Michigan Alliance for Cultural Accessibility Formed by DIA, DSO, The Henry Ford, and Other Institutions


Cultural institutions in southeast Michigan Monday announced they have partnered to form the Michigan Alliance for Cultural Accessibility. The alliance’s focus is to become more accessible to the surrounding community.

Founding institutions include The Henry Ford, Michigan Science Center, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Zoological Society, Detroit Historical Society, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Arab American National Museum, Edsel and Eleanor Ford House, and Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum. CultureSource is also a supporting partner.

“We want all members of our community to experience the museum fully,” says Salvador Salort-Pons, director of the DIA.  “We are pleased to be in partnership with these other cultural institutions to ensure people of all abilities have easy and comfortable access to the rich cultural resources in our region.”

While the alliance now focuses on providing better access to all of its guests, it was initially formed to collaborate on programming for guests with autism. The participating institutions plan to share resources and experience, leverage expertise, refine best practices, and build institutional capacity for guests with special needs.

“It is only natural for us to join forces with the Michigan Alliance for Cultural Accessibility as we work hard every day to create and sustain an accessible and inclusive environment for our guests, staff, and volunteers and a workforce that represents our community,” says Ron Kagan, executive director and CEO of the Detroit Zoological Society. “Just as we value, are committed to, and celebrate the diversity of the animal world, we also value and are committed to the wonderful diversity of our human communities.”

Representatives from the institutions involved plan to meet quarterly to share best practices and ways of enhancing accessibility, and take ideas back to their respective institutions.

The alliance hopes to increase the number and variety of institutions involved, and expand available resources and learning opportunities.

“We work every day to be an inclusive and culturally relevant community gathering place where all people can experience their world through music,” says Anne Parsons, president and CEO of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. “Our values clearly align with the goals of the MACA, and we are eager to work with our fellow cultural organizations to further expand access to the arts and improve the quality of life for all in southeast Michigan.”

CultureSource is a member association for nonprofit arts and cultural organizations serving Oakland, Wayne, Macomb, Washtenaw, Livingston, Monroe, and St. Clair counties.

More information can be found at the alliance webpage here.

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