Accessibility at Associated Artists of Pittsburgh

Two concrete paths both equipped with railings, one on the right with six steps of stairs, one on the left with a ramp, to access a raised concrete platform with chairs, a grassy area, trees. The platform is surrounded by a red brick building, and the single door directly parallel to 43rd street is the entrance for Associated Artists of Pittsburgh's Lawrenceville gallery space.

Two paths approaching the entrance to AAP's Lawrenceville gallery space located at 100 43rd Street.

 

Accessibility at Associated Artists of Pittsburgh

Mythri Sundar, Museum Studies Intern at Associated Artists of Pittsburgh — Fall 2021

Associated Artists of Pittsburgh (AAP) works to connect visual artists with audiences and displays artists’ work in exhibitions throughout the year and at different locations. With galleries that are free and open to the public, AAP wants to welcome all community members into their spaces. To work toward this goal, my responsibilities as an intern were focused on these questions: What challenges may prevent people from engaging with the arts, and how can arts organizations be responsive and considerate of people’s needs? Under the guidance of Executive Director Madeline L. Gent, I had the opportunity to pursue projects in support of accessibility at AAP.

To begin the process, I researched accessibility practices and looked into multiple Pittsburgh area museums to learn more about the information and accommodations they have available for guests to plan their visit. With these resources as a guide, I came up with a list of recommendations for AAP to strengthen navigation, enjoyment of exhibits, and access to supportive programs. These three areas also informed our creation of the “Visiting and Accessibility” webpage meant to communicate with visitors and encourage further discussion.

As an organization focused on connecting artists and audiences, it is important for AAP to also translate the visual arts into non-visual mediums. We have begun working toward this through the use of image descriptions and alt text in AAP’s social media. Beyond digital spaces, the next goal will be to make AAP’s physical spaces also more accessible to blind and low vision guests. As AAP works on expanding gallery experiences, we will be installing a sign with information on AAP’s purpose and website domain (aapgh.org) where visitors can learn more about the organization and exhibits.

Going forward, I hope that all visitors will feel empowered to share their experiences with AAP knowing that their feedback will have an impact in shaping the gallery culture. In addition, AAP is committed to equity and inclusion, so accommodations that consider safety, mobility, economic and other needs also have an important place in these discussions alongside broader diversity considerations.

To plan a visit to Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, contact the organization, share feedback, or find links to additional resources, please search the website https://www.aapgh.org/accessibility.

Categories: 
  • Academic Interns
  • Undergraduate Work
  • Collecting Knowledge Pittsburgh