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The Grand receives NEA support for sensory-friendly programs

The Grand Opera House receives funding in the latest National Endowment for the Arts grant cycle.

The Grand is one of two Delaware recipients in this NEA grant announcement. The $15,000 award will fund The Grand’s sensory-friendly performances for youth and their families.

The Grand’s Community Engagement Director Mari Johnson says the sensory-friendly performances are part of a broader emphasis on inclusivity and accessibility.

“We’re also trying to promote the fact that it’s a comfortable space and that you’re able to walk around, stand up, dance, sing along, vocalize your excitement for the program. Lighting is at a low level, but not completely dark, and sound levels are intentional in that there are not any loud or sudden noises. We have quiet spaces available.”

Johnson says this and other outreach programs help The Grand make the arts accessible. Those efforts also include their popular outdoor series in Wilmington City Parks this month.

“We’re out in the community in Wilmington City Parks in partnership with Wilmington Parks and Recreation, and we’re providing free programming to the city of Wilmington residents for daytime as well as evening performances, highlighting local artists.”

The Grand is one of two state recipients in this latest round of major funding across the country. Delaware Division of the Arts is receiving $940,000 to support activities associated with its NEA-approved State strategic plan.

Delaware Public Media' s arts coverage is made possible, in part, by support from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

Karl Lengel has worked in the lively arts as an actor, announcer, manager, director, administrator and teacher. In broadcast, he has accumulated three decades of on-air experience, most recently in New Orleans as WWNO’s anchor for NPR’s “All Things Considered” and a host for the broadcast/podcast “Louisiana Considered”.