Access and Gray Area Festival

We collaborated on access design with Gray Area Festival Oct 19-22 2023 Plural Prototypes. We started with supporting artists and process with the Viverse Metaverse CripTech collab. We assisted recruiting access staff for ASL and access doulas. Big thanks to Chelsea House, Fenner, Keiren Beccia our access doula’s for supporting disabled patrons and manning the access station. Claudia Alick led a staff training. Maiamama provided voiceovers for the visual descriptions Claudia wrote.

We produced “Why Mask” performance and had both high quality kn95 and also Deaf friendly clear faced masked. We provided hand sanitizer and ear buds at the access table. The Why Mask QR code led to a digital gallery of every day people wearing masks, and saying why they do it. Access Doulas assisted people downloading the Bloomberg Connects app. These QR codes led to a digital app with visual descriptions and audio recordings of all the pieces and the gallery space. Every room had a soft, comfortable seating and docents to provide support in using the VR equipment. The soft seating avaible in every space created accessibility for those with chronic pain, and also for those who needed to take a break. On stage we had ASL interpreters and captioning.

Claudia Alick spoke on a panel with Roxi Shohadee, Leigh Tanner, Lindsey Felt, Vanessa Chang, and Sammie Veeler on the CripTech Metaverse Lab. Melissa Malzuhn‘s “Deaf Club” led to a VR world with art from deaf artists. Indira Allegra’s “Texere” was trauma informed and healing Nat Decker’s piece “Touch” had beautiful worlds and the ability to transport yourself by sight. All three artists did presentations that were interesting and insightful.

For the CripRave we broke out haptic packs to feel the music and did creative captioning. Claudia performed creative captions to a variety of cool DJ’s. So many awesome disabled artists and audience attended. Gray Area, Leonardo, and Viverse all engaged in access choreographies.

We appreciated the many artists who called out the violence in Palestine. There were so many great ideas shared during the speeches and workshops. Claudia was very moved by Taeyoon Choi’s mural on Distributed Web’s of Care and his presentation that wove in observations about colonialism. So proud of all the art and access.

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