EventsSouls Above Water: A Night of Disability Music and Culture

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Souls Above Water: A Night of Disability Music and Culture

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM


Join singer/songwriter Stephanie Alma Hernandez and percussionist Tommy Carroll as they share songs of joy, resistance, pain, and solidarity, rooted in the disability experience. The evening will feature a discussion of disability culture and show where the movement is heading. Both performers are disabled artists living and working in Chicago. This event is in partnership with Cuerpos Justificados, a disability-led grassroots artist collective, and the Chicago Public Library Diversability Advocacy Committee. 

Tommy Carroll is a Chicago-based drummer and bandleader working primarily in the areas of improvised music, folkloric percussion and experimental rock. He leads Calculated Discomfort, an electro-acoustic ensemble showcasing his cinematic compositions, and Prosthetic, a futuristic dance band. He has released six albums and performed on more than 30 recordings as a collaborator in styles ranging from Puerto Rican folk to indie rock to modern hip hop. Described by the Chicago Reader as a workhorse drummer, Tommy can be found performing all around the city and the Midwest. As a totally blind musician, Tommy strives to promote the ingenuity of disability culture and joy of improvisation in all he does.

Stephanie Alma Hernandez is a Mexican American disabled singer, songwriter percussionist and cultural worker from Chicago. Currently plays in Raro and Prosthetic.

Cuerpos Justificados (CJ) which translates to "Justified Bodies" is a disability-lead grassroots artist collective featuring intentional, innovative, and boundary-defying disability works that make political statements. CJ also integrates community participation and collaboration with other local grassroots organizations, like the Agitator Gallery and some Chicago parks. Mixed ability organizing, love, vulnerability, and nonhierarchical decision-making from a crip-POC-feminist lens lays the groundwork for our collective and future exhibitions. We value cripistemology as an essential part of art making and acknowledge that disability culture development and remembrance is a continuous process and collective effort.

Open to all ages - adults, teens, and families.

How to Attend

Register by the start of the event. Chicago Public Library cannot collect personal information online from kids 0 to 13. A parent or guardian’s email address must be used to register. As a reminder, school email addresses may block external emails such as those from CPL.


Need sign language interpretation or other accessibility assistance for this event? Please call (312) 747-8184 or email to request accommodations. Requests must be made at least 14 business days before the event.

Pictured above:  Tommy Carroll (L) and Stephanie Alma Hernandez (R)
Photo source:  Ryan Ingham

Disability Pride
Suitable for:
Kids: 6 to 13 years
Teens: 13 to 19 years
Adults: 18 and up
Seniors: 55 and up
Tweens: 10 to 13 years
Art, Movies and Performances

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