Social Justice Activist, Educator, Filmmaker
Welcome to carlsigmond.com. My name is Carl Sigmond, and I am a multidisciplinary artist, educator, activist, dancer, and computer science engineer living on Schaghticoke and Munsee Lenape ancestral land in New York State’s Hudson Valley. This website contains information about my work and community service, my skills and interests, and more. Please browse the site to learn about who I am, and please feel free to contact me if you would like to be in touch.
I am the Operations Manager for FREED, the independent living center serving five mostly rural counties northeast of Sacramento, California. Independent living centers are peer-run non-residential disability resource centers serving people of any age with any type of disability. FREED’s mission is to promote independence and self-determination for people with disabilities through person-driven services, collaborative community partnerships and education, and leadership that advocates for fully inclusive communities. We work towards a world where all people, regardless of age or ability, can live, work, and play in the community of their choice.
As FREED’s Operations Manager, I administer the organization’s IT infrastructure – from our phones and computers to our website and case management system. I analyze service data and produce regular reports to our Federal, state, local, and private funders. I develop and implement new systems to streamline processes and reduce burden on staff. I coordinate FREED’s systems change advocacy program, which includes supervising FREED’s Disability Community Advocate. I also produce and co-host FREED’s monthly radio show, Disability Rap, which airs on KVMR 89.5 FM Nevada City, CA on the first Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. Pacific Time. It is also available as a podcast.
In addition to my role at FREED, I am a part-time Research Engineer in the Speech Disorders & Technology Lab at the University of Texas at Austin. I am part of a team that is researching automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems for people with dysarthria (atypical speech), as well as for people with silent speech resulting from laryngectomies. Our goal is to develop generalizable algorithms that can recognize atypical speech and turn that speech into text and/or synthesized speech. We expect our research to improve the verbal communication potential of people with speech disabilities.
I am also working on a feature-length film about my grandfather, Albert Schatz, who in 1943, discovered the first antibiotic effective against tuberculosis. Streptomycin, as he would name it, saved millions of lives and resulted in the closure of tuberculosis sanitariums around the world. My film looks at my grandfather as a person and parallels his historic discovery with my own quest to discover more about who my grandfather was and the impacts he made on society.
Movement and spirituality are very important to me. I am a contact improvisation (CI) dancer. CI is an improvisational partner dance form that focuses on nonverbal communication, weight sharing, and play. Developed in the early 1970s by Steve Paxton, CI brings us into the present moment and allows us to have entire conversations with our bodies. Incorporating my background with Body-Mind Centering and The Feldenkrais Method into my dance, I rejoice in exploring new ways of being, moving, and communicating on and off the dance floor. I find CI to be a liberating form of expression and healing for me on my journey through life.
Since July 2022, I have been a Resident Member of WildHeart Center for Performance and Embodiment Practice, a land-based culture hub that incubates new performances, cultivates deep community and hosts transformational events on our 46-acre campus in Wallkill, New York.
| Discovering the Discovery and the Grandfather Who Saved Millions
A forthcoming feature-length documentary about my grandfather, Albert Schatz, who discovered streptomycin, the first antibiotic effective against tuberculosis.
Produced and directed by Carl Sigmond.
A performance of “Feather” at the 37th annual Breitenbush Contact Improvisation Jam.
Choreographed by Carl Sigmond and Katherine Cook. Performed by Jeff Bliss, Katherine Cook, Tom Giebink, Jonathan Lilly, and Carl Sigmond. Video credit: Michael Joplin.