At the Center we strive to build community by bringing the arts directly to people throughout Northeast Wisconsin, but there are also initiatives happening in our building that are designed specifically to allow more people to enjoy the arts together.
From wheelchair accessible seating to power assisted doors, large print programs upon request and captioned performances, the Center strives to make the arts come alive for everyone.
“We try to offer as many options as possible so everyone in our community can enjoy the arts together and we empower our teams to do whatever necessary to make sure everyone is comfortable and able to enjoy the show,” said Steve Jahnke, manager of volunteer and audience services.
The Center is the only theater in Wisconsin that hosts touring Broadway performances where a T-coil hearing loop system is installed so the hard of hearing can tap in to the sound system using their existing hearing aids or request a listening device. In addition, American Sign Language and open captioning are available at select performances.
After last year’s performances of Chicago Children’s Theatre’s Red Kite, Brown Box
and week of community autism programming, the Center is also exploring ways to add sensory friendly performances.
Staff members and volunteers at the Center have also been trained to be dementia-aware and support patrons with memory loss through the Purple Angel Campaign.
“Our mission is to be a gathering place for the community, which means valuing everyone’s uniqueness and working on accommodations that make each patron feel comfortable and welcome so they can focus on enjoying the art,” said director of event services, Jennifer DuPont.
Stevie Schmidt, who is an Annual Partner, Season Ticket Holder, and was a large advocate for the T-Coil Hearing Loop system, said that accessibility doesn’t just allow people to enjoy the arts, it allows people to enjoy a sense of community.
“The more people who share access to the arts, the more joy and satisfaction in life, the greater community pride for all of us,” Schmidt said.