LEAD Cultural Arts Accessibility

As an integral part of the Kennedy Center’s Access/VSA International Network, the Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability (LEAD) program advances the full inclusion of people with disabilities in arts and culture. With a focus on expanding the breadth and scope of accessible programming, LEAD provides an opportunity for professionals in the field to develop best practices and resources; engage in conversations with colleagues and experts from around the world; and learn practical methods for designing inclusive arts experiences and environments.

LEAD Conference Video Playlist

The LEAD® conference not only introduces those new to the field to cultural accessibility solutions, but provides ongoing learning, support, camaraderie, and inspiration—necessary fuel for anyone working to change the status quo.  LEAD offers:
  • One-of-a-kind professional development. No other conference focuses on accessibility in cultural venues like LEAD®. The conference provides an intimate, rich atmosphere to engage arts professionals of all experience levels. 
  • Access to ideas. Attendees can tap into the collective “brain trust” of arts managers from museums, theaters, parks, zoos, libraries, and other cultural venues from around the world. 
  • Access to experts. The Kennedy Center engages leading thinkers in the field to present at the conference. And after the event, attendees are invited to join an exclusive listserv to continue the conversation and ask questions. 
  • Networking opportunities. LEAD® has a number of networking opportunities both during the conference and at evening social events where attendees can meet and mingle with colleagues from around the world in an open and safe forum. 
  • Practical information. Participants leave with ideas and practices that can be implemented at their organizations right away. 
  • Something for everyone. LEAD® has sessions and workshops for beginners and the more experienced.  
  • Experiential opportunities. LEAD® provides the opportunity to experience accessibility services and programs. Through pre-conference Capacity Building Workshops and optional performances with accessibility services, attendees can see access in action. 
The LEAD Conference provides professional development for leadership, mid-career, and new professionals working in:
  • Accessibility and ADA/504 Administration
  • Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion
  • Community Outreach, Education, and Engagement
  • Box Office, Admissions, Sales and Marketing
  • Visitor Services, Front of House and Customer Service Management
  • Venue Operations, Facilities, Designers and Production
  • Human Resources and Volunteer Management
  • General Management and Administration

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