unnamed (16)Chicago’s civic and cultural leaders convene for “Greater Together,” Chicago’s first Cultural Accessibility Summit in Conjunction with ADA 25 Chicago, to share insights and advance the understanding and implementation of best practices in accessibility. Hosted at Goodman Theatre by Joan Clifford (Goodman Theatre Board Chair), Nora Daley (Steppenwolf Theatre Board Chair), Shawn M. Donnelley (The Chicago Community Trust Executive Committee, ADA 25 Chicago Honorary Committee and Goodman Theatre Past Chair and Life Trustee) and King Harris (Vice Chair of Board of Trustees at Museum of Contemporary Art and Honorary Co-Chair of ADA 25 Chicago), the event includes a breakfast networking reception followed by a program featuring remarks from leaders and advocates of improved access and inclusion of people with disabilities. Speakers include Michael Patrick Thornton, Joseph Jefferson Award-nominated actor and director; Betty Siegel, Director of VSA and Accessibility of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; Steve Pemberton, Vice President and Global Chief Diversity Officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance; and Robert Gallo, State Director of AARP Illinois. LeeAnn Trotter of NBC-5 is Master of Ceremonies. Partnering organizations include ADA 25 Chicago; The Chicago Community Trust; AARP; The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events; Chicago Cultural Accessibility Consortium; Illinois Arts Council Agency; Museum of Contemporary Art and Steppenwolf Theatre.

“Greater Together” Cultural Accessibility Summit takes place on September 1, 8:30am11am at Goodman Theatre (170 N. Dearborn). The event is free, but reservations are required; 312.443.3800 (phone), 312.443.3829 (TTY/TDD) or GoodmanTheatre.org/ADAsummit.

ADA 25 Chicago is a network of more than 160 civic partners who have come together to commemorate and leverage the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by committing to new programs and initiatives that build awareness and expand access, inclusion and opportunities for people with disabilities. The Chicago Community Trust is the lead sponsor of ADA 25 Chicago.

“The ADA transformed the lives of Americans with disabilities. For the first time, people with disabilities had greater access to the programs and opportunities so many of us take for granted—on transportation, in public settings, at work and in experiencing the arts,” said Emily Harris, executive director of ADA 25 Chicago. “However, there is still much work to be done to realize the promise of the ADA, and take the next steps toward a more inclusive future for the 800,000 people with disabilities in the Chicago region. Arts and culture open doors to the civic life of our communities, and the arts community is known for leading change. That is one of the reasons that ADA 25 Chicago is partnering with so many cultural organizations to expand their inclusion this year and in the future. We are delighted to see Chicago’s cultural leaders gather to discuss how expanding accessibility is not only the right thing to do—it is critical to retaining and expanding audiences to keep our region one of the nation’s leading cultural hubs.”

In honor of the 25th anniversary of the ADA, Goodman Theatre joined the 25 for 25 Cultural Access Project—more than 30 Chicagoland cultural organizations committed to making experiences more inclusive and accessible for all.

“On behalf of Artistic Director Robert Falls, the artists, trustees and staff of Goodman Theatre, we are proud to host this important dialogue about prioritizing accessibility and inclusion throughout our industry,” said Roche Schulfer, executive director of Goodman Theatre. “We are grateful for the vision and leadership of Joan Clifford, Nora Daley, Shawn M. Donnelley and King Harris—four of Chicago’s most dynamic influencers who lead by action and example.”