Arts & Access

About Arts & Access

The Lehigh Valley Arts Council is committed to ensuring Arts & Access always and expanding cultural access to all people.arts & access logo

Arts & Access was initially designed as a yearlong celebration (July 2015-June 2016) of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act through the lens of the arts. During the inaugural year, July 2015 – June 2016, both the attendance and the number of disability-friendly events exceeded goals by 25%–demonstrating both a strong need to expand services and a willingness to participate.

Thirty cultural organizations teamed up with social service agencies to present more than fifty disability-friendly events, including:

  • sensory-friendly performances for children with autism;
  • dance classes for Parkinson’s patients and their caregivers;
  • audio-described, open-captioned and ASL-interpreted theatrical performances;
  • various lectures, exhibitions, poetry readings, film screenings, and public meetings.

As a result, 790 people with disabilities either attended or performed at these events, accompanied by nearly 750 family members and friends.

Watch videos with clips from select Arts & Access events

LVArts-RedWhiteBlue -0769We applaud our accomplishments throughout the past year but we also recognize a significant need to build more awareness about the challenges and barriers that still exist for people with disabilities to participate in cultural events. The Arts & Access program will continue to encourage cultural nonprofits to expand cultural access through grant incentives, marketing, and professional development support.

OUR MISSION CONTINUES:
to engage all citizens in the Lehigh Valley, intentionally securing the participation of all abilities, regardless of physical, sensory, or cognitive limitation, both as audience members and /or providers in the dance, theatrical, musical, visual, literary or media arts.


A remarkable year…
The Miracle Cheerleaders
“Pledge! On!” The Miracle Movers cheer for pledging to support access for all.

LAUNCH PARTY

Arts & Access debuted on July 24, 2015, launching a yearlong celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act through the lens of the arts. The Launch Party was held at Good Shepherd’s Health & Technology Center, and in attendance were more than 150 Proud Celebrants and community representatives, all excited and inspired to begin to open their doors wider to people of all abilities!

View video footage of the Launch Party

Read about the event on our Blog

Anne image adjusted A&A Storytelling Banana 1-26-2016-9
Storyteller Anne B. Thomas delights audience members with uplifting tales of overcoming obstacles in her life.

EXPERIENCE ARTS & ACCESS

Midway through the celebratory year, we invited our Proud Celebrants for a gathering at the Banana Factory in South Bethlehem. Despite a record-breaking snowfall, nearly 60 guests enjoyed an evening of performances by storyteller Anne B. Thomas and the Lehigh Valley’s chamber music ensemble, SATORI. Audience members took part in audio description and open captioning, and explored the newest technology used in wheelchair design. The event was successful in allowing everyone to experience the challenges that others face first-hand, and guests left with the powerful understanding of what inclusion really means.

Read about the Experience event on our Blog

LVArts-RedWhiteBlue -1699
Josh Blue performed a hilarious set of comedy, as well as a personal Q&A session that engaged the audience.

RED, WHITE & BLUE

Our final celebration was a night of laughter and fellowship, looking at our past successes throughout the year with pride, as well as looking forward to adopting Arts & Access as a permanent program of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council. Over 200 guests enjoyed a memorable performance by comedian Josh Blue, a disability advocate that breaks down stereotypes of living with Cerebral Palsy. The event at the Williams Center at Lafayette College truly reflected the power of bringing people together to change lives and make a difference.

Accessibility events

Browse this calendar for accessible performances, film screenings, exhibitions, lectures, and public meetings scheduled in the Lehigh Valley. You will also find events that feature the stories of individuals living with a disability. The accommodations you require or the topic of interest are represented by the icons.

