Conference 2020 – So You Want to Know About Sensory-Friendly Programming?
Speakers: Roger Ideishi, Director and Professor of Occupational Therapy, The George Washington University and Jessica Ryan, Director of Education and Community Engagement, Minnesota Orchestra
Over the past five years, the Minnesota Orchestra and other symphonies have pioneered the development of sensory-friendly/relaxed orchestra performances. While these inclusive experiences have been well-received by patrons, staff, and musicians alike, this programming requires a commitment from the organization to develop an inclusive culture and adapt operations to effectively serve audiences with autism or neurodevelopmental disabilities.
Discover what orchestras in Minnesota and beyond have learned about how to collaborate across departments and with the community to design, implement, and evaluate high-quality concert experiences for this population. Topics covered in this discussion with Q&A included the value of sensory-friendly/relaxed performances, the features that make these types of events inclusive, generating institutional buy-in, partnering with community advisors, training staff and musicians, building a communication and marketing agenda, serving audiences of different ages, developing a program evaluation system, and extending learning from sensory-friendly/relaxed programming to other types of experiences.