The Truth About Inclusion


With our recent move to a larger studio, Arts for All Northern Michigan is preparing to expand our offerings. But first, we want to learn more about our community, connect with our partners and create collective resources that we can all use together.
In order to do that, we’re kicking off a study through early 2020 that seeks to:
  • Engage community members to understand how different groups define *inclusion* (What does inclusion mean to YOU?)
  • Identify arts and cultural community assets, organizations and people engaged in “inclusion-focused” programming (Where are the gems?)
  • Identify barriers, obstacles and needs to inform our programming decisions (Where are the gaps?)

The more we create opportunities to walk alongside individuals with disabilities, the more we can eradicate fear of the unknown and the stigma that accompany it.


Arts for All aims to be a leader in inclusive arts and culture programming, serving and connecting individuals of ALL abilities in our community. We’ll leverage the study for:
  • Inform our program offerings and partnerships (both in-studio and out in the community)
  • Set a new standard of accessibility and inclusivity for our services
  • Develop training resources on inclusion
  • Create customized training for organizations interested in growing with us towards an inclusive community


The study will engage people across the community through focus groups, interviews, and surveys, with a public workshop on our findings in the Winter of 2020.

For updates on the project follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Additional, you can sign up for, Community Connections, our never spammy, always informative version of a newsletter.

Inclusion Study: Progress to Date (Feb. 2020)
 Here are some quick updates on our progress:
  • Identify advisors and partners across the county for initial conversations about the study (including Norte, T.A.R.T. Trails, Inc., TCAPS, TBAISD, Disability Network, Crooked Tree, Oliver Art Center, Dennos Museum, Choice Autism Centers, SEEDS, The Great Lakes Children’s Museum)
  • Present an overview of the study to the 5 -to-1/Great Start Collaborative on January 28 in our first listening session
  • Megan Olds, who is helping engage the community, will be joining us for our Valentine’s Dance on February 13 at the Elks Lodge. For people who want to share their perspectives or learn more about the study, Megan would love to hear your thoughts about inclusion, experiences, and stories