Jenna Gabriel

Adjunct Instructor

Department of Art Education

Contact Info

Jenna Gabriel (she/her) is an educator, artist, organizer, and mother living and working in Richmond, VA. She is currently a doctoral candidate at Virginia Commonwealth University, where her research focuses on how dominant understandings of disability come to be naturalized in social consciousness and how we form politicized disability identities against neoliberal capitalisms’ vested interest in maintaining a commonsense social understanding of disability as a pathological drain on resources. Jenna is particularly interested in the historical co-constructions of ableism and racism in Richmond and in Disability Art as a site of radical politics from which art educators can draw in their instruction. At VCU, Jenna has taught undergraduate and masters-level coursework in the departments of Art Education and Foundations of Education, focusing on sociopolitical issues in public education and strategies for supporting disabled students. She currently teaches Foundations in Art Education and supervises preservice teachers in their student teaching placements. Prior to beginning her doctoral work, Jenna was a community-based arts educator and nonprofit program administrator. She oversaw special education initiatives at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, directed K-12 youth development programs at IBA-Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción in Boston, MA, and worked as a teaching artist in New York City’s District 75. She holds a BFA in Drama from New York University and completed masters coursework in Special Education with an emphasis on Intellectual Disabilities and Autism at Teachers College, Columbia University, before earning her EdM at Harvard University.