Gravity Access Services offer a range of services to make live performance more accessible to audience members with diverse sensory modalities and physicalities. These include live and recorded Audio Description services, pre-show Haptic Access Tours, ASL referral services, Site Visits, Media Assessments and General Accessibility consulting to assess and advise artists, producers, venues and events on best practices for making their presentations as accessible as possible.
Audio Description provides access to the visual elements – action, costumes, settings, gestures, facial expressions, objects and other visually communicative elements – of theater, dance or live art performances, television/film screenings, museum exhibitions, academic or industry presentations, even sporting events. Almost any event that has a meaningful visual component can be made more accessible thru Audio Description. Audio Description (AD) is usually a live audio track spoken by one of Gravity’s Professional Audio Describers to patrons with visual impairments through a wireless headset system, but the service may also be pre-recorded if appropriate.
Gravity’s Audio Description Team is comprised of performers, themselves professional dancers and actors trained by Gravity Artistic Director Jess Curtis to provide clear and engaging descriptions of the meaningful visual details of a performance that might otherwise be inaccessible to audience members with visual impairments.
For live productions Gravity’s service includes the use of our wireless headset system and a muffled microphone setup suitable for use in small venues and rooms without sound separated tech facilities.
For productions with a longer presentation life or videos, Gravity can also produce recorded audio description tracks in collaboration with the artists involved.
In tandem with the audio description Gravity helps to construct and present a live pre-show tour that allows patrons to haptically (thru touch, their own movement, hearing and kinesthetic senses) experience the space, performers, costumes and objects in addition to key movement elements in the performance. Usually lasting 20 to 30 minutes and ending 30 minutes before house opening, these tours lay a multi-sensory foundation to support the audio description service and are intended to focus on access for patrons with visual impairments The Haptic Acces Tour is not generally offered to curious sighted patrons who are not accompanying a visually impaired person, although on occasion we offer, by pre-arrangement, an example Tour that is open to the greater public in order to share the practice with other artists or theater managers or audience members, but this is only by pre-arrangement
As part of Gravity’s services, our associate, blind activist, and visual access consultant, Tiffany Taylor, will assess the PR/Marketing and other materials connected to your event (such as box office website, evening program formats, etc.) and offer accessible solutions to make sure all audience members have access to all the services and information surrounding your event.
Gravity is excited to offer these services to help you make your events more accessible to diverse audiences. We are striving to provide an affordable, mobile service at a reasonable cost so that smaller, independent venues, producers, and artists are able to provide access to more diverse communities. We hope to make live contemporary performance more accessible to people across a range of sensory modalities and physicalities and to advance Bay Area practices of access accommodation in the performing arts.
Gravity associate and Deaf Access Consultant Zahna Simon, can advise on best practices for ASL interpretation for performance and refer you to independent ASL interpreters that you may engage directly for your event.
Gravity can also assess and advise on Deaf Access in your Front of House Operations; the PR/Marketing and other materials connected to your event (such as box office practices, TTY accessibility etc.) and offer accessible solutions—such as ASL signed video announcements and references to lists of D/deaf social media groups to make sure all audience members have access to information surrounding your event.
There is a vast difference between being ADA compliant and providing an accessible experience that makes patrons with disabilities feel welcome in your venue. Gravity Access associates Bonnie Lewkowicz and Judith Smith (co-founders AXIS Dance Company), offer on-site access inventories, PR/Marketing assessments and staff/volunteer trainings to advise on ways that your space and your staff can competently welcome physically diverse audiences to your events. Issues to be addressed include organizational disability readiness, respectful language and courteous hosting practices.
Gravity can assist and advise your PR and Marketing staff on accessible practices and also provide your organization with lists of community organizations for your outreach efforts. However, simply hiring us and offering Audio Description for the first time does not guarantee that blind and visually impaired audiences will immediately begin attending your events.
Committing to regular accessible programming and engaging in some specific outreach to sensorially diverse communities is essential to developing a relationship to patrons with diverse sensory modalities and physicalities. Gravity associates are available to consult and advise to help you connect with communities and service organizations that may be interested in collaborating to spread the word that you are offering accessible performance.
