The 2022 LMDA International Performing Arts Conference has announced a series of broader accessibility initiatives for this summer’s in-person and online conference. They have partnered with local, national and international organizations and funders to support access initiatives designed to center the pressing needs of today’s performers.
“We started conversations with our constituency 18 months ago. While some of their specific needs have evolved as the pandemic has progressed, complex conversations around art access and creation have remained a key community priority,” said the conference chair, Jacqueline Goldfinger.
For more than 20 years, LMDA has been at the forefront of creating connections, building bridges and supporting the rigorous exchange of ideas between the performing arts in the United States, Mexico and in Canada. While LMDA was originally an organization for literary managers and playwrights, it has evolved into an in-person and virtual platform that supports all playwright-minded performers and administrators – no matter how they identify. in terms of artistic labels or where they live.
This year’s conference is themed “Performance Outside the Proscenium” and features a wide variety of performing artists including: Circus, Digital Opera, Site Specific, Burlesque, Cabaret, Online Performances, Museum Performances, Theater educational, etc This short video created by Almanac Dance Circus Theater highlights the theme: https://youtu.be/QKtY7zow_6s To facilitate the inclusion of more artists this year, LMDA has partnered with PlayOn Shakespeare and Hands Up Productions to provide 30 hours of ASL interpretation on their Zoom Day on July 21 as well as the weekend of July 23 and 24 during the in-person Conference. They also partnered with United Airlines to provide free airfare to artists across the country who otherwise couldn’t afford to attend the conference in person, and tripled their scholarship fund by studies through the generous support of Yards Brewery and individual donors.
EDMT donors have also supported an English-Spanish and Spanish-English translation process that will enable bilingual video sharing during the digital conference. Entrants will be able to select no subtitles, English subtitles, or Spanish subtitles for more than 20 asynchronous videos that cover topics ranging from slapstick opera to working with Indigenous communities to circus performance dramaturgy. For parents and caregivers, partner LMDA Parent Artist Advocacy League (PAAL) will provide stipends that reduce the cost of child care and other care needs. These stipends will be available on the conference app after attendees register. Additionally, all conference spaces are handicapped accessible and there will be quiet rooms at the conference center for nursing mothers and anyone who needs a break from the flurry of activity. Designed after conversations with LMDA’s Disability Affinity Space (DAS), ArtReach, and the Philly Autism Project, this is LMDA’s first foray into neurodivergent support. They look forward to learning more about how to shape this resource this summer and implementing a revised plan next year.
To continue the conversation beyond the conference, LMDA has partnered with the Network of Ensemble Theaters (NET), Directors Gathering (DG), and Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association (TSDCA). LMDA 2022 conference attendees will have the option to activate a free individual membership for each organization. This free membership will help keep conversations going across the country and also provide an opportunity for better sharing of resources. Goldfinger has also “added a ‘unique needs’ section to our registration form, so if there’s a need you don’t see addressed by our programming, you can contact us and we’ll work with you to meet your needs. or offer you additional resources where you can go to meet your needs intends to pursue a progressive evolution of the performing arts.” For more information on the Conference: www.lmda.org/2022-conference