When it comes to performing arts and inclusion, one of the more recent issues is introducing elements related to structuring events around attendees with disabilities or developmental differences, especially families with Autistic members. To that end, Sarah Marczynski published a wonderfully informative article at ArtsHacker.com on 7/1/2015 about that very topic that does an excellent job at walking you though the topic if its new to you then diving into a good bit of detail.
Marczynski provides first-hand experience along with a wealth of additional resources.
A sensory friendly concert environment is one that
- Does not have a PA system
- Provides room for movement
- Provides props like scarves, ribbons, or other manipulation items for movement
- Has a quiet space or room for sensory overloaded guests
Check which characteristics you can reasonably achieve: Can guests be seated near an aisle so if they need to move they can get up and do so; can one of your lobby rooms/dressing rooms serve as a quiet room?
If you can’t achieve them, let guests know ahead of time that there may be a PA system or that there will be flickering lights or they may bring their own small manipulatives, so they can prepare for the concert.
All in all, it’s a must-read for anyone responsible for planning and implementing these types of events and it makes an equally good read for educating board members and artists on the topic.Read Presenting Sensory Friendly Events at ArtsHacker.com