Tap the Potential (Disabilities Awareness Month)

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Tap the Potential, Disability Awareness Month


Tap The Potential LogoThis year we are celebrating our 14th Anniversary of Tap the Potential! Tap the Potential Disability Awareness month has been celebrated in Milwaukee each October since 2003. This year organizations are sponsoring a variety of activities geared towards raising the public’s awareness of the talents and issues of people with disabilities in our community. Initially coordinated by the Milwaukee County Office for Persons with Disabilities, the 2017 effort is a group effort including organizations such as: Milwaukee County, Milwaukee Public Theatre, Goodwill, VSA, Independence First, MCFI, Spina Bifida of Wisconsin, Easter Seals, Curative, ARC Milwaukee, Life Navigators, Accenture, & Dona Lexa .


Tap the Potential has organized a number of awareness raising events throughout the month. Organizations are encouraged to sponsor their own events and invited to list them on the calendar. The calendar will be updated throughout the month as information is received.


Tap the Potential Mitchell International Airport Art Show

October 17th - November 2nd

Artist Reception October 26th @ 10:00AM



An exhibition of over fifty artists representing a full spectrum of disabilities is being held at Mitchell International Airport. The Art Exhibition dates are October 17th - November 2nd. The Artist's Reception will be held on October 26th at 10:00am at Mitchell International Airport’s main concourse (near concourse E).

Map of Airport


The Airport show will once again ask the public to share their comments about the artwork. Many passengers wrote messages sending support and encouragement to the artists. Click here to see the messages that were posted in previous years of the event. This year, travelers will be asked to vote for their favorite artist in which the top artists will receive cash prizes.


If you are looking for to enter some of your artwork into the Art Exhibition or are looking for Art Sales information, please contact Mike Bonk.


Entry forms for the Art Exhibition can be found by clicking here.


Tap the Potential Mitchell Internation Airport Art Show Flyer


Thanks to the committee members: Jan Kruk and Jennifer Houston - Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin, Barbara Leigh - Milwaukee Public Theatre, Mary Newhouse - Curative Care, Hollybeth Gower & Samantha Brophy - MCFI, EasterSeals - Chelsea McCracken and the EasterSeals Color Guard, Mike Bonk - Milwaukee County Office for Persons with Disabilities, Heide Planey and other Community Volunteers.


2016 Tap the Potential Mitchell Airport Art Show Winners


1st Place Picture

1st Place

Ashlee Nalls - Crayola Heart Work


2nd Place Picture

2nd Place

Kolp - Chaos


3rd Place Picture

3rd Place

Ted - Tiger


Tap the Potential Fashion Show


Goodwill Adult Day Services has been hosting an annual fashion show for nearly ten years. At first it was held in Waukesha County with 15 to 20 models. Over the years, the fashion show has grown and taken on a life of its own. In 2011, the annual Day Services fashion show moved to Milwaukee County, becoming an opportunity for even more Goodwill participants to strut their stuff. At our latest show, every day program member participated and there were nearly 30 models.


Over the years, we’ve showcased many themes from “Famous Couples of the Silver Screen” to “Musical Fashions–fashions from different musical eras and genres." Through all the years, models kept with Goodwill’s environmental objectives of reduce, reuse, and recycle by purchasing fashions from Goodwill Store & Donation Centers.


This year, we are excited to announce the fashion show has grown yet again. Goodwill Day Services is hosting a "Tap the Potential Fashion Show" in October to celebrate Disability Awareness Month. The show will be open to community participants over the age of 18 with a disability. Making the show more inclusive has brought about many community partnerships. We are excited to be working with the Milwaukee County Office for Persons with Disabilities, Easter Seals Southeast Wisconsin, Spina Bifida Wisconsin, Adult Day Services of Southeast Wisconsin, and Milwaukee Public Theater among others for the location, models and entertainment. What a great opportunity to unite for a common cause while having loads of fun!


We are currently seeking a variety of male and female models with disabilities from the Milwaukee area and Goodwill Day Services locations to showcase this year’s theme: "Fashion Through the Decades." Models will provide their own decade-inspired outfit, so hit up your local thrift store (we recommend Goodwill of course!), costume shop, or the back of your own closet to find a head-to-toe ensemble fitting for the '20s, '50s, '80s, or the decade of your choosing. The show will be held Friday, October 16th from 10:30am – 12:30pm at the Wil-o-way Underwood building in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin with a dress rehearsal October 15th.

Space this year is limited to 46 models.  If you are interested in participating or have any questions, please contact Jennifer Houston at (414) 259-7890 or jennifer.houston@goodwillsew.com


Tap the Potential Fashion Show Flyer


White Cane Safety Day - October 15th

October 15th is White Cane Safety Day.  Milwaukee County area educators, students, and community volunteers have assembled annually on October 15th. Since 2012 groupd have gathered to have a Flash Mob outside of the Milwaukee County Courthouse to create positive awareness for persons with disabilities, and promote White Cane Safety Day. Below is a video of the 1st ever recorded White Cane Safety Day Flash Mob. For more information on this event please visit: https://sites.google.com/site/wisconsinwhitecaneday/


IndependenceFirst Gallery Night Reception

Event location: IndependenceFirst
540 S. 1st Street
Milwaukee, WI 53204
Event date and time: October 20 from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Gallery Night at IndependenceFirst featuring the artwork of six artists with disabilities selected by a panel of local art professionals.

Save the Date for Gallery Night at IndependenceFirst. Our Bold/Visual 2017 Gallery Night Reception features the work of six artists with disabilities, light refreshments and a panel discussion at 7 p.m. 

Exhibition also shows during normal business hours, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday throughout the Month of October.

For more information, call Melanie Hupfer at 414-226-838/6 V/Relay.




Picture of a bookmarkEach year artwork is submitted by artists with disabilities and laminated for bookmarks. Information about the artist and the sponsoring agency is included on the back. We have collected various works throughout the years and will have bookmarks available at our various events. Previously representatives from five states across the nation saw information about our bookmarks on the website and requested quantities.Click here to see some of our previous Tap the Potential bookmarks. Contact Mike if you'd like some bookmarks. Special thanks to Susan Russell - Easter Seals Southeast Wisconsin for coordinating and producing this effort.


More Information: For more information about Tap the Potential contact Mike Bonk, Milwaukee County Office for Persons with Disabilities at 414-278-3938.

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