An adult party that includes tunes, art and games — sounds like the perfect opportunity to use the acronym T.A.G. And the local nonprofit Mattingly Edge, which helps empower those with disabilities, has so much more than those three things planned for the benefit event held Saturday at the Tim Faulkner Gallery.
T.A.G. will feature live music by The Pass, a karaoke roulette of sorts by the band Howell Dawdy, games like Giant Jenga, corn hole and a liquor bottle pull (with wine and spirits priced between $10-$100), food by Yafa Café, and urban art by Casey McKinney and Jacon Duncan — plus, much more.
Best of all, it all raises funds for Mattingly Edge, which first began in 1950 as the Cerebral Palsy School to educate children who were not allowed to legally attend public school. Now, as federal and state policies encouraged the mainstreaming of children with disabilities throughout the years, the organization focuses on providing integrated services for adults.
Steven Carr, director of development for Mattingly Edge, tells Insider he hopes T.A.G. will be one hell of a party and also a way the organization can further its mission by spreading the word and connecting with people.
“I’m really excited that we are gaining traction in the city and that we’re stretching and doing new things,” he says. “I hope there are people who come to the event and hear about some of the truly amazing things the people we support are doing and then want to connect with them.”
For example, one person they recently supported is 22 and just moved into his own home in Germantown, says Carr. “I’d love him to see other people from the neighborhood at T.A.G., and then by the end of the night they have plans to get a drink at Four Pegs the following week. Helping people build social networks based on interest and commonality is such fascinating work.”
One of the nonprofit’s main goals is to help people with disabilities thrive alongside their neighbors, and it works one-on-one with participants to create an individualized plan to achieve that.
“We believe all persons are capable of growing in relationships, making choices, contributing, obtaining valued social roles, and sharing ordinary places,” Carr says. “We’ve evolved to see ourselves less as a charity and more as a social justice organization whose message and practice is that there is room at the table for everyone, and people with disabilities are included in that ‘everyone.’ ”
Carr explains that in the past, spaces were allocated for people with disabilities and oftentimes those people stayed there for their lifetime — separate from the rest of society.
Mattingly Edge is here to welcome them back into the community and help them integrate.
“For a myriad of reasons, including the continued devaluation of disabled people and the way Medicaid works in Kentucky, the bar is really low for what life looks like for people with disabilities. The bar is usually set for survival,” says Carr. “Our mission is to raise that bar, and not only help people survive but thrive in a community that is real and contributory and not contrived.”
T.A.G. will take place from 7-11 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11, at the Tim Faulkner Gallery, 1512 Portland Ave. Tickets are $15 in advance or $30 at the door, and the party is for those 21 and over.