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Audio-Reader receives grant to help fund braille program guide, other projects

Thursday, January 14, 2016

LAWRENCE – The University of Kansas Audio-Reader Network, a reading and information service for the blind and print-disabled, has received a $9,324 grant from the Ethel and Raymond Rice Foundation. The grant will help fund Audio-Reader’s Braille Program Guide, closed-circuit radios for Audio-Reader listeners, and it will pay for Audio Description training for both Audio-Reader and Spencer Museum of Art staff and volunteers.

This grant from the Rice Foundation will help both agencies ensure that cultural events, such as local theater and exhibitions at the museum, will be accessible to individuals who are blind and visually impaired. In training, future audio describers will learn how to describe the visual elements of theater or a work of art. Representatives from both organizations are excited about this collaboration, which will have a positive effect on visually impaired KU students and the many people living with blindness and low vision in surrounding communities.

“The Spencer Museum of Art is honored for this opportunity to partner with the staff at KU Audio-Reader to expand the services offered by both organizations. With training in audio description, Spencer staff and volunteers will be equipped to improve accessibility of our collections and programs for individuals with visual impairment and able to provide more enriching art experiences for all of our visitors,” said Saralyn Reece Hardy, Spencer Museum of Art Marilyn Stokstad Director. 

Support from the Rice Foundation will also benefit the individuals who receive Audio-Reader’s Braille Program guide, allows listeners who are blind to choose when to listen to their local newspaper or the next installment of a book on the Audio-Reader broadcast. Funds will also help Audio-Reader purchase closed-circuit radios which will be used by Audio-Reader listeners to access Audio-Reader programs. 

“We are very grateful to the Ethel and Raymond Rice Foundation for its continued support and for ensuring that both Audio-Reader programs and local cultural events will be accessible to our listeners,” said Dan Skinner, Audio-Reader Executive Director. 

Broadcasting 24 hours a day, seven days a week from the KU campus, the Kansas Audio-Reader Network provides free readings of newspapers, books and magazines to thousands of listeners in Kansas, Missouri and beyond. For more information about Audio-Reader, visit reader.ku.edu or call (785) 864-4600.

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Museum Events

Red Hot Research: Graduate Edition
Friday, November 17 | 4 p.m.-5:30 a.m.
The Commons, Spooner Hall, 1340 Jayhawk Blvd.
Red Hot Research brings together scholars from all disciplines, speaking for six minutes each in Pecha Kucha–inspired presentations. Audience members are encouraged to connect with the speakers and each other during breaks. This session features graduate student research.

Slow Art Sunday: Amida Buddha (Amitabha) 
Sunday, November 19 | 2 p.m.-3 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Gallery 407, 1301 Mississippi St
Slow down at the Spencer and spend time getting to know one great work of art. Slow Art Sunday features one work for visitors to contemplate and converse about with Museum staff. In November, get to know Amida Buddha (Amitabha).

Performance: Aspects of Liszt 
Sunday, November 19 | 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Gallery 317, Sam and Connie Perkins Central Court, 1301 Mississippi St
Distinguished Emmy-winning author, critic, radio and film producer David Dubal joins KU international concert artist Steven Spooner in an afternoon of piano music from the era of the Spencer Museum’s origins and fascinating commentary on the legendary Franz Liszt. This concert is part of the Museum’s centennial celebration of our collection.

Day After Thanksgiving Program: Magic Marbles 
Friday, November 24 | 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
The National Museum of Toys/Miniatures, 5235 Oak St. Kansas City, MO
It’s a day of marble magic with fun for the entire family. Explore the museum’s special exhibit Playing for Keeps: The VFW Marble Tournaments, 1947-1962, and try your hand at “knuckling down” during a marble lesson. Then, pick out your own marble and turn it into a piece of wearable art to take home with you. Included with museum admission.

Global Film Festival
Thursday, November 30 | 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Rm. 309 1301 Mississippi St
Curated by first-year students, the Global Film Festival features four films exploring ideas in Spencer Museum exhibitions. This film is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Power Clashing: Clothing, Collage, and Contemporary Identities. The film will be announced on the Museum’s website.

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