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Universal Access & the Arts

Office of Raleigh Arts

Last updated Aug. 29, 2019 - 12:14 pm

Raleigh’s Creative Life Vision
Raleigh is a community connected through arts and culture, where every person is empowered to lead the creative life they envision. 

To realize Raleigh’s Creative Life Vision, one of the key strategies is to improve the inclusion of people with disabilities in the arts. The Raleigh Arts Plan echoes the Creative Life Vision with a goal that Raleigh become a national model for arts accessibility and inclusion for deaf and disability communities. Universal Access & the Arts comprises initiatives developed to achieve that goal.

Raleigh to Host Kennedy Center's Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability (LEAD®) Conference in 2020

Lead Conference 2020

The 2020 Kennedy Center's Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability (LEAD®) Conference will be held in Raleigh, at the Raleigh Convention Center on Aug. 5-7, 2020. This national conference brings more than 600 professionals together to explore practical and innovative ways to design and realize inclusive arts and cultural experiences to engage the communities of people with disabilities.

See more information here.

Betty Siegel Universal Access & the Arts Award

Betty Siegel Universal Access & the Arts Award Winners

The Betty Siegel Universal Access & the Arts Award recognizes the substantial achievements of Arts Learning Community for Universal Access members who complete all three years of the program.

Honorees have successfully improved the accessibility of their organizations through multiple projects and initiatives over the years. They are also recognized as arts community resources, sharing their knowledge and engaging their arts and cultural peers, as well as others, around the topic of accessibility in the arts.

2019 Award Honorees

  • Hilary Leggette - Gregg Museum of Art & Design at N.C. State University
  • Liani Yirka – North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
  • Courtney Wheeler - PineCone, Piedmont Council of Traditional Music

2018 Award Honorees

  • Jamie Katz Court - PineCone, Piedmont Council of Traditional Music
  • Julia Meder - Sertoma Arts Center
  • Gab Smith - CAM Raleigh
  • Megan Sullivan - Artspace

2019-2020 Arts Learning Community for Universal Access

What does it mean for an arts organization to include people with disabilities in its programming? While arts organizations are increasing their accommodations, they still face obstacles to making improvements and have questions about the what, why, and how of getting things done.

To support these efforts, the City of Raleigh Arts Commission and the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County have partnered for a fourth year to offer arts and cultural organizations the opportunity to join the Arts Learning Community for Universal Access.

2019-2020 Arts Learning Community for Universal Access Members

  • Artspace represented by Brett Morris
  • CAM Raleigh represented by Krista Nance
  • El Pueblo represented by Cecilia Saloni
  • Marbles Kids Museum represented by Janine Eash & Ashley Peay-Bettini
  • North Carolina Arts Council represented by Kathleen Collier
  • North Carolina Museum of Art represented by Melissa Roth
  • North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences represented by Liani Yirka
  • N.C. State University Gregg Museum represented by Dan Ellison
  • North Carolina Symphony represented by Jason Spencer
  • North Carolina Theatre represented by William Henry
  • Women's Theatre Festival represented by Johannah Maynard Edwards

Arts Learning Community for Universal Access

In 2015 the City of Raleigh Arts Commission and United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County partnered on a new initiative to increase the engagement of people with disabilities in the arts. The Arts Learning Community for Universal Access consists of arts and cultural organizations that collaborate to advocate for and improve access to the arts for Deaf and disability community members.

Member Organizations

  • Arts Access represented by Betsy Ludwig*
  • Arts Together represented by Kari Martin Hollinger, Carly Jones, Meg Revelle* & Stephen Wall*
  • Artspace represented by Brett Morris & Megan Sullivan*
  • Cary Arts Center represented by Sarah Preston
  • CAM Raleigh represented by Jaclyn Bowie & Gab Smith*
  • El Pueblo represented by Cecilia Saloni
  • International Focus represented by Ella Fang
  • Marbles Kids Museum represented by Jordan Pearce
  • North Carolina Arts Council represented by Emily Catherine Mealor
  • North Carolina Museum of Art represented by Melissa Roth
  • North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences represented by Liani Yirka
  • N.C. State University Gregg Museum represented by Dan Ellison & Hilary Leggette
  • N.C. State University Theatre represented by Mia Self
  • North Carolina Symphony represented by Meredith Laing
  • North Carolina Theatre represented by Donna Mullins
  • Office of Raleigh Arts represented by Sarah Corrin*
  • PineCone represented by Jamie Katz Court* & Courtney Wheeler
  • Raleigh Little Theatre represented by Fidel Benton & Meredyth Pederson Cooper
  • Sertoma Art Center represented by Julia Meder*
  • United Arts Council of Raleigh & Wake County represented by Ragen Carlile*
  • Visual Art Exchange represented by Brandon Cordrey*
  • Wake Forest Renaissance Centre represented by Cathy Gouge
  • Women's Theatre Festival represented by Johannah Maynard Edwards

*Founding members of the Arts Learning Community for Universal Access

Arts Learning Community for Universal Access Application Process

The Arts Learning Community for Universal Access is a yearlong program that brings together like-minded arts and cultural administrators who want to improve how inclusive their organizations are of the deaf community and people living with disabilities. The program runs July through June, and the application process generally takes place in the spring.

To participate in this program, applicants must be located within Wake County and be a nonprofit exempt from federal and state income tax as either a charitable organization with 501(c)(3) designation by the Internal Revenue Service with established arts programming or a unit of municipal government.

(Interested organizations located outside of Wake County should contact Sarah Corrin to discuss their situation.)

The 2019-2020 Learning Community application cycle has closed. The 2019-2020 application form and guidelines posted below are for reference only until information about the 2020-2021 application process will be posted in April 2020.

2019-2020 Arts Learning Community Guidelines & Application Form

Other Local Access Networks

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