Steps for Autism in Minnesota
Get those walking or wheeling shoes and sign up for Steps for Autism in Minnesota, 8:30-11 a.m. Sun, March 1 at Southdale Center, Edina. Join the Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) for the 20th annual community fundraiser featuring the state’s largest annual autism resource fair and the AuSM Flash Dash, an all ages and abilities quick walk. Participants can assemble a fundraising team. Create a special page on RunSignUp with the AuSM Flash Dash added to the registration. FFI: www.ausm.org
Arc annual gala
The Arc Minnesota’s annual Gala is Sat, March 7th at Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel, The Depot. This year’s theme, With Our Voices! focuses on increasing the services and supports that can be provided individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Tickets and sponsorships available. FFI: www.arcminnesota.org
Save the date for PACER
PACER Center’s annual gala always features a well-known performer and 2020 is no exception. Guests will spend the evening of April 25 being entertained by Motown legend Smokey Robinson, who has been called the reigning genius of Top 40 and America’s greatest living songwriter.” He is best known for more than 30 chart-topping hits, including “Tears of a Clown,” “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me” and “I Second That Emotion,” all performed in his amazing high tenor voice. The spectacular evening celebrates PACER’s work on behalf of families of children with disabilities and all students who are bullied. It includes delicious food, live ands silent auctions and more., Tickets start at $75. FFI: www.pacer.org
Bakken Museum Sensory Friendly Sunday
Bakken Museum, 3537 Zenith Ave S, Mpls. offers Sensory Friendly Sundays, 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. the second Sun of every month. Next dates are March 8 and April 12. The days allow people with autism spectrum disorders and sensory processing differences to have an enjoyable and interactive learning experience in a comfortable and accepting environment. Events will include modified programming for diverse sensory needs and specialized staff training. Bakken Museum is the world’s only library and museum devoted to medical electricity. Its SF program was developed in consultation with AuSM. The museum will continue be open to the general public from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sun. Activities are free with museum admission, which starts at $10 for adults and includes discounts for children and seniors. FFI: www.thebakken.org
Gallery tours in ASL
Walker Art Center, 725 Vineland Place, Mpls, offers free gallery tours in ASL. Next dates are 6 p.m. Thu, Jan. 16. No reservations required. A different exhibit is viewed each time. FFI: 612-375-7564,
Science Museum Sensory Friendly Sundays
Science Museum of Minnesota, 120 Kellogg Blvd. W., St. Paul, hosts Sensory Friendly Sundays, 9 a.m. Sun, Feb. 16 and March 13. Early access to galleries, and a lights-up, sounds-down Omnitheater show, which starts at 9 a.m. Tickets $8.95 to $24.95. Discounts for individuals, families and groups with limited incomes and free for working direct support staff when visiting with a client. Other tools for making a museum visit successful for visitors with autism and other sensory processing issues include pre-visit social narratives available for download online, SF companion scripts for Omnitheater films, noise-dampening headphones, SF visitors’ guide, and a renovated wellness room designed to give visitors a private, out-of-the-way space to nurse a child, pray or simply recharge away from the hustle and bustle of a busy museum.
Located on Level 4 near the Native American exhibition, the room is outfitted with soft lighting, a door that locks, a changing table, rocking chair, and other seating. Ask at the exhibits entrance for sound dampening headphones, a timer, or a kit containing headphones, fidgets, gloves, and sunglasses. It is available to visitors on a first-come, first-served basis. The program was created in consultation with the Autism Society of Minnesota (AusM). FFI: 651-221-9444 or 800-221-9444, www.smm.org
Tour for People with Memory Loss
At 10 a.m. on the first Tue of every month the historic James J. Hill House, 240 Summit Ave., St. Paul, offers a sensory-based tour designed for people with memory loss and their caregivers. Each themed tour, usually an hour or less, highlights three rooms and is followed by an optional social time until 11:30 a.m. with pastries and coffee. Private group tours available for care facilities. Next tour Tue, March 3. Free but reservations required. FFI: 651-297-2555, www.mnhs.org
Open Flow Forum
The Artists with Disabilities Alliance meets the first Thu of the month, 7-9 p.m. at Walker Community Church, Meditation Room,
3104 16th Ave. S., Mpls. Upcoming date: Thu, March 5. Join artists with disabilities and supporters to share visual art, writing, music, theater and artistic efforts or disability concerns. Informal, fragrance-free, with shared refreshments. Facilitators are Dan Reiva, Tara Innmon, Andy Sturdevant and Kip Shane. The church is fully accessible. Anyone needing special accommodations should contact Springboard for the Arts, 651-294-0907.
Springboard took over the forum from VSA Minnesota and will be distributing the Open Flow notices and Artists’ Pipeline newsletter this fall. Current subscribers will still get information. There may be some small format changes to the look of the newsletter, but otherwise, it will cover the same news and information about artists with disabilities and making the arts accessible to people with disabilities. Submit listings via the Springboard for the Arts website, or by emailing resources@ springboardforthearts.org
Guthrie Theater presents Shakespeare’s story of how love is worth fighting for story of fragile illusions in a Southern family, at Guthrie Theater, Wurtele Thrust Stage, 818 2nd St. S., Mpls. Show runs Feb. 8-March 22. Ask about nights with accommodations and sensory tours. Tickets 425-$79, reduced to $25 for OC patrons. FFI: 612-377-2224, www. guthrietheater.org
Children’s Theatre Company presents the story of the 1980s Hormel strike and its impact on children whose families were involved, at Children’s Theatre Company, 2400 3rd Ave. S., Mpls. AD and ASL offered 7 p.m. Fri, March 13. SF offered 7 p.m. Fri, April 3.
Ask about accommodations for SF performances if special assistance or a buffer seat is needed, call 612-874-0400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For pre-visit resources, go to www.childrenstheatre.org/plan/sensory-friendly-programming. Children’s Theatre Company uses dynamic ticket pricing. To reserve ASL/AD seating, visit https://my.childrenstheatre.org and click on the ASL or AD link at the bottom of the page. Assistive listening devices, induction loop system, Braille programs and sensory tours available upon request. Discounts available. FFI: 612-874-0400.
Access Press wants your events
Access Press wants to hear from disability community groups and arts and entertainment organizations offering accessible events, for the Enjoy! page. The page listings include galas, banquets, fundraisers, walks and runs, open houses and other events held by disability service organizations. Arts organizations hosting accessible performances or performances or exhibit by people with disabilities are also welcome. All items submitted must be open to the public. Submissions require complete information, such as time, date and place. Also needed are the type or types of accommodations offers, ticket costs and other means of communication. Most helpful are phone numbers and a general website address. Our policy is to limit to two means of communication for further details.
Questions? Call Managing Editor Jane McClure at 651-644-2133 or email email@example.com. Submissions may go to Jane or to our general mailbox, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Enjoy! Calendar will be evolving. Questions can be directed to Managing Editor Jane McClure at email@example.com
Find arts activities
Looking for a play, concert or musical with accommodations? Minnesota Access Alliance, which is affiliated with the Minnesota State Arts Board, has an online calendar listing online activities. Find the calendar and other resources at www.mnaccess.org.
A few tips
Here are a few tips for arts lovers with disabilities, especially as some families plan to attend holiday shows. Make reservations as early as possible and confirm that the accommodation needed is available at the time and date desired. Ask about the run time of a show, so that transportation or a pickup time may be scheduled.
Plan for parking and any walking distance to and from the venue if plans are made to drive there.
It’s always OK to ask if an accommodation can be offered, if one has not been advertised. Again, it’s best to make a request as far in advance as possible.