Access Culture | Arts Accessibility Conference

November 4, 2023 9:00AM to 3:30PM
Lehigh University Art Galleries
a group of people sitting at tables in an art gallery looking at two people giving a power point presentation

Join us for a day of learning and connection at the Access Culture Arts Accessibility Conference, hosted by Lehigh University Art Galleries. This event will bring together experts and advocates in the field of arts accessibility to explore educational resources for making arts and cultural organizations of all kinds more inclusive and welcoming to all.

This one-day conference will feature a lineup of guest speakers, each bringing unique perspectives and experiences to the discussion. Network with artists, educators, performers, directors, students, and accessibility experts as they share their insights and practical strategies for creating accessible arts programming and spaces.

Whether you're a museum professional, an artist, an educator, a theatre performer, or simply passionate about the arts and accessibility, this conference is for you. You'll leave with new ideas, insights, and connections that will help you make a meaningful impact in your own work and community.

Don't miss this opportunity to participate in a vital conversation about the future of arts accessibility in the Lehigh Valley community.


This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required.

Please click here to REGISTER for this event. 


Accessibility information about Lehigh University Art Galleries is available on our website by clicking here. 

For more information or for questions regarding accessibility, please contact Elise Schaffer at ejs421@lehigh.edu or 610-758-6882.

Featured presenters include:

Cecile Shellman
Museum DEAl Consultant, Cecile Shellman Consulting

Cecile Shellman is a motivational speaker, author, and independent museum consultant whose work focuses on issues relevant to diversity, accessibility, inclusion, and anti-racism in museums.

From 1991 until the late 2010s Ms. Shellman worked in the visual arts sector at various galleries and museums across four states. Her deep knowledge of art interpretation and administration positions her to be an advocate for individuals and communities who have been marginalized and less represented by museums. She continues to work tirelessly in the service of museum practitioners, boards of trustees, and museum service organizations to teach best practices in anti-oppression and Inclusion in the arts.
Past appointments include: Diversity Catalyst, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Director for Visual Arts and Exhibitions at the August Wilson Center; Program Manager for Pittsburgh Public Schools' Culturally Responsive Arts Education initiative; Education Coordinator at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston; Director of Education at Heckscher Museum of Art, New York; and Education Curator at the Museum of Church History and Art, Salt Lake City.

To learn more about Cecile Shellman Consulting, please visit https://cecileshellmanconsulting.com/.

Katie Samson
Director of Education, Art-Reach

Katie Samson has created multiple workshops and courses around accessibility and inclusive design. Katie Samson previously taughtDisability Studies at West Chester University and was formerly the Assistant Director of MuseumEducation at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA). As a quadriplegic who is hard of hearing, Ms. Samson encourages participants to bring their whole selves to the conversation, including valuable lived experience and an openness to build empathy.

Image description:  A smiling freckled-rosy cheeked, blonde, shoulder length-wavy haired, white woman. 
To learn more about Art-Reach, please visit https://www.art-reach.org/.

Access/Culture: Building an Inclusive Community in the Arts is a six-part series of free, professional development experiences that will be hosted at Lehigh University Art Galleries through Fall 2024. Focused on accessibility and inclusion, Access/Culture will facilitate the building of a community of arts professionals in the Lehigh Valley that is equipped with the tools needed to appropriately and effectively engage with audiences with disabilities.

Funded in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.