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photograph showing captioning units and the set of Druid Theatre Company's Waiting for Godot, Backstage Theatre, 2018.

Partners in Progress: Access Seminar


A series of talks and workshops organised by the Dublin Access Partnership at Project Arts Centre, Friday 23rd November 2018

Christena Gunther and Evan Hatfield, founding members of the Chicago Cultural Access Consortium will join us to share their experience developing access in Chicago.

Christena is Director of Education at the Evanston Art Center. Previously, she was involved in accessibility for visitors with disabilities at the Metropolitan Museum and Lincoln Center, and was a member of New York’s Museum Access Consortium (MAC) steering committee.

Evan is Director of Audience Experience at Steppenwolf Theatre Company where he has helped implement accessibility initiatives including relaxed/sensory-friendly programming, touch tours, city-wide audio description trainings, open captioning, all-gender restrooms and the installation of induction hearing loops.

10.45am: Coffee & Welcome

11am-1pm: 

  • Learning through Sharing: How to Build a Local Access Knowledge Network
  • Stellar Experiences: How Accessibility and Inclusion can improve Customer Experience and Public Engagement.
  • Accessibility Planning: The Key to Successful Inclusion

1pm:  Lunch

2pm-3pm:  Workshops (elective)

  • Workshop 1:
    On the Care and Handling of Touch Tours: A Step-by Step Overview on a Successful Programme – Evan Hatfield
  • Workshop 2:
    Tips and Tools for Engaging Audiences with Disabilities in Museums and Galleries – Christena Gunther

Friday 23rd November 2018, 11am – 3pm
Project Arts Centre, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
Registration: €20 (€10 for Dublin Access Partners)

Register here 

Speaker Biographies:
Christena Gunther founded Chicago Cultural Accessibility Consortium (CCAC) when she moved to Chicago in 2012, and presently is Director of Education at the Evanston Art Center. Christena serves President of CCAC’s board and Co-Chair of CCAC’s Steering Committee. Previously, she was involved in accessibility for visitors with disabilities at the Metropolitan Museum and Lincoln Center, and was a member of New York’s Museum Access Consortium (MAC) steering committee. Cultural accessibility became a passion of Christena’s at young age as she visited art museums with her brother who has Down Syndrome. CCAC has been the recipient of the Kennedy Center’s Excellence in Emerging Leaders Award in 2015, and the Raymond R. Snyder Commitment to the Arts Award from Lifeline Theatre in 2016.

Evan Hatfield is a co-founder, steering committee member and former co-chair (2013-2018) of the Chicago Cultural Accessibility Consortium (CCAC). He is also the Director of Audience Experience at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, where he has helped implement accessibility initiatives that include relaxed/sensory-friendly programming, touch tours, city-wide audio description trainings, open captioning, all-gender restrooms and the installation of induction hearing loops. He frequently consults with other theatres on accessibility programming, and serves as the administrator for a CCAC/Steppenwolf programme that loans audio description transmitters and caption displays to Chicago arts organisations. Along with CCAC co-chairs Christena Gunther and Lynn Walsh, Evan was acknowledged with the Raymond R. Snyder Commitment to the Arts Award from Lifeline Theatre Company (2016) and an Emerging Leaders Award from the Kennedy Center (2015). He served as a member of the 2014 Kennedy Center LEAD Advisory Planning Committee (Chicago) and is a recipient of the Actors’ Equity Kathryn V. Lamkey Award for dedication to equal opportunity (2012).
Since 2010, Evan has coordinated or consulted on audio description and touch tours for over 100 productions, ranging in scope from two-character plays on abstract sets to full-scale Civil War epics with period costumes. For Edge/Sharp Mined, a dialogue-free performance piece about schizophrenia by performance artist Matt Bodett in 2017, Evan directed a touch tour and live, simultaneous audio description by three audio describers mixed into stereo headphones.

The Dublin Access Partnership was set up by ADI in August 2018 to embed a more holistic approach to accessible arts programming for audiences with disabilities.

Access Seminar at Project Arts Centre, Friday 23rd November 2018

Sarah Madigan dancing Marie's hard shoe reel from the first scene of Jimmy's Hall in the Abbey Theatre to let Touch Tour audiences feel how the floorboards clatter. 

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