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Shocking Questions with Community Partner SAGE Studio

SAGE (Supporting Artists’ Growth and Entrepreneurship) Studio is an Austin-based nonprofit studio and gallery space that is dedicated to guiding, supporting, and exhibiting Texas contemporary artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The artists working within their studio space are supported by practicing artist facilitators who guide the artists in defining their artistic voice, developing a portfolio of work, and preparing them for professional careers as artists. SAGE Studio’s gallery exhibits not only the artists working in their studio but other artists from all over Texas.

SAGE Studio has recently launched their first virtual exhibition, HOME MAKERS, which features 18 different artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities from across the world. The HOME MAKERS exhibition concentrates on the ideas of “home” and the impact that the quarantine and pandemic have had on the artists’ perception of and relationship to home. This is represented by showing a piece depicting home by each artist created before the pandemic alongside a piece created during quarantine. The exhibition will run through October 31.

To learn more about SAGE Studio, the HOME MAKERS exhibition, and how to support the important work of the artists, please visit their website at

The founders of SAGE Studio, Katie Stahl and Lucy Gross, are passionate about integrating artists with disabilities into Austin’s contemporary art community. Shock the Vote asked Lucy a series of Shocking questions and this is what she had to say:

What do you do?

I am a teacher with AISD's GO Project, a transition program for 18-to-22-year-olds with intellectual disabilities. We focus on teaching them how to ride public transportation, learn job skills, and gain independence. I also teach at UT's Informal Classes for adults with disabilities, which is a really amazing way for folks who were previously excluded from the college experience to get to participate in the same opportunities as their neurotypical peers. Lastly, I co-founded SAGE Studio, which is a studio and gallery on the Eastside that supports and exhibits Texas-based artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities!

Why do you vote?

For the sticker! Just kidding. I was just talking to my students, who are getting their first jobs, about how voting is a way for us to have a say in the way our taxes are spent. I vote for people that can't. I vote because I think it's way easier to be a nihilist (especially now, maybe) but I want to be brave enough to hope that things can change!

Who is one of your favorite Austin entertainment groups?

I love getting to see weird/psychedelic/brain-scrambling screenings at Hyperreal Film Club! Pre-pandemic, they had monthly screenings at a space on Airport Blvd., but have done a really great job pivoting to virtual events in the last six months.

Who's your favorite Austin business or restaurant?

If I was planning my perfect, gluttonous day, I'd start with breakfast tacos at Vegan Nom, lunch at Bummer Burrito, get a drink at Kinda Tropical, and finish up with natural wine and pizza at Bufalina. Then I'd die (happy) of over-consumption. 

Who's your favorite nonprofit organization in Austin?

The SAFE Alliance! I worked there and was so impressed with their inclusive and progressive culture. They truly do incredible, systemic-changing work!

What's your favorite Halloween treat?

Mini Twix bars that I steal from my students.

—Bailey Moore, Shock the Vote ATX Staff Writer


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