The Virginia Symphony Orchestra is presenting its inaugural sensory-friendly concerts designed for audience members on the autism spectrum this season, with the first taking place on November 2 at the Ferguson Center for the Arts in Newport News. The hour-long program will feature selections by Copland, Beethoven, and Pachelbel. Families and friends may take part in pre-concert activities and a resource fair. Quiet spaces will be available before and during the concert and seating will be flexible within the hall. All staff at the concert, as well as musicians, will have undergone training on how to recognize patrons with sensory needs and how to handle sensory overload situations. Sensory tools, such as fidgets, will also be available for use during the performance. In addition to the Ferguson Center, other local partners in the sensory-friendly series include Families of Autistic Children in Tidewater, Faith Inclusion Network, Peninsula School for Autism, Faison Center, and Raven’s Way. The VSO has posted a guide of what to expect at the performance at virginiasymphony.org. The VSO’s sensory-friendly concert series is supported in part by a generous grant from the American Orchestras’ Future Fund, a program of the League of American Orchestras made possible by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.
Posted November 1, 2019