Thursday, March 08, 2007

Audio tour is now another option available to the visually impaired

A special audio tour of the Monmouth County Arts Council (MCAC) Juried Art Show will allow audiences with low vision or visual impairments to enjoy a firsthand experience of the art exhibit.
Thanks to the generosity of Community Foundation of Monmouth County, the New Jersey Blind Citizen Association, in collaboration with MCAC, has created and donated an audio description of the MCAC 28th annual Juried Art Show and Sale.

Providing the technology to record and edit the audio tour, Tom Brennan of 90.5 The Night was instrumental in MCAC's initiative to enable many more people with sight loss or impairments to enjoy the art exhibit, according to a press release.

"When organizations team up to deliver services to the community, everyone benefits from the experience," said Mary Eileen Fouratt, MCAC executive director. "While the MCAC Juried Art Show has always been an accessible event, this year the show's audio description will be equally engaging for people with visual impairments and anyone who wants a description of the art in the exhibit."

The audio description, which runs about 18 minutes, concentrates on relaying information on the show, juror and artists, as well as the visual appeal of the artwork.

Narrated by Sue Ferraro, an art teacher at Camp Happiness, the audio tour describes not only the visual aspects of the work, but also its emotional context. In addition, several sculptors have granted permission to allow visually impaired visitors to touch their artwork.

"We are pleased to have this opportunity to serve the blind and visually impaired community directly," Fouratt said. "We hope that the audio description will enhance their imaginations and increase their enjoyment of the exhibit."

Listening devices are available at the Monmouth Museum or art enthusiasts can audio tour the exhibit online at MCAC's Internet Web site or download the audio description to their own mp3 player. Works will continue to be on display and available for purchase until the end of the exhibition on March 4.

The Monmouth Museum, 765 Newman Springs Road (Route 520), Lincroft, is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. Admission is $6 per person; Monmouth Museum members and children under 2 are free.

For more information or group visits contact the museum at (732) 747-2266.


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