Post #1 in the UPward Series
As UMA continues to step into its emerging identity, it seeks to be more deliberate about reaching all people. This year, UMA will start to make its programs, marketing and media more accessible to individuals with hearing, seeing, and cognitive disabilities. It will do so with the help and support of the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Universal Participation Initiative, “a movement and a designation, that creates opportunities for leadership, peer networking, and education in universal design principles, audience engagement strategies, and ADA compliance.”
The Universal Participation (UP) Initiative, led by Charles Baldwin, “aims to break down barriers and bring full civic participation in Massachusetts’ cultural sector.” It does so by offering organizations in Massachusetts the opportunity to apply to receive an UP designation and/or be part of the UP Innovation and Learning Network, an annual series of professional development workshops on Universal Design and accessibility practices.
UMA applied and was accepted to be part of this learning network alongside a cohort of nine other organizations: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston), Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston), Friends of Mount Auburn Cemetery (Cambridge), New Bedford Art Museum (New Bedford), Theatre Espresso (Boston), The Trustees of Reservations (Boston), Umbrella Arts Center (Concord), WAM Theatre (Lenox) and Monkey House (Malden). Delegates Kamila Rodrigues (Intern), Annie Bennett (Intern), and James Mudge (Staff) will represent UMA and partake in this network to learn, plan and propose a particular universal design project for UMA to undertake.
To acknowledge and mark this opportunity to be part of this network of learning, we will offer regular posts to share what we discover and experience as part of a series of blog posts we are calling “UPward”.
Next post in this series: DEAFinitely Worthwhile