Investing in Accessibility

Friday, June 14, 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

One in five Americans have a disability, so being accessible to all audiences, visitors, and participants is crucial. Local arts agencies (LAAs) have an opportunity to make a difference in making that accessibility possible. This workshop will feature example LAAs with accessibility investments, inspirational projects, and solutions to take home.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn the basics about disability, accessibility, and how they are an important part of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  2. Gain insight from Local Arts Agencies about how they invest in accessibility in their communities.
  3. Learn how to support cultural organizations in being more inclusive of people with disabilities.


Lane Harwell
Program Officer, Creativity and Free Expression
Ford Foundation
New York, New York

Lane joined the Ford Foundation in 2018, after serving as the founding Executive Director of the service organization Dance/NYC for nearly eight years. Prior to Dance/NYC, he held the senior development role at the arts-wide advocacy group Alliance for the Arts. A lifelong New Yorker and a product of its creative and social justice sectors, Harwell’s history in the arts also includes training at the School of American Ballet and a performance career with American Ballet Theatre Studio Company.

Lane co-chairs the Chancellor’s Arts Committee to the Panel for Education Policy. He is an appointee to New York State’s Blue Ribbon Commission on the Arts and New York City’s Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission and is a member of the Board of New Yorkers for Culture & Arts and leadership committees for Hunter College and the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Lane is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Sarah Corrin
Arts Grant Director
City of Raleigh - Office of Raleigh Arts
Raleigh, North Carolina

Sarah Corrin serves as the arts grant director for the City of Raleigh’s Office of Raleigh Arts, a local arts agency committed to a vision of the city as a community connected through arts and culture, where every person is empowered to lead the creative life they envision. With almost 30 years’ experience working for and with North Carolina nonprofit arts organizations, Corrin manages a funding program that distributes program and operating support to nonprofit organizations and provides capacity building programs. During her tenure, she developed the Arts Learning Community for Universal Access. This regional peer cohort focuses on increasing inclusion within arts organizations and is a joint project with the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County. Since the early 1990’s accessibility and inclusion have been through lines in Corrin’s career. Starting with Raleigh Little Theatre, she grew the theatre’s audio description program, developed an integrated theatre production program with bi-lingual ASL/English productions and casts of both hearing and Deaf actors, and oversaw the installation of the theatre’s first assistive listening system. A former board member for Arts Access, Raleigh’s arts and accessibility service organization, Corrin also served as executive director of Arts Together, a community arts school.

Beth Bienvenu
Director of the Office of Accessibility
National Endowment for the Arts
Washington, District of Columbia

Dr. Beth Bienvenu is the Director of the Office of Accessibility at the National Endowment for the Arts, where she manages the NEA's technical assistance and advocacy work devoted to making the arts accessible for people with disabilities, older adults, veterans, and people in institutional settings. She provides guidance and support to state arts agency staff and professionals working the fields of arts access, careers in the arts for people with disabilities, creativity and aging, arts and health, universal design, and arts in corrections.

Prior to her work at the NEA, she worked as a Policy Advisor for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), where she analyzed policies and practices related to the employment for people with disabilities. She also served as an adjunct professor for George Mason University’s Master of Arts in Arts Management program, where she taught courses in arts policy, and she has a background in performing arts management. Dr. Bienvenu has master's degrees in sociology and arts administration and a doctorate in organizational leadership.


Anne Mulgrave
Manager, Grants and Accessibility
Greater Pittsburgh Cultural Alliance