Portland’5 partners with KultureCity for sensory-friendly venue certification

Photo: Sensory inclusive location sign on door of Hatfield Hall with Portland sign reflection

November 21st, 2019 – Portland, OR

Portland’5 Centers for the Arts has partnered with KultureCity to make Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Keller Auditorium, Newmark Theatre, Winningstad Theatre, and Brunish Theatre, and all of the programs and events that they host, to be sensory inclusive. This new initiative will promote an accommodating and positive experience for all guests and fans with a sensory issue that visit the Portland’5 venues.

The certification process entailed the staff of Portland’5 Centers for the Arts being trained by leading medical professionals on how to recognize those guests and fans with sensory needs and how to handle a sensory overload situation. Sensory bags, equipped with noise cancelling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards and weighted lap pads will also be available to all guests of Portland’5 Centers for the Arts who may feel overwhelmed by the environment. Sensory bags and lap pads can be found at the coat check window of each venue.

Photo: Portland'5-Kulture City sensory inclusive bag and contents

Sensory sensitivities or challenges with sensory regulation are often experienced by individuals with autism, dementia, PTSD and other similar conditions. One of the major barriers for these individuals is sensitivity to over stimulation and noise, which is an enormous part of the environment in a venue like Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall or Keller Auditorium. With its new certification, Portland’5 Centers for the Arts is now better prepared to assist guests with sensory sensitivities in having the most comfortable and accommodating experience possible when attending any event at the five downtown venues.

“To know that you soon will be able to see families attend a theatrical event, a true community binding experience, with their loved ones who have a sensory challenge and who were not able to previously attend, is truly a heartwarming moment. Our communities are what shape our lives and to know that Portland’5 Centers for the Arts is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, is included in their community is amazing.” Traci Johnson, Executive Director, KultureCity.

KultureCity is a leading non-profit recognized nationwide for using their resources to revolutionize and effect change in the community for those with sensory needs; not just those with autism. In the past year alone, KultureCity has created several sensory inclusive venues and events including the NFL Pro-Bowl, NFL Super Bowl, MLB All Star Weekend, 18 NBA arenas, 6 NFL stadiums, 5 NHL arenas 3 MLB arenas, and countless zoos, science centers and aquariums across the nation.

Guests that have any questions, or who may require additional accommodations to better enjoy their visit can contact Portland’5 Centers for the Arts at 503-248-4335, by email at info@portland5.com, or by visiting the Portland'5 website.

Photo: Coat check in Hatfield Hall with "sensory bags here" sign and sensory bag on counter

November 21, 2019