Notice: Our next Board Meeting will be held on March 23, 2013, at the Center for Outcome Analysis, 426B Darby Road, Havertown, Pennsylvania, at 10:00AM.
PM&PA Encourages Supporters to Attend Groundbreaking Reading and Discussion
Visionary Voices PerformsA Fierce Kind of Love. What would you do if you were faced with an impossible choice?
Reading and Discussion of a new play by Suli Holum and directed by David Bradley. March 18, 2013
In the 1950’s, parents were pressured to institutionalize their children with disabilities at places like Pennhurst. Those who kept their children at home often experienced isolation. But a generation of parents, particularly mothers, demanded more for their children and for themselves. A Fierce Kind of Love tells the story of these accidental warriors, their children, and the generations who followed them.
The Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, in a special collaboration with playwright Suli Holum and director David Bradley, brings these stories to the public for the first time. At this first public showing, you’ll hear performers read the script and have a chance to talk about the play, its themes, and its ongoing development.
Christ Church, Neighborhood House
20 North American Street Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Monday, March 18, 2013
Free Event. Space is limited • Reserve your seat online or call 215.204.1356 (voice) • 215.204.1805 (tty)
Reading: 7pm to 8pm; Discussion: 8pm to 9pm
To view live video stream visit www.disabilities.temple.edu/voices/performs/
Reading will be CART captioned. American Sign Language interpreted.
Visionary Voices Performs is supported by a grant from The Heritage Philadelphia Program, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage to the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University.
PM&PA Advisor Dennis Downey on Radio Smart Talk
In the weeks and months after a governor proposes his or her state budget, there will be individuals and groups who will criticize the governor's spending priorities. The outcry is usually louder when funding cuts are proposed. Last year, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett's proposed budget slashed funding for public education by about a billion dollars. The governor said the reduction was to offset stimulus money from the federal government that was no longer available. Public education advocates, schools, administrators and teachers made dire predictions. The final budget resulted in cuts of more than $800 million. The full impact may not have been realized yet. This year, proposed cuts in state funding to state-related and state-owned universities have gotten most of the attention. However, at the same time, advocates and parents of children with intellectual and mental disabilities are aggressively fighting the governor's proposal to reduce funding to programs they utilize by 20%, while providing one block grant to counties who would administer services. In fact, a coalition of advocates have gone as far as filing a lawsuit against the state, saying it is not meeting it's obligations. On Wednesday's Radio Smart Talk, we'll hear from several of those advocacy groups. Since litigation is pending, Pennsylvania Secretary of Public Welfare Gary Alexander has been invited to appear on a future program.
Answering the Call of Conscience: An Economically-Viable Path to a Sensitive Re-Use at Pennhurst
Preliminary Financial Feasibility Analysis, Historic Restoration of Pennhurst, August 2011
The nationally-renowned firm Urban Partners, with the assistance of grant funding from the Bard Foundation and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, undertook an Economic Feasibility Study to see if and how the results of the 2009-2010 Community Design Collaborative Re-Use Design Study could be implemented. We are pleased to announce that the study has shown that the sensitive, meaningful re-use of 11 historic core buildings is financially viable. Download Urban Partner's report here.
Some important points:
- The Community Design Collaborative study said the current building stock was the site’s greatest asset, and that it could be re-used without precluding a range of other use types on the property;
- The township’s preservation ordinance supports preservation here;
- The area’s most reputable real estate market analysis firm has found a use that could achieve preservation and still allow other types of development on 75% of the rest of the site;
- An investor is willing to provide up-front funding of $15 million, with the net result of a higher-quality end product.
Call of Conscience: A Video Presentation
This video, produced and directed for the PM&PA by Heath Hofmeister of Electric Machine Productions, culminates the historic significance of the Pennhurst campus with the need for appropriate preservation and rememberance. Please take a moment to view this amazing video.
