Accessible Festivals is partnering with ArtsQuest to create a space
to benefit individuals with sensory-processing difficulties
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – During Musikfest, which takes place Aug. 6-15, 2021, space within ArtsQuest’s Frank Banko Alehouse Cinemas will be converted into The Inclusion Zone, a sensory-supportive space that will provide services, tools and amenities to benefit individuals with sensory-processing difficulties of all ages and abilities. The Inclusion Zone will operate Monday-Friday from 4-10 p.m., Saturday from 12-10 p.m. and Sunday from 12-8 p.m. The Inclusion Zone will not be available during preview night on Thurs., Aug. 5.
“ArtsQuest strives to make the arts accessible to absolutely everyone and we are thrilled to continue our partnership with Accessible Festivals to help do exactly that at Musikfest, our flagship festival,” ArtsQuest Programming Director Ryan Hill said. “Anyone who may benefit from the opportunity to take a quiet break from the general ‘fest environment will be well taken care of in The Inclusion Zone. Our hope is that this initiative will bring out some people who never thought they could enjoy Musikfest and show them they can experience the magic of the ‘fest on their terms.”
Accessible Festivals, who will be hosting The Inclusion Zone at Musikfest, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring music and other forms of recreation are accessible to all abilities. Inspired by the beauty and universal language that connects us all through music, Accessible Festivals provides consultation and training to volunteers and professionals in the live event industry, while educating the general public about the value of inclusion and accessibility through innovative programs, events and experiences with a focus on music and the arts.
“We are very excited to further our partnership with ArtsQuest by supporting efforts to include and accommodate people with autism and other special needs at Musikfest,” Accessible Festivals Programming Director Leah Barron said. “We believe that it is important that people of all ages and abilities feel welcome and safe at live music events, and that anybody who wants to enjoy the unifying nature of music should be able to do so successfully. The Inclusion Zone will be available throughout the festival, and will provide a space for anybody who may need a quiet break from the general festival environment to relax and play in the comfort of an air conditioned theater.”
In addition, Saturday, August 7 will be dedicated to Inclusion Day on the SouthSide Arts District, featuring ASL Interpretation and Audio Descriptions for our ‘Cinnamon Jones’ show, as well as ASL interpretation for our Jim Tews (comedy), Steven Page and ‘Start Making Sense’ shows. We will also feature an inclusive livestream production with ASL interpretation, live captions and audio descriptions for ‘Start Making Sense.’ Inclusion Day will also feature a sensory-friendly listening lounge and BASSPaks donated by Silent Sound System.
As part of this partnership, Accessible Festivals will also provide inclusion training to members of the ArtsQuest team. Visit musikfest.org for more information about other events and activities taking place during Musikfest.
ArtsQuest’s mission is to provide access to exceptional artistic, cultural and educational experiences using arts and culture as key elements of economic development for our urban communities. ArtsQuest™ supports this mission via the presentation of performing and visual arts, film, arts education classes and outreach, youth programming and cultural events.
Through festivals such as its flagship event, Musikfest; the Banana Factory Arts Center; and the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks arts and cultural campus, ArtsQuest’s programming reaches more than 1.9 million people annually. The organization’s programs and events, approximately 50 percent of which are free to attend, have a combined economic impact of more than $136 million annually in the region. ArtsQuest is a proud member of NIVA, the National Independent Venue Association.
Information provided to TVL by:
ArtsQuest Director of Communications