Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability
Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability Awards
The Kennedy Center Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability (LEAD) Awards recognize outstanding arts administrators and institutions whose leadership and work furthers the field of accessibility. The Awards for Excellence in Accessibility Leadership recognize an organization's or individual's long-standing commitment to accessibility in the cultural arts for people with disabilities and older adults. The Awards for Emerging Leaders were created to acknowledge the efforts of those who attend the LEAD Conference and put what they learn into practice within their own organization and community. LEAD's specific goal in granting these awards is to increase awareness and focus on the importance of accessibility in artistic venues and cultural institutions.top
Award for Emerging Leaders
The LEAD Award for Emerging Leaders was created in 2008 to acknowledge arts administrators who are motivated by the LEAD conference to become an advocate for accessibility within their own organizations and communities. These individuals have successfully applied what they learn at the conference to open doors to and shape opportunities that are inclusive of people with disabilities and older adults in the cultural arts.
Recipients must have attended a LEAD conference within the past two years and implemented a new access initiative or project as a direct result of their attendance. These new initiatives can include any efforts to improve accessibility, such as conducting a docent, staff, or volunteer accessibility training; providing materials in alternate formats; interpreting a lecture or performance; reviewing and revising organizational policies; forming an access advisory committee; etc.
Please see the instruction sheet for complete details on how to apply for this award.
Applicants may also submit up to three supplemental materials. These materials can include letters of support from patrons, visitors, or staff; accessibility brochures; a list of access programs and services; press materials highlighting accessibility programs and services; etc.
Applications for the 2013 Awards for Emerging Leaders must be received by May 30, 2013. Submissions will be reviewed by committee and recipients will be selected in June. Applicants may be contacted for an interview.
Applications for the 2013 Awards must be submitted to the Kennedy Center Accessibility Program at email@example.com by April 30, 2013. Applications will be reviewed by committee and recipients will be announced in June 2013. Applicants may be contacted by a committee member for an interview.
The Awards for Emerging Leaders have been granted to the following individuals for making the cultural arts more inclusive and accessible to people with disabilities and older adults:
- Danielle Linzer, Whitney Museum of American Art
- Matt Saurusaitis, Miami City Ballet
- Al Rodibaugh, Vanessa Braun, and Eric Thomas, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
- Jim Amberg, Oregon Shakespeare Festival
- Radawna Wallace, Oregon Shakespeare Festival
- Tammy Ebben, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center
- Courtney Egg, The Lesher Center for the Arts
- Judy Litt, The Playground Theatre
- Garry Novick, The Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Awards for Excellence in Accessibility Leadership
Each year an organization and an individual are selected to receive the LEAD Awards for Excellence in Accessibility Leadership. These awards are unique in that they recognize a full body of work and concentrate on addressing the needs of the disability community as a whole.
Recipients are selected for having sustained accessibility efforts over a significant period of time, demonstrating either an individual or institutional commitment to the inclusion of all people with disabilities. This pertains to incorporating accessibility into organizational programs, projects, and environments. Other factors considered in selecting award winners are the breadth of impact and how the person or entity has served as a role-model or leader within the cultural arts community and in areas such as business, social service, and government.
Individuals who have attended a Kennedy Center's LEAD Conference within the past four years are eligible to nominate arts organizations or individuals for the LEAD Awards for Excellence in Accessibility Leadership.
To submit a nomination, please send your name and contact information, the nominee's contact information, and a written statement (500 words or less) describing how long and in what way the individual or organization has been a leader in and made important contributions to the field of cultural arts access. Please also describe how the organization or individual has made an impact on a local, regional, or national level.
Nominations may be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org
Nominees may also submit up to three supplemental materials. These materials can include letters of support from patrons, visitors, or staff; accessibility brochures; a list of access programs and services; press materials highlighting accessibility programs and services; etc.
Nominations for the 2013 Awards must be received by May 30, 2013. Submissions will be reviewed by committee and recipients will be selected in June. Nominees may be contacted for an interview.
Past Recipients of the LEAD Award for Excellence in Accessibility Leadership
- John Wodatch for exemplary advocacy at the national level on behalf of the rights or people with disabilities to participate in and access the cultural arts.
- Rebecca McGinnis for exemplary dedication and commitment to bringing together academic and cultural communities to improve accessibility for people with disabilities in museums and the cultural arts.
- Ray Bloomer for championing and fostering accessibility for people with disabilities in our nation's parks, historic sites and museums.
- Media Access Group at WGBH for innovative contributions and outstanding commitment to advancing technology in the field of accessible media.
- Dr. Margaret Pfanstiehl for her lifetime commitment and enduring advocacy on behalf of audio description: and
- Paper Mill Playhouse for its long-standing commitment to accessibility in the cultural arts for people with disabilities and older adults.
- Linda Jane Austen for unwavering dedication to promoting opportunities for the inclusion of individuals with disabilities and older adults in the cultural arts.
- Elly Rubin for pioneering a comprehensive approach to the inclusion of people with disabilities in the field of museum accessibility:
- Hannah Goodwin for steadfast expansion of access and inclusive practices in museums for people with disabilities and older adults; and
- The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts for exemplary leadership and abiding commitment to the inclusion of people with disabilities in the cultural arts
- Theatre Development Fund’s Theatre Access Project for sustained efforts to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in theater audiences in both the for-profit and non-profit theater communities
- Special Recognition: Paula Terry on behalf of the National Endowment for the Arts for outstanding efforts to encourage the national arts community to be accessible to people with disabilities
- Mickey McVey for her steadfast advocacy in the creation of accessible cultural programs and facilities for people with disabilities in the Arvada community
- Wheelock Family Theatre for exemplary leadership in the inclusion of people with disabilities in the performing arts.
- John McEwen for dedication and pioneering efforts in the field of cultural accessibility for people with disabilities
- The Smithsonian Institution Accessibility Program for dedication and leadership in providing access for museum visitors and staff with disabilities, creating museum accessibility guidelines that are in use around the world, and establishing a model of institutional change through its policy, guidelines, and practices.
For more information on the LEAD awards, please contact the Kennedy Center's Accessibility Program at (202) 416-8727 (voice), (202) 416-8728 (TTY), or email@example.com