By : Diana Guzman
The local disability community has gained the art work of Maia Scott, who is visually impaired City College instructor, performance artist, labyrinth facilitator, and massage therapist. Scott teaches her courses off campus for the Disabled Students Programs & Services (DSPS). DSPS caters to thousands of students, faculty, and staff with disabilities ranging from impairments in mobility, vision, hearing, and speech.
Her classes are instructed to cater to people with disabilities such as students, who cannot attend City College and take a course. Her programs include accessible theatre arts, in which she instructs basic movement and expressive theatre for people with multiple disabilities, including those who are non-verbal, rehabilitation, accessible arts & crafts.
Scott’s vision has been impaired since the beginning of her life. She described her sight as, “an impression of a painting. The colors and the basic shapes of things are there, yet the details and depth are not. I can see things just before I crash into them, but I have my guide dog, Gleam, to help me out with that and it is just a joy to work with.”
In 2019, Scott’s artwork was part of The Change Makers Bay Area Disability Pride, which is a traveling exhibition that focuses on people, who live or work in San Francisco with around 50 artists, who are nominated to have their work presented in the exhibition.
“I am a strong believer that everybody has the power to create. Everybody has creative processes. The creative process isn’t always just about making pretty things for people to look at or judge, it’s about thinking outside the box and finding a way to find that troublesome thing into a yes; when having trouble with anything, working your way through. I think that my art experience growing up with very proactive parents, who gave me blank paper, who let me dance, who put me in dance classes and challenged me to push my limits enabled me to be the teacher and creator that I am today,” Scott said.
She also added, “I am seeing so many of the art at City College that are being cut. It makes me very sad because I feel it’s the arts that gave me the tools, confidence, poise and ability to find work and to be around employable in jobs that I love.”
According to Scott’s website, “Over the years Maia has received recognition for her work starting with collegiate awards for Best Choreographer of the Year, a Certificate of Honor in Dance, and a Certificate of Honor in Visual Arts.”
In addition, she was featured in The San Francisco Chronicle regarding Scott’s dance duet with her guide dog and The Milken Foundation’s Calendar.
“The power to create is something worth pursuing whether it’s the ability to create repairs around your car, prepare a special meal or to create something in your garden or a dance piece, it is all important and are all empowering, so go create,” Scott said.
Currently, she teaches at The Arc of San Francisco and the Pomeroy Recreation and Rehabilitation Center. In addition she has taught at the Laguna Honda in San Francisco, which is California’s first green-certified hospital. According to the Laguna Honda website, “they are a skilled nursing and rehabilitation center owned and operated by the San Francisco Department of Public Health.”
The Changemakers exhibit is displaying her artwork at The San Francisco Public Library for The Blind, now through March 14. (I will double confirm this piece of information).
For more information about Scott and her work you can visit her website, www.maiamaia.us.