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Kentucky.gov   Kentucky Arts Council

Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet
Kentucky Arts Council

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tom Musgrave
502-892-3122
tomr.musgrave@ky.gov

Kentucky Arts Council Co-presenting
Cultural Accessibility Summit, March 30 in Bowling Green

“I think there needs to be a continued effort to educate people about what cultural access is, how to achieve that in our cultural programs and how to institute that access across the state so that we can provide quality arts experiences for everybody.” Delaire Rowe, VSA Kentucky executive director

FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 21, 2017) — As the baby boom generation ages and more inclusive classrooms are able take field trips, accommodating people with disabilities at performance halls and museums is taking center stage.

That’s the observation of Stacy Ridgway, manager of accessibility services at Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts in Louisville. The center has been a standard bearer in accessibility since it first introduced audio description of performances in 1994.

The center, along with the Kentucky Arts Council, VSA Kentucky and Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center (SKyPAC), will keep the conversation going about accommodations at the second annual Cultural Accessibility Summit, 9 a.m. to 3: 30 p.m. (CDT), March 30, at SKyPAC in Bowling Green. The event’s goal is to celebrate arts access and strategize ways to make Bowling Green and other communities in Kentucky even more accessible to arts patrons of all abilities. Discussion topics will include practical tips for arts inclusion as well as strategies for local, regional and national advocacy for arts access.

In addition to its audio description service, the Kentucky Center offers a variety of other accommodations for people with disabilities. These services are ones that Ridgway and other advocates believe should be available at all arts spaces.

“There are four very good reasons to do this: it’s the law; it’s the right thing to do; it’s an audience development tool; and finally as the baby boomers are beginning to reach ages where they have accessibility needs, their expectations for that access is going to be high,” Ridgway said.

Ridgway is one of four speakers scheduled to present at the summit. Delaire Rowe, executive director of VSA Kentucky, is another.

Rowe emphasized the importance of the summit to keep access at the forefront of conversations about the arts.

“I think there needs to be a continued effort to educate people about what cultural access is, how to achieve that in our cultural programs and how to institute that access across the state so that we can provide quality arts experiences for everybody,” Rowe said.

The summit is meant for more than just arts organization managers, Rowe said. It is for educators, artists, staff and administrators from the disability community, community organizations, parents, families of people with disabilities, and other interested parties.

Registration is available online and is $10 per person. Reservations are required. Accessibility services, including audio description, captioning, assisted listening, American Sign Language interpretation and other access requests are provided by the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts and SKyPAC for this event. Please note your request for an accommodation when you register.

For more information on the summit, contact Sarah Schmitt, the arts council’s community arts and access director, at 502-892-3116 or sarah.schmitt@ky.gov.

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The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, fosters environments for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.