The Kimmel Center Cultural Campus Announces Sensory-Friendly, Audio Description, and ASL-Designed Performances
The Kimmel Center Cultural Campus has announced a range of sensory-friendly, audio description, and American Sign Language-designed performances across its Campus throughout the 2019-20 season, with presentations from Broadway Philadelphia, Kimmel Center Presents, and two of the Center's esteemed resident companies, including Pennsylvania Ballet and The Philadelphia Orchestra. The upcoming lineup of events promotes the Cultural Campus' mission to engage the region's diverse communities with art through performance and education.
"We are thrilled to announce another season of sensory-friendly performances across a variety of disciplines, as well as a full range of American Sign Language options for our Broadway shows. Additionally, accessibility is a priority, and all of our performance spaces are equipped with wheelchair-accessible seating," said Anne Ewers, President & CEO of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. "Our Cultural Campus is an inviting and inclusive space for everyone to experience the transformative power of art through performances, education, conversations, and more."
Accommodations are achieved by the Kimmel Center in partnership with local groups like Art-Reach - a Philadelphia-based organization that creates opportunities for people from the disability community and those living with low-income to have greater access to arts and culture. Temple University Occupational Therapy Program, a partner of ArtReach, created pre-visit materials for the sensory-friendly performances of The Rainbow Fish, George Balanchine's The Nutcracker, and The Philadelphia Orchestra's Sound All Around and Family Concerts.
"We are excited to return to the Kimmel Center Cultural Campus this season, continually striving toward cultural accessibility for Philadelphians, a vision closely related to that of the Kimmel Center," said John Orr, Executive Director of Art-Reach. "Not only do sensory-friendly performances and safe spaces foster an atmosphere of inclusivity and respect amongst our community, but it strengthens our ongoing partnership with the city's most impactful performing arts center - we are grateful for this joint mission, as well as hundreds of ticket donations from the Kimmel Center every year to reach over 200,000 people in the region."
This season's sensory-friendly presentations embrace individuals with sensory sensitivities, communication differences, and those on the autism spectrum by creating a safe and inclusive environment. Theater adjustments include modified sound and house lights and designated quiet areas, as well as relaxed house rules, allowing individuals permission to move around during the performance. Talking and reacting among guests is unrestricted, and outside sensory-friendly stress relief devices are welcome. Sensory-friendly kits, donated by the Kimmel Center's 2019-20 season sponsor TD Bank, are available for children and adults on the Kimmel Center Cultural Campus and can be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis by contacting Ticket Philadelphia at 215-875-7633 (TTY) or 215-893-1999. Kits are equipped with noise-cancelling headphones, weighted bean bags, and fidget toys.
Because the Kimmel Center Inc.'s mission is to engage the region's diverse communities with art through performance and education, it is the Center's priority to accommodate the needs of individuals with disabilities. All theaters have stair-free, wheelchair-accessible locations, with either an open space to accommodate a variety of mobility devices or an upholstered, loose chair. A limited number of wheelchair-accessible parking spaces are available in the Kimmel Center Garage and may be reserved in advance for many performances by contacting Ticket Philadelphia at 215-875-7633 (TTY) or 215-893-1999. Wheelchair-accessible restrooms are available on all levels of the Kimmel Center, accessible to guests of both Verizon Hall and Perelman Theater, as well as all ancillary spaces.
For more information visit: www.kimmelcenter.org