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Allentown, PA – The Lehigh Valley Arts Council, in collaboration with the Lehigh Valley Partnership for a Disability Friendly Community, announce their plans to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act through the lens of the arts. On July 26, 2015, a year-long celebration will commence with a series of varied arts events that highlight the accessibility and inclusiveness of the region’s cultural organizations. Members of the community are welcome to help plan for this significant undertaking.
The mission is “to engage all citizens of the Lehigh Valley, intentionally securing the participation of persons of all abilities, regardless of physical, sensory, or cognitive limitation, both as audience members and/or providers in the dance, theatrical, musical, visual, literary and media arts.”
The first step is to conduct an audit of current accessibility practices in the region among two hundred cultural nonprofits and social service agencies.
The goals include the following:
- Strengthening accessibility at cultural nonprofits;
- Increasing arts audiences; and
- Making the Lehigh Valley more inclusive.
According to U.S. Census data estimates from 2012, the number of non-institutionalized people with disabilities living in the Lehigh Valley is 81,000, or 12.7%, which represents a significant number of potential new audiences for the cultural community.
In addition to surveying, the planning committee is arranging for several focus groups with persons with disabilities and their caregivers, and representatives from cultural organizations. The sessions will pinpoint the needs and interests of persons with disabilities as well as the specific challenges still to be implemented by cultural entities.
This is an exciting opportunity to work together and contribute to a future that includes all of us. If you are a caretaker or an artist or person with a disability who would like to participate in a focus group, please contact the Lehigh Valley Arts Council at (610) 437-5915 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Lehigh Valley Arts Council
The Lehigh Valley Arts Council is a nonprofit 501(c)3, membership-supported organization that serves as a regional advocate and ambassador for the Lehigh Valley arts community. Its mission is to promote the arts; to encourage and support artists and their development; to assist arts organizations; and to facilitate communication and cooperation among artists, arts organizations and the community. Through collaborative partnerships, it continues to provide access to the local arts community through education, research, professional development seminars and cooperative marketing initiatives.
Lehigh Valley Arts Council
840 Hamilton Street, Suite 201
Allentown, PA 18101
610-437-5915 / operations@LVArtsCouncil.org