July 2016
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
26
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
  • Dance for PD® – Professional Development Workshop (two-day workshop)
27
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
28
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
29
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
  • West Side Story – AD Performance
30
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
1
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
  • Artist in Recovery – Monthly Art Exhibits
2
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
  • Special Needs Art Classes
3
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
4
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
5
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
6
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
7
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
8
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
9
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
  • Special Needs Art Classes
10
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
11
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
12
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
13
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
14
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
15
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
16
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
  • Special Needs Art Classes
17
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
18
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
19
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
20
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
21
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
22
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
23
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
  • GROWL! – American Sign Language Interpreted
  • GROWL! – Sensory Friendly Performance
  • Special Needs Art Classes
24
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
25
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
26
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
27
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
28
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
29
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
30
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
  • The Little Mermaid – ASL Interpreted Performance
  • Special Needs Art Classes
31
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
1
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
2
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
3
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
4
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
5
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
  • Artist in Recovery – Monthly Art Exhibits
6
  • Accessible Art – Phase II Tactile Description
  • Special Needs Art Classes
  • Blithe Spirit – AD Performance

Upcoming Arts & Access Events

4 event dates found
    Jul 23 to Jun 01
    Accessible Art - Phase II Tactile Description
    Category
    Exhibition
    Time
    All Day
    Location
    Lehigh University Art Galleries & Museum
    Presented by Lehigh University Art Galleries & Museum
    Phone
    610-758-6881

    The Lehigh University Art Galleries & Museum will offer their Teaching Collection in an Audio Description and Tactile Description for the visually impaired.

    More Info
    Accessible
    Audio Description
    Blind & Low Vision
    Jul 23
    GROWL! - American Sign Language Interpreted
    Category
    Kids / Teens
    Category
    Theatre
    Time
    10:00am
    Location
    Studio Theatre
    Presented by Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre

    A twisted take on the Goldilocks story!

    More Info
    American Sign Language
    Jul 23
    GROWL! - Sensory Friendly Performance
    Category
    Kids / Teens
    Category
    Theatre
    Time
    1:00pm
    Location
    Studio Theatre
    Presented by Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre

    A twisted take on the Goldilocks story!

    More Info
    Sensory Friendly
    Jul 23
    Special Needs Art Classes
    Category
    Kids / Teens
    Category
    Workshops / Classes
    Time
    1:30pm – 3:30pm
    Location
    The Art Establishment
    Presented by The Art Establishment
    Phone
    610-807-9201

    The Art Establishment is now offering Special Needs art classes. Open to school-aged people, these classes will be taught by Carol Parker, artist and Liberty High School Special Ed teacher. Classes will be held on Saturdays from 1:30pm – 3:30pm. Classes are $20, which includes all materials, and are limited to 8 students. Please book early for a spot by calling the studio (610-807-9201) or stopping by!

    More Info
    Accessible
    Cognitive Health
    Sensory Friendly

Promote Your Accessible Event

Unite with us in opening the door wider and improving access for all

The Arts & Access celebration launched on July 26, 2015, and continues with a monthly series of varied arts events through June 2016 highlighting the inclusiveness of the region’s cultural community. Cultural nonprofits and individual artists are invited to participate by producing or presenting one of the following events:

  • A performance, screening, reading, or exhibition of work created and/or performed by artist(s) with a disability
  • An open captioned (OC) and/or an audio described (AD) performance or exhibition
  • An American Sign Language (ASL) performance or event
  • A performance or exhibition of work presented in a sensory-friendly environment for people with autism

Now is the time to embrace the value of the arts as a catalyst for change. By becoming more accessible, the cultural community reaps the benefits of new partnerships, new audiences, and a new relevance to the community we serve.

Compete the form to submit your event to be included in our Arts & Access calendar listings.

Submission Form

The Lehigh Valley Arts Council reserves the right to only include event submissions that are in line with the mission of Arts & Access.

2017 Greater Inclusion Grant OPPORTUNITY

The Lehigh Valley Arts Council is offering a limited number of small matching grants (up to $300) to cultural organizations, individual artists, or a collaborative team, to support them in their efforts to produce or present a cultural event for the Arts & Access celebration and build their Cultural Accessibility program. The 2017 Greater Inclusion Grant is designed to help fund a new initiative that meets the following criteria:

  • The event must occur during the January 2017 – August 2017 time-frame; only one application per event is permitted.
  • One application per July 2016 – August 2017 period.
  • Applications must commit to providing customer service training to box office staff and volunteers (local agencies offer this training free-of-charge).
  • The event should reflect the Arts & Access mission and goals.
  • The award recipient is required to submit an evaluation of the event, including number of attendees with disabilities, plus families and friends.

Submission deadline for the Greater Inclusion Grant application is October 15, 2016. Please mail the form or email it to info@lvartscouncil.org.

Download Greater Inclusion Grant Application