Adapting and Advancing: Cultural Accessibility During the Pandemic and Beyond

Adapting and Advancing: Cultural Accessibility During the Pandemic and Beyond

Thursday, April 22 4 pm (eastern)/3 pm (central)

Thursday, April 29 4 pm (eastern)/3 pm (central)

Living during a pandemic has transformed the way we present cultural programming – revealing both limitations and limitless opportunities. Museum, Arts and Culture Access Consortium (MAC) in New York and Chicago Cultural Accessibility Consortium (CCAC) explore how cultural organizations have inventively adapted to incorporate accessibility into their work during the past year, and how museums and theaters across the country are using lessons learned to create a more inclusive future.

Both programs will be approximately 90 minutes long. Full speaker line up is included below and will be updated if any changes!


The Schedule

Day One:  PRESENT | Being Creatively Accessible During a Pandemic

Explore how cultural organizations have inventively adapted to incorporate accessibility into their work during the past year. Full speaker list will be updated soon!

PRESENTERS & TOPICS:

Mapping Virtual Access: Current and Future Approaches” presented by Bojana Cokylat (Project Leader, Mapping Virtual Access in Cultural Institutions at MAC) & Toni Saia (Project Leader, Foundations of Inclusion and Accessibility: Building Organizational Capacity in Cultural Institutions at MAC) Presentation Description: The presentation is informed by MAC’s grant project, supported by the FAR Fund, Mapping Virtual Access in Cultural Institutions (MVACI) which documented virtual cultural access during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will share current and future approaches to improve access for disabled people.

Virtual Accessible Programs for the Win-Win” presented by Lorena Bradford (Manager of Accessible Programs at National Gallery of Art) Presentation Description: The shift to online programming through the pandemic has debunked some “truths” we, as a museum education field, hold dear. This presentation will explore how this new way of working has allowed us to be more creative and accessible by focusing on the opportunities the virtual space presents in Just Us at the National Gallery of Art, our program for people with memory loss and their loved ones.

Finding a Loophole: Gaining Access for Psychiatric Patients” presented by Helen Stichel (Community Programs Coordinator at Western State Psychiatric Hospital) Presentation Description: How do you find connection, a bridge to the outside world, from inside a locked inpatient state psychiatric hospital during a global pandemic? That is the question we have been struggling with at my hospital for that past year. No visitors have been allowed in, all patient care units are entirely isolated from one another and community outings have been halted. In virtual museum programming we found an answer. With the aid of museums, our population has been able to connect to cultural communities and knowledge in a way that has honored their dignity as adult learners.

Creating Programming For and With People With Multiple Disabilities” presented by Lily Lipman (Director of Education and Imagination at Kaiser’s Room) Program Description: What does a class that takes into account the multiple disabilities of D/deaf students look like? How does that programming get created and how are D/deaf voices centered in the creation? Through an overview of Kaiser’s Room’s D/deaf + programming we will reckon with those questions.

We’ll Meet You Where You Are: Sensory-Friendly Programming During a Pandemic” presented by Laura Westmoreland (Assoc. Educator, Adult & Community Programs at Brandywine River Museum of Art) Program Description: Learn how Brandywine’s flexible advisory committee model allowed staff to respond quickly to their audience during periods of closure and new social distancing guidelines. Examples will be provided of the resources the museum developed in 2020 including a digital sensory guide and take-home kits, as well as adjustments made to on-site events.

Working Towards Access Across the Board (Literally)” presented by Lulu Fogarty (Project Manager at BEAT (Bridging Education & Art Together)) Program Description: Our organization has always provided inclusive and accessible Hip Hop arts education programming for participants with disabilities. The pandemic gave us the chance to examine inclusion and access within our leadership structure, and how we can do better.


Day Two:  FUTURE | Cultural Accessibility After the Pandemic

Explore how museums and theaters across the country are using lessons learned to create a more inclusive future.

PRESENTERS & TOPICS:

Mapping Virtual Access: Current and Future Approaches” presented by Bojana Cokylat (Project Leader, Mapping Virtual Access in Cultural Institutions at MAC) & Toni Saia (Project Leader, Foundations of Inclusion and Accessibility: Building Organizational Capacity in Cultural Institutions at MAC) Presentation Description: The presentation is informed by MAC’s grant project, supported by the FAR Fund, Mapping Virtual Access in Cultural Institutions (MVACI) which documented virtual cultural access during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will share current and future approaches to improve access for disabled people.

Welcoming – A Score” presented by Jerron Herman (Artist/Performer at Kinetic Light) Presentation Description: We will discuss how composing pathways and entries to cultural spaces is much like making a dance – to imbue the necessary with the beautiful and artistic.

Within, not Without: Setting up Success at the Eiteljorg Museum” presented by Ross Edelstein (Public Programs Intern at The Eiteljorg Museum) Presentation Description: The Eiteljorg Museum has been working on developing accessibility as a core institutional policy. Learn how the COVID-19 pandemic allowed for institutional planning and preparation for future accessibility initiatives, and how sometimes a short-term worker can set up an institution for long-term successes.

Arts & Minds @home: The Catalytic Effect of COVID 19” presented by Carolyn Halpin-Healy (Co-Founder and Executive Director at Arts & Minds) Presentation Description: Starting with an online switch in March 2020, programs for people with dementia and their care partners continue to respond to the public health, economic, political and social justice crises of the past year. This talk will highlight new programs, staffing issues and our plan to support existing museum programs, plant new ones, and embed them more firmly in their communities.

Designing a Mobile Guide to Promote Accessibility, Safety, and Autonomy in Museums” presented by Charlotte Martin (Senior Manager of Access Initiatives at Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum) Presentation Description: In advance of reopening, the Intrepid Museum collaborated with NYU Ability Project to develop an accessible interactive mobile guide that also addressed pandemic concerns. Learn about challenges we faced in welcoming visitors back, how we conceived of the mobile guide, the development process (and how it can be replicated), initial findings, and goals for future iterations.

CCAC is a volunteer-run 501(c)(3) nonprofit supported by Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, PERT Foundation, 21st Century Fox Social Impact, The Michael and Mona Heath Fund, Illinois Arts Council Agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, and individual donors like you.

This MAC Event has been made possible through funding from The New York Community Trust and The FAR Fund, and through the generous support of private donors.  



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