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Home / Blog / Organizations / UP Organizations Receive Grants to LEAD

UP Organizations Receive Grants to LEAD

Charles Baldwin, Program Officer

Lew Michaels, Neil Gordon, and Betty Siegel at the John F Kennedy Center LEAD awards ceremony in 2018.
Lew Michaels, Neil Gordon, and Betty Siegel receiving the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts 2018 Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability (LEAD®) Community Asset Award.

We’re proud to announce that our Universal Participation (UP) Initiative now provides a professional development grant to attend the Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability (LEAD) conference put on by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

The goals of both these endeavors – UP and LEAD – is to go beyond ADA compliance and be aspirational; to fully engage the citizenry to participate in our cultural commonwealth by breaking down the social barriers that divide us by race, gender, class, and ability. Creating access to the arts is not just about meeting legislative requirements and removing architectural barriers. It is about creating diverse and welcoming environments; from the first visit to a website to the sustained participation of a class.

The LEAD conference is a critically important resource for the cultural institution instigating inclusion. Workshops help identify institutional activation points such as:

  • Systems for collecting data and evaluating impact
  • Strategies for successful community partnerships
  • Multi-modal learning tactics
  • Adaptive technology that facilitates engagement and fights isolation
  • A network of leaders who understand that “access” is a principled directive for the future of our cultural sector

What LEAD offers is an intense immersion in effective practices. There are workshops for all levels of expertise and learning styles; the conference models the accessible solutions for the different ways we hear, see, move, and think. With these benefits considered, we congratulate the 10 recipients of the new $1,000 grant to attend LEAD in 2019:


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