institutions and visual culture. As a convener, he establishes welcoming spaces where disabled, sick and chronically ill people can build capacity for care that they lack on account of governmental failure and medical ableism. His work, which takes forms ranging from collaborative performance to public intervention, is a response to the harms of the Medical Model of Disability, a framework that erases disability experience by reinforcing ableist concepts of normalcy.

In 2020 Papalia was one of 25 artists who received the Sobey Art Award; in 2019 he was a Sobey long list recipient in the West Coast / Yukon region. Papalia also received the 2014 Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary, which supported a 3-month residency at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, and the 2013 Wynn Newhouse Award.

His work has been featured at The Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim museum, the Tate Liverpool, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and Gallery Gachet, among others. Contact Carmen at

Linda Gorrie, Business Manager

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