Experience Arts And Access Event – Next Tuesday, Jan 26!‏

Experience-Arts-Access-web-image-invitationThe Lehigh Valley Arts Council and the Disability Friendly Community are pleased to announce Experience Arts & Access on Tuesday, January 26, 2016, from 2:45 to 5:30 p.m. at the Banana Factory in South Bethlehem. This mid-winter festive gathering celebrates the achievements of Arts & Access midway through a year of offering greater accessibility.

Arts & Access launched last July to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act through the lens of the arts. Currently, thirty arts organizations have teamed up with social service agencies to offer more than fifty events through June 2016, that intentionally reach people with disabilities and their family and friends. The diversity of programming include live theatre performances that are audio described and open captioned for people with visual and hearing loss; sensory friendly performances for children with autism, and a dance workshop for Parkinson patients and their caregivers.

“Cultural access is really about customer service,” says Randall Forte, Executive Director of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council.  “It’s about making your customers feel welcome and comfortable.

Experience Arts & Access seeks to raise awareness of the needs as well as the abilities of persons with disabilities. Featured artist and National Storytelling Champion Anne Thomas will perform autobiographical stories crafted with a mix of dark humor, high energy and rare common sense.  She speaks not only to survivors of disability, illness and tragedy, but to everyone who has a body, a dream, obstacles, hope and determination.

Experience will also allow visitors to explore an arts experience through the simulated reality of a person with a physical, sensory, or cognitive limitation. Guests will be encouraged to test the different technologies that are available, such as audio description and open captioning, voice activated wheel chairs, plus a tactile exploration of a 3-D image of a painting.

The event is free and open to the everyone, particularly someone with a disability.  Please RSVP your intention to attend at info@lvartscouncil.org or 610-437-5915. Light refreshments will be provided.

Audio-Description Training For The Performing Arts

February 20 & 21, 2015
10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Lehigh Valley Arts Council
Butz Corporate Center
2nd Floor Conference Room
840 Hamilton Street
Allentown, PA 18101

As the Lehigh Valley Arts Council prepares for the 25th anniversary and yearlong celebration of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we are offering a two-day audio-description training workshop to the performing arts community. By becoming more disability-friendly, a cultural venue can also increase its capacity to attract a larger audience. Theatre practitioners from all walks of life—actors, students, volunteers—are invited to enroll in the upcoming audio-description training session and acquire new performance skills. The training also prepares performing arts groups to participate in the Arts & Access Celebration and to receive recognition and promotion in the Lehigh Valley for creating a more inclusive region.

Audio description assists patrons who are blind or low-vision to access the visual elements of stage productions through live narration provided by trained describers. Patrons use headsets to hear the audio description.

The Arts Council has contracted Mimi Smith, Executive Director of VSA Pennsylvania, and Steve Smith to provide the training over the course of two days, February 20 & 21, 2015. The Smiths have been describers for more than two decades, and are the founders of Amaryllis Theatre Co., a professional Philadelphia theatre that regularly includes artists with disabilities. They will introduce the class to the foundational skills—Observe, Analyze and Communicate— necessary to audio describe a play.

Typically, this workshop would cost $590. Thanks to the underwriting support of an anonymous donor, the Arts Council is able to offer it at a very reasonable price: $50 per person.

The workshop also includes admission to an audio-described performance of Dancing at Lughnasa at the Labuda Performing Arts Center on Thursday, February 19, 2015, at 8:00 p.m.

Reservations required, for more information and to reserve your spot:

Call: 610-437-5915
Email: operations@LVArtsCouncil.org
Web:http://www.lvartscouncil.org/Access/default.html#events
Tickets:http://www.etix.com/ticket/online/performanceSearch.jsp?performance_id=7941980&cobrand=lvartsboxoffice