Helping People With Disabilities Make Art, And Money

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Access Gallery Ballet Practice
Blind people took photographs of Colorado Ballet dancers for an Access Gallery project called Pointe and Shoot.

This story originally aired in June 2016. We're re-airing it because last week, McLeese was honored with a Colorado Governor's Creative Leadership award.

From murals in corporate board rooms to pet portraits, artists at Denver's Access Gallery and Studio find creative ways to make money.

These artists face special challenges. Access offers classes at its gallery and in the community for students with mental and physical disabilities. Much of their work gets sold.Access Gallery Elementary Student

Executive director Damon McLeese says the program challenges assumptions about art and artists. He spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner. McLeese will speak Saturday at TEDxMileHigh's Make + Believe event.