Virginia Voice’s audio describers at a Science Museum of Virginia’s IMAX movie

Ben Dacus, Director of Creative Services at Zeigler/Dacus Marketing Communications
“Art and music have always been a centerpiece for my life. My career is all about creating, and I play guitar and sing on occasion. So, when CultureWorks approached me in 2009 to serve on its board, I was most flattered to be a part of an organization whose goals and efforts are to create a stronger ecosystem in the Richmond area for artists and art/culture organizations.”

A mom brought her three daughters all the way from Harrisonburg to Virginia Repertory Theatre for a Children’s Theatre performance. The whole family was excited to see the show. But what’s so extraordinary about this event is two of her children are blind.

Thanks to Virginia Voice’s Live Audio Description for Theater, this family was able to “see” a live performance together for the very first time. Virginia Voice’s innovative wireless technology allows audio describers, who are back stage, to explain what’s happening on stage (in between the actors’ dialogue) to those without sight.

This technology was made possible by CultureWorks, a nonprofit that inspires, enables, and cultivates world-class arts and culture in RVA. CultureWorks’ funding helped Virginia Voice not only purchase the equipment, but also hire and train staff, train volunteers, and provide the audio services for six different performances. Virginia Voice is now also using this technology with other organizations like SPARC (watch for their own #SpreadtheGoodwill story) and the Science of Museum of Virginia.

After the Virginia Rep performance, the mother from Harrisonburg overhead one of her daughters without sight enthusiastically describing the play to a friend. This seemingly ordinary conversation exemplified the significance of the event to her mom.

Says Jim Wark, CEO of Virginia Voice: “We’re so proud to be working with CultureWorks in bringing this impactful new program to families.”

Help inspire, enable and cultivate world-class arts and culture in RVA by volunteering and donating to CultureWorks.