Magical show highlights Disability Employment Awareness Month

THE ART OF MAGIC: A special production of “Magic, Mirth & Meaning,” a family-friendly, hourlong production, will take place on Oct. 21. Photo courtesy of The Vanishing Wheelchair

Press release from The Vanishing Wheelchair:

In October, celebrate National Magic Week and Disability Employment Awareness Month with a special production in Asheville.

The Vanishing Wheelchair Little Theatre is the permanent home of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity for people with disabilities, The Vanishing Wheelchair Inc. The Little Theatre at 175 Weaverville Highway, Suite K, in Asheville is the venue for several magic and variety shows for the public and is available for private functions and parties. A special production of “Magic, Mirth & Meaning,” a family-friendly, hourlong production that features storytellers, singers, jugglers and magicians, will be held on Oct. 21 at 3 p.m. The show is free, with donations accepted.

The show is a perfect way to celebrate the month of October as the nation celebrates the role people with disabilities have in our workforce and country. The United States Department of Labor explains: “Reflecting the important role disability plays in workforce diversity, this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month theme is ‘Inclusion Drives Innovation.’ Observed each October, NDEAM celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and educates about the value of a diverse workforce inclusive of their skills and talents.”

The last week in October is the time of year to celebrate the art of magic. The Society of American Magician’s Web site delves into the history of National Magic Week: “In the summer of 1927, less than one year after the death of Harry Houdini, a “Houdini Day” was established. …A friend of the Houdini’s requested and obtained permission from Mrs. Houdini to proclaim October 31st [the day Houdini died] as National Magic Day in honor of Harry Houdini. A plan was formulated to celebrate this day by having free magic performances for shut-ins and the handicapped, who would otherwise not be able to go out and enjoy a show.”

The show “Magic, Mirth & Meaning” features numerous talents of people with disabilities and those who wish to help them. At any given show, an audience may see singing, storytelling, and, of course, magic. The show appeared and disappeared for several years since the nonprofit’s founding on Nov. 24, 2010. On Feb. 20, 2013 the show began appearing in Asheville on a monthly basis, finding its stride at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church.

The Vanishing Wheelchair has used the proceeds from the events it hosts to launch “All Things Possible” to teach skills in performing, painting, photography, music, crafts, writing and woodworking to people with disabilities. These workshops are available to other nonprofits to share with their clientele and will be conducted at the 175 Weaverville Highway location. Eventually the nonprofit wishes to expand to establish a universally accessible hands-on museum for children to explore the arts and sciences at which people with disabilities can work and continue to learn these skills.

Come support and see what The Vanishing Wheelchair is all about. Tickets may be available at the door, but advance reservations are strongly encouraged, because seating is limited. Purchase tickets online at, contact Magic Central, 175 Weaverville Highway, Suite L, Asheville, North Carolina 28804, or call 828-645-2941.

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