Art is for everyone. At least, it should be. Across the country, arts organizations are thinking more and more about what they can be doing to make sure their art and spaces are accessible for all types of people, including the physically and mentally disabled. Many of them are employing technology in order to do so. The use of audio guides, sensory friendly performances and beacons are increasingly becoming the norm in the arts. There are a select few arts institutions leading the way towards inclusivity, many of them led at some point by Danielle Linzer.
Most recently, Danielle is the Curator of Education and Interpretation at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, where she is currently aiding in the implementation of a brand new initiative for the visually impaired. The Warhol wanted a tool for everyone to enjoy their art, as they believed making their art more accessible for one group of people would ultimately make it more enjoyable for people of all types and abilities. To accomplish this, they launched an Inclusive Audio Guide, a program which guides visitors throughout the museum, allowing them to actually touch tactile reproductions of the art work through laser cut typography made out of hard plastic.
Prior to joining the Warhol, Danielle spent several years as the Director of Access and Community Programs at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. At the Whitney, Danielle spearheaded the creation of Whitney Signs and The Vlog Project, consisting of diverse collections of in-person and virtual gallery tours led by expert deaf educators in American Sign Language. Danielle has also led efforts at New York’s Tenement Museum and has been the recipient of an Emerging Leader Award from the Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability Conference and several other awards for her work in combining inclusivity with digital media.
AMT Lab Chief Editor of Interactive Content Jess Bergson sat down with Danielle for a thoughtful discussion on how inclusivity efforts impact American museums’ operations, marketing and education efforts, and how technology can be an ally in the fight to make art accessible for all.