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PCAA's Jess Benham works with the Warhol on Sensory Friendly Events

posted Aug 25, 2016, 10:29 AM by Jessica Benham   [ updated Sep 13, 2016, 7:17 AM ]
In July, Autistic adults gathered at the Warhol on a Friday night for a free sensory friendly event featuring a tour with Donald Warhola, Andy Warhol's nephew, and a chance to experience screen printing and watercolor in the art studio. Among the attendees were PCAA's Executive Cori Frazer and Director of Public Policy Jess Benham. While some aspects of the event, such as the loud HVAC system and other noisy patrons, could not be controlled by the museum's staff, the event was pleasant and thoughtfully-envisioned. Noise-canceling headphones and stim toys were provided by the museum and quiet areas established as places of refuge from the noise. The following Saturday morning, teens and young adults gathered for a similar event, likewise successful. 

The Pittsburgh Center for Autistic Advocacy is proud to have been a part of the success of these events and recognizes the Warhol for effectively including Autistic individuals in the planning process for the events. Ms. Benham sits on the Advisory Committee on Autism Sensitive Programming, the group responsible for planning the events under the leadership of Leah Morelli, the school programs coordinator at the Warhol. Benham comments, "Leah is respectful of Autistic culture and does everything within her power to ensure that Autistic people feel comfortable and welcome in the museum." PCAA looks forward to continuing to support the Warhol in outreach to the Autistic community, and we are excited about the sensory-friendly events upcoming in October: October 8th 10 AM-12PM for young adults and teens (14-21) and October 7th 7 PM-9 PM (21+). Email Leah Morelli at morellil@warhol.org or call 412-237-8389 to register. 

Image description: A black and see-through image of a smiling Jess Benham (a white woman with short hair, wearing a necklace and a sweater) from the waist up is overlaid onto a  yellow sheet of paper with circular pieces of purple, blue, and green paper entwined and glued onto it. 


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Jessica Benham,
Sep 13, 2016, 7:17 AM
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Jessica Benham,
Sep 13, 2016, 7:17 AM
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