Pop Up Performance Project
Pop Up Performance Project
Woman is God to Woman is an interdisciplinary disruption of public space using song, masquerade, movement, and live music. Critically embodying the mythic “mad woman” archetype in the context of Igbo maiden spirit traditions, the work of Christina Sharpe, and her own personal memories, C. Chibueze Crouch will perform at the Fillmore Center Plaza, next to an open air farmer’s market. Chibueze's performance ritual-in-progress is a nuanced investigation of Diasporic placement and radical agency for the liminal hyper-legible being, as constrained by the hegemonic constructs of miscegenation.
:: DATE + TIME ::
Saturday, December 15, 2018
:: COST + LOCATION ::
@ Fillmore Center Plaza
1475 Fillmore Street, SF, CA 94115
Click here for exact location Google Maps
:: ACCESSIBILITY ::
The event space is wheelchair accessible. The event will take place outside in public space. Gravity will not be providing chairs. Gravity will not be providing sign language interpretation or audio description for this event.
:: ABOUT THE ARTIST ::
C. Chibueze Crouch is a performer, teaching artist and (grant) writer born and raised in the East Coast. She is currently based in the Ohlone territory known as Oakland, CA. Chibueze's multidisciplinary creative praxis is grounded in theater, postcolonial feminist theory, villages, original song // music, and interdependent relationships between land & community.
:: FUNDING ::
Jess Curtis/Gravity's Pop Up Performance Project is supported by Grants for the Arts and individual donors.
The Pop-up Performance Project (PPP) is just what it sounds like: pop up performances.
Conceived by Artistic Director Jess Curtis as an opportunity for emerging artists to bring experimental material into public view to share with accidental audiences on San Francisco streets, plazas and parks. Gravity pays a small fee to 3 artists a year to present durational performance events at bustling sites presenting performance as a public resource and encouraging artists to bring their work outside to non-traditional performance sites.
To date Gravity has presented artists in projects throughout San Francisco, including:
Randy Reyes with Gabriel Christian - encuentro cuarenta y tres, or orgy for my lungs at Pier 43 Ferry Arch
Nicholas Navarro/Pseuda - Love Eternal a durational walking procession beginning at The Stud Bar (event info)
Gabriel Christian - Looking? a procession through The Castro
Rachael Dichter - Watch Me Watch You Watch Him throughout Market Street
Maria Francesca Scaroni, Tove Sahlin, and Empress Jupiter - *** and Oracles at UN Plaza
The Empress Jupiter and Jess Curtis - Prototype This presented by CounterPulse at Market Street Prototyping Festival
Mica Sigourney - Excerpt with Maryam Rostami
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Minoosh Zamora - Side by Side at Union Square
Jack Davis - Faggots in the Labyrinth at The Labyrinth at Land’s End
Claire Cunningham and Jess Curtis - excerpt from The Way You Look (at me) Tonight at The 16th & Mission BART Plaza
Ue Chua - Serendipity at Ferry Building Plaza as part of Bay Area Dance Week
PPP is set up to make a minimal administrative demand on the artists involved, the selected works are curated by Jess Curtis and artists are provided a simple $500 fee plus professional documentation of the event, with the intent that they bring work they are currently working on or processes they are currently engaged in that might benefit from being shown in a non-theatrical context.
Gravity is currently in a pilot-phase of our recently initiated fiscal sponsorship program as we ascertain the time and resources necessary to provide this service and determine how many artists we are able to serve.
Sponsees receive the ability to receive institutional and tax-deductible donations under the umbrella of Gravity’s 501c3 non-profit status, financial oversight, and related accounting services. Sponsees are selected with regard to their alignment with Gravity’s mission, community, and aesthetic priorities.
Current fiscally sponsored projects include Abby Crain Projects, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, jose e abad and Yuba Libre.
In 2017/18 Gravity will be expanding our family of fiscally sponsored projects to include 3 more bringing them to a total of 5.
In combination with, our fiscal sponsorship program, Gravity offers mentorship support to the artists we serve, providing information and consulting on everything from overall funding strategies to the nit-picky specifics of creating budgets and fill out grant forms.
Beyond these artists, Artistic Director Jess Curtis, provides numerous artists annually with a variety of mentorship services ranging from critical feedback on work to advice about getting their work out into the world particularly drawing from his extensive experience with international touring, teaching and co-production.
Gravity regularly partners with Bay Area venues such as CounterPulse and the SFMOMA to financially support the presentation of internationally important contemporary artists that we believe it is important for Bay Area audiences to see.
To date Gravity co-presentations have brought such artists as: