Allan Fraser

The UP Inclusive Design Initiative of the Massachusetts Cultural Council

Blog Post created by Allan Fraser Employee on Feb 15, 2017

On February 7, 2017 the UP Inclusive Design Initiative conducted the second session of its Universal Participation program the Mass Cultural Council. The MCC stewards the arts economy throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts through funding of organizations, artists, cultural facilities, cultural districts, and local cultural councils. The UP Initiative supports organizations seeking to understand “access” beyond architectural compliance and with professional development workshops, helps develop institutional policies for building capacity and engagement strategies.


Organizations apply to be a part of a series of workshops – the Innovation and Learning Network (ILN) – and over the course of 5 sessions, introduces the practice of Universal Design in policy, communication, information, social, digital, and physical environments. There is much that crosses session “boundaries”, but repetition is good for emphasis!


In this second class, speakers addressed policy and attitude environments. Speakers were talking about emergency planning, education, and staff training.


The class was attended by people representing the following organizations:


  • ArtsEmerson (performance venue, producing theatre, school, multiple venues),
  • Boston by Foot (pedestrian walking tours – Boston),
  • Grub Street (writers workshop – Boston),
  • Hancock Shaker Village (historic learning museum – Pittsfield),
  • Highfield Hall and Gardens (historic venue – Falmouth),
  • Jewish Film Fest REELABILITIES (film fest, multi venues),
  • Lyric Stage of Boston (producing theatre – Boston),
  • Mass MOCA (Museum – mill renovation, multiple buildings- North Adams),
  • Pioneer Valley Ballet (ballet school – East Hampton), and
  • Zeiterion Theatre (Performance venue: New Bedford)




Speakers included:


  •  Allan B. Fraser, Senior Building Code Specialist, National Fire Protection Association Allison Posey, EdM, Curriculum Design Specialist, CAST  Until Learning Has No Limits
  • Donna Folan, Until Tomorrow Productions, Universal Design for Learning , Teaching Artist & Consultant
  • Judy Berk, Cultural Access Consortium, Staff Training & Consultation
  • Steve Slowinski, National Inclusion Manager / Communications Manager, Partners for Youth with Disabilities
  • Charles G. Baldwin, UP Inclusive Design Initiative, Massachusetts Cultural Council


Despite the awful weather that day, for both this program and a little parade for the New England Patriots just a block over, the enthusiasm for both was inspiring.