Grants and donations bring new accessibility to Interlochen sites

June 25, 2022

Thanks to four non-profit organizations and individual donors, people with hearing loss will be able to better experience the arts at the Interlochen Arts Center.

Rotary charities, The Les and Anne Biederman Foundation, Oleson Foundation, Michigan Council for Arts and Culture, and Interlochen alumnus Robert Wade Anderson have partnered with Interlochen to provide aid systems to audition in seven of the most used public places of the Interlochen Center for the Arts. The $118,000 project will allow guests with varying levels of hearing loss equal participation and inclusion during performances.

Two types of acoustic loop systems will be installed. For larger Interlochen venues with fixed seating, installing a telephone loop or T-coil loop system will magnetically transmit sound from the PA system to hearing aids and/or cochlear implants in the customer. If the customer does not have a Bluetooth-enabled hearing aid, the system comes with a portable receiver. Fixed seating venues for installing T-coil systems include: Kresge Auditorium, the largest performance venue in Interlochen, seating 3,929 patrons in a covered pavilion; Harvey Theatre, a three-quarter theater that seats 173 spectators; the Dendrinos chapel and the recital room, which can accommodate 230 people seated in a pew; Upton-Morley Pavilion, an outdoor performance space with 467 outdoor seats; and The Writing House, with small performance and public reading spaces.

For non-fixed seating venues in Interlochen, an FM T55 wireless hearing aid system will be introduced to enhance cochlear implants and assist those who are hard of hearing but do not wear hearing aids.

Installations will take place over the next four months when the spaces are not in use, with all seven new hearing aid systems in place by September 30, 2022.


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