Lunch & Learn

The Lehigh Valley Arts & Cultural Alliance hosts a monthly Lunch & Learn series featuring nationally recognized guest presenters. The series focuses on art and accessibility — a pillar of our organizational mission — and aims to inform Lehigh Valley artists, art educators, arts supporters, and arts & cultural venues about ways to make the arts more accessible to all.

Events are held on Zoom unless otherwise specified. We hope you’ll join us at the next Lunch & Learn!

Upcoming Events

Accessible Theatre

Guest Speaker Larry Mason

September 20, 2023

Join us for Accessible Theatre, a lunch & learn event with Larry Mason, MFA student at Moravian University and Touchstone Theatre. Larry will share insights on how to make theatre more accessible for performers and audience members.

Larry is passionate about accessible theatre and is dedicating his independent research to disability advocacy through theatre and accessible theatre experiences. In addition to his academic work, Larry serves as the Accessibility Coordinator for the Atlanta Fringe festival, where he focuses on creating accessible festival experiences. He has been featured in an article by ARTS ATL, highlighting his contributions to making the Atlanta Fringe festival more inclusive and accessible.

This promises to be an informative session for anyone interested in promoting accessibility in the arts, whether connected to the theatre or beyond.

Previous Speakers

The Disability Pride Lehigh Valley logo is a circle filled with diagonal green and blue stripes. Disability Pride Lehigh Valley is written next to the circle in blue type.

Disability Pride Lehigh Valley Town Hall

Featuring Vicki Landers of Disability Pride PA & Hosted by the Event Planning Committee

May 17, 2023

Join us for this Town Hall style Lunch & Learn all about Disability Pride Lehigh Valley. You’ll hear updates from the organizers and planning committee, and you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and share ideas. We invite you to participate and help shape this amazing event!

Disability Pride Lehigh Valley takes place July 22, 2023 from 11 AM – 3 PM at Penn State Lehigh Valley. We’re working with Disability Pride PA to plan a day of community, fun, art, live music, special guests, resource tables, food trucks, and games for all ages.

A photo of Bronwen Andrea Okwesa, a Black woman with dark hair worn in a bun on top of her head and smiling at the viewer. She is wearing earrings, a necklace, and a dark red top.

Principles of Audio Description & Audio Description Careers

Guest Speaker Bronwen Andrea Okwesa

April 19, 2023

Audio description is a necessary practice central to all art forms. This presentation covered the basics of audio description, including:

• Why audio description is a necessity.
• Insights into blind and vision-impaired culture.
• Audio description guidelines, techniques, and best practices.
• How to design audio description that effectively meets the needs of blind and vision-impaired audiences.
• How to launch a career as an Audio Describer

Bronwen Andrea Okwesa is professional Audio Describer who has researched, written and narrated AD scripts in all performing arts genres, also for community-based events, museums, meetings, conferences & social media.

Alexa Heinrich looks at the camera and smiles slightly. She is a light skinned woman with dark hair shaved on the sides and worn in a topknot on top of her head. She is wearing bright red lipstick, multiple earrings, and a black shirt with gold colored necklaces on top.

Accesibility in Social Media

Guest Speaker Alexa Heinrich

March 15, 2023

Accessibility is a common priority when building websites and webpages. But have you considered how individuals with disabilities are engaging with your brand on social media? Are they experiencing accessibility barriers in your content? Are there things you could be doing to make your social media more inclusive? This session will outline practices you can easily implement to ensure the content you produce and the way you deliver it on social media is accessible for everyone, including disabled users.

Alexa Heinrich is an award-winning social media manager, the creator of the popular websites Accessible Social and Social Media Tea, and the author of Accessible Social: A Beginner’s Guide to Creating Inclusive Social Media Content.

Tyrone Russell, a Black man with short black hair and a beard, wearing a dress shirt with a tie and a red vest. He is looking directly at the camera and smiling.

DEI & The Arts

Guest Speaker Tyrone Russell

February 15, 2023

This DEI and the Arts mini workshop presented by Tyrone Russell, CEO of FACES International, will focus on the intersection of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the arts. The workshop will explore ways in which the arts can be used to promote DEI and foster a more inclusive society. Topics will include the representation of diverse communities in the arts, the role of cultural institutions in promoting DEI, and strategies for creating more inclusive arts environments. This workshop will provide participants with practical tools and resources for implementing DEI initiatives in their own organizations or communities.

Image of painted bust self-portrait depicting artist, Wendy Elliot Vandivier. White woman with shoulder red hair and small green beret on top, her hands are touching the right side of her cheek and chin. Her wrists have multiple colored medical bands. A prominent bright pink band has the word alert on it.

The Disability Arts Movement

Guest Speakers Vicki Landers & Connie Vandarakis

January 18, 2023

Join us as we discuss the history of Disability Arts and its importance in the Disability Rights Movement, and create actionable steps to bring Disability Arts to the forefront.

Our presenters for this event are Vicki Landers, Founder & Executive Director of Disability Pride PA and Connie Vandarakis, Arts & Cultural Director of Disability Pride PA.

Liz, a white woman with short hair and glasses, is shown from the shoulders up looking at the camera and smiling

What's LGBTQ about the Italian Renaissance?

Guest Speakers Liz Bradbury (she/her/hers)

November 16, 2022

A lot! After an explanatory discussion of the ingenious 15th Century invention of perspective, we’ll be discussing the controversial same gender loving lives of Leonardo DaVinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti. Why do we think these men had more than a passing interest in other men? And does it matter in their work? Let’s see! We’ll also talk about the surprising 500 year old histories of some of their key works and explore what happened to them in the 20th century to make them even more famous. This will be a fun and funny presentation by Liz Bradbury, MFA, the Director of the Training Institute of the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center, on things they didn’t teach you in art history classes, but really should be considered none-the-less!

Emily Ladua

Demystifying Disability: What to Know, What to Say, and How to be an Ally

Guest Speaker Emily Ladau

September 21, 2022

Celebrated disability rights advocate, speaker, and writer Emily Ladau will answer all your questions regarding disabilities. Learn how to be an informed ally to disabled people, with actionable steps for what to say and do (and what not to do) and how you can help make the world a more inclusive place.

Ladau’s Demystifying Disability is “ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR” – NPR, Booklist 

“A candid, accessible cheat sheet for anyone who wants to thoughtfully join the conversation . . . Emily makes the intimidating approachable and the complicated clear.” – Rebekah Taussig, author of Sitting Pretty: The View from My Ordinary, Resilient, Disabled Body