Art-Reach creates, advocates for and expands accessible opportunities in the arts so the full spectrum of society is served.

Vision

Art-Reach envisions a world where people with disabilities and from low-income communities have equitable access to the arts. We work with the cultural community to ensure that opportunity exists for all people, and in doing so we lift Philadelphia up to become a national model for cultural accessibility.

The back of Art-Reach staff member Charlie Miller, wearing an Art-Reach t-shirt with accessibility icons on it.

Art-Reach is guided by these four core values:

 

Welcome to Art Reach

Art-Reach believes that art is a human right, and that opportunities to engage with the arts should be available to all. 

Art-Reach believes in the social model of disability; that experiences and structures can be designed to maximize participation for everyone.

Art-Reach believes in the idea ‘nothing about us, without us’, and invites underserved communities to be part of its planning, execution, and evaluation.

Art-Reach believes that participation in the arts is critical to learning, growth and personal fulfillment. 

History

Founded in 1986, Art-Reach was born out of an equal desire to fill theatre and performance spaces to capacity and increase participation in the arts for people with disabilities. Art-Reach set out to make unfulfilled tickets available to people who never had the opportunity to see a play, dance performance or go to a museum. A wide gap existed between the disability community and the cultural engagement sector. Art-Reach was founded to bridge this gap.

By 2006 Art-Reach’s programs were building momentum and their position in Philadelphia’s cultural landscape was growing. From 2006–2011, Art-Reach built participatory arts programs with artists visiting Member locations as well as educational programs at our cultural sites—allowing the people we serve to move from observation to participation.

In 2014 Art-Reach launched ACCESS Admission, marking its first city-wide public initiative. ACCESS Admission allows Philadelphia’s low-income community to attend area museums for $2 a person. Thousands of ACCESS cardholders enage with the program every month and the potential for the ACCESS Admission continues to grow at a record pace.

The work of Art-Reach today has grown beyond the flagship Ticketing Program to include curated experiences, large scale collaborative initiatives, unified dialog, training, advocacy and social change.

For over 30 years, Art-Reach has evolved into a multi-faceted organization which expands cultural opportunities for over 100,000 people annually.