The Delaware Division of the Arts to Host a Free Accessibility Presentation Led by the National Endowment for the Arts

Delaware Division of the Arts - Press Release - Accessibility Workshop

Dr. Beth Bienvenu, accessibility director,
will review how to make the arts accessible to all

Wilmington, Del. (November 30, 2017) – Building off of this year’s Arts Summit theme: “Arts for All” and an earlier workshop “Flourishing: The Art of Creative Aging,” the Division will sponsor a special presentation by Dr. Bienvenu on the topic: “Accessibility Basics: Ensuring Access for Everyone” on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Copeland Lecture Hall, Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library. The Division invites all current and past grantees, the broader nonprofit sector and media to attend this free educational opportunity.

Dr. Bienvenu will provide an overview of what accessibility is, the range of audiences to consider when developing accessibility plans, and practical ways to improve access to programs for all audiences. Her presentation will be followed by a brief presentation by John Orr, executive director of Art-Reach, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit dedicated to creating, advocating and expanding accessible opportunities in the arts so that the full spectrum of society is served. The afternoon will conclude with a Q&A session.

“The Division’s grantees are required to ensure that projects, productions, workshops and programs comply with applicable accessibility laws. We encourage arts organizations of all sizes to create programs that embrace the concept of ‘universal design’ that everyone—older people, people with and without disabilities—can access,” said Paul Weagraff, director, Delaware Division of the Arts.

For those attending the presentation, Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library will offer attendees a free, guided tour of its annual Yuletide at Winterthur. To be eligible for the tour, visitors must attend the Accessibility presentation and RSVP in advance.

Please RSVP here for an accurate headcount: Responses requested no later than Friday, December 8 at 10:30 a.m.

On-site parking is available, please follow signs for the Visitor Parking Lot and take the walking path that leads to the Visitor Center.

Handicapped parking and visitor drop-off is also available. At the fork in the road, in front of the Visitor Center, turn right. Parking is next to the Visitor Center entrance.

About Dr. Beth Bienvenu
Dr. Beth Bienvenu is the Director of the Office of Accessibility at the National Endowment for the Arts, where she manages the NEA’s technical assistance and advocacy work devoted to making the arts accessible for people with disabilities, older adults, veterans, and people in institutional settings. She provides guidance and support to state arts agency staff and professionals working the fields of arts access, creativity and aging, arts and health, universal design, and arts in corrections.

Prior to coming to the NEA, she worked as a Policy Advisor for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), where she analyzed public and private sector policies and practices related to the employment for people with disabilities. She also served as an adjunct professor for George Mason University’s Master of Arts in Arts Management program, where she taught courses in arts policy and comparative international arts policy, and she has a background in performing arts management. Dr. Bienvenu has master’s degrees in sociology and arts administration from Indiana University and a doctorate in organizational leadership from The University of Oklahoma.

About John Orr
John was appointed as Executive Director of Art-Reach in February 2015, with a vision that he would lead organizational planning efforts and grow strategic initiatives. A native of Philadelphia, John brings over 19 years of experience in the city’s cultural community, including work at museums, community arts organizations, and historic sites and he currently serves as a board member of Museum Council of Greater Philadelphia. In addition, John advises and helps coordinate the largest conference for small museum professionals in the mid-Atlantic region through his work with the Small Museum Association. John received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Thomas Edison State College. John’s commitment to planning and implementation, strategic fundraising, and organizational culture have driven his work throughout his career.

About the National Endowment for the Arts
Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts and the agency is celebrating this milestone with events and activities through September 2016.


Contact: Leeann Wallett, Program Officer, Communications and Marketing