The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon
(The Pennhurst Memorial and Preservation Alliance receives a 6% contribution through your purchase using the link on the left)
Inspired by the lives of people who lived in Pennhurst and its peer institutions The Story of Beautiful Girl, written by Rachel Simon, tells the story of two individuals, a deaf man (Homan) and a woman with an intellectual disability (Lynnie), who escape from an institution in Pennsylvania in 1968 with the woman’s newborn daughter. The story unfolds over several decades, and includes many issues familiar to those in the I/DD community: the abuse and dehumanizing conditions in the institution, the advent of deinstitutionalization, the value of dedicated Direct Support Professionals.
Rachel Simon wrote about her sister, who has an intellectual disability, in Riding the Bus With My Sister. Her latest book intertwines many issues such as the right to community living, romance and sexuality, self-expression, spirituality and independence.
Visit Rachel's website here to read an excerpt from the book (scroll down the page until you see "About the book" and click on "First chapter excerpt" on the right).
About Pennhurst: A Place of Triumph
The recently unveiled Pennhurst Historical Marker, Spring City
Once called the shame of the nation, Pennhurst was the epicenter of a civil and human rights movement that changed the way the world saw people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The atrocities of neglect at Pennhurst resulted in Supreme Court litigation that sounded the death knell for institutionalization worldwide. Pennhurst stands as a monument not just to the despair of social apathy but more importantly to the bright triumph of an engaged citizenry--and the eternal hope that great change is possible from the cumulative efforts of caring people. For these reasons it must be preserved.
Pennhurst was the battleground in a monumental struggle to secure basic human rights for the last group of Americans to attain privileges assumed to be the natural freedoms of all persons. Pennhurst's historic and beautiful campus is, like Valley Forge and Independence Mall to the east, hallowed ground in the struggle for dignity and self-determination, a western anchor to a freedom corridor, that, though stretching but a few miles, reaches all the way around the world.
Through preservation and adaptive re-use of the historic Pennhurst campus, the Pennhurst Memorial and Preservation Alliance seeks to ensure that those achievements won at Pennhurst are neither lost nor forgotten. We seek to reclaim this once painful place as a center of conscience, healing, and outreach. This process is essential in the creation and preservation of a society where, all people are valued and respected, and where all people have the knowledge, opportunity, and power to improve their lives and the lives of others. Join us.
Past Update: PM&PA's Statement on Gov. Corbett's Proposed Budget
The PM&PA joins advocates and family members in decrying the cuts in support for individuals with intellectual disabilities found in the Governor's proposed budget. History tells us that, in times of financial stress, people with disabilities and others in need are often the first to suffer. "Fiscal responsibility" has been cited as the justification for most of the worst abuses visited upon people with disabilities, as people are forced from their homes and communities into large congregate institutions. Paradoxically, these unacceptable institutions are actually the most expensive option both for society and the people whose community supports are being slashed. Please join us in speaking out against these cuts and in speaking out against taking a path that may lead people back to the days of dehumanization and enforced idleness.*
*The original demonstration of the fiscal irresponsibility of costly, ineffective institutional models was completed as part of the Pennhurst Longitudinal Study. Since then this finding has been confirmed in dozens of studies and policy analyses. The known facts, and the fundamental error of "economy of scale" thinking in this regard, is briefly summarized here.
Past Update: Local, state, and national organizations on Pennhurst's Zoning Change
Click here to see those letters attached to the PM&PA's letter to the Chester County Planning Commission.
Past Update: A Statement Regarding the "Pennhurst Haunted Asylum"
Since PMPA posted its statement regarding the proposed Haunted Asylum at Pennhurst, it has become clear that some people do not understand our position. Our original statement attempted to cover what has been a long and complex process of negotiation with the owner of the Pennhurst property. That detracted from our intent. To be clear, PMPA is completely opposed to the operation of a haunted attraction at Pennhurst that portrays people with disabilities in a demeaning and degrading fashion....
About our Mission and Board of Directors
The mission of the Pennhurst Memorial & Preservation Alliance is “To honor at Pennhurst the ongoing civil rights struggle of Americans with disabilities.” PM&PA Board members are voluntary participants in this non-profit mission. PM&PA's Board members have not accepted, nor can they accept, payment for activities related to the PM&PA.
Principal drawing by Emily Scali
Click Here for Emily Scali's drawing of Admin, Mayflower & Limerick buildings
Official Statement Regarding Trespassing on the Pennhurst Property