Issue: #1
February 2015 
In This Issue
News from the Fields of Disability, Museums, and Historic Preservation
Dear Friends of the Historic House Trust,

The new year brings both new opportunities and challenges for the Jeanette and Paul Wagner Educational Program for Children with Disabilities.  We have completed evaluation and training; implementation of our programs is beginning.  As you will read below, one of the Morris-Jumel Mansion's  programs that we supported has already been implemented and the Old Stone House has scheduled an adaptive theatre program for the Spring.  The Historic House Trust has partnered with Devereux, a leader in assisting individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder develop communication, social, and independence skills needed to realize fulfilling, productive and socially connected lives, to support programs for children with Autism at the Historic House Trust's sites.  With everyone's support this will be a fulfilling year for the activities supported by the Wagner program.


Ansel Lurio
Program Manager - Jeanette and Paul Wagner Educational Program for Children with Disabilities
Historic House Trust of New York City

Where We Are Now
In 2014 the Historic House Trust published an assessmentof handicap accessibility at our sites. Based on this assessment, educators came together for two enrichment sessions: one run by Art Beyond Sight - "Verbal Description and Multi-Sensory Teaching Strategies for Visitors who are Blind or Have Low Vision" and the other by Devereux - "An Autism Spectrum Disorder Enrichment Session."
Devereux to Support Programs for Children with Autism
Devereux is helping to identify the most autism friendly Historic House Trust sites and will offer its expertise to help adapt them in a variety of ways to become more autism-friendly.  This may include advising the sites in the creation of Autism-Friendly Days.  Our partnership with Devereux will help in the development of autism-friendly programming throughout the network of the Historic House Trust's sites.     
Exhibit at Morris-Jumel Mansion Inspiration for Workshops for Individuals with Disabilities
Touch History: An Installation by Kathleen Granados gave visitors the chance to experience and create art in a whole new way. 
From October 15th-December 21st of last year, the Morris-Jumel Mansion presented an exhibit, Touch History: An Installation by Kathleen Granados.  The exhibit was made possible with generous support provided by the Historic House Trust's Jeanette and Paul Wagner Educational Program for Children with Disabilities and Contemporary Art Partnerships, along with the New York State Council on the Arts and the Columbia University Medical Center Neighborhood Fund,  

In conjunction with the exhibit, curated by Jasmine Helm, Curatorial Assistant at the Morris-Jumel Mansion, a series of drop-in touch tours, for individuals who are blind or partially sighted, developed in partnership with Art Beyond Sight. were held.  Participants went on a guided touch tour of Touch History and were able to experience the art, history and textures of the mansion.  In addition to the tours, held throughout November and December, a workshop for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, along with their families, was held on November 22nd.  At the workshop, participants created a soft sculpture with fabric, buttons, and other materials inspired by Touch History and the interiors of the Mansion.
MJ Logo       
"Under The Tree" Play for Children with Autism to be Performed at Old Stone House
Spellbound Theatre will Present "Under the Tree", May 2-3, 2015
This coming May, Spellbound Theatre and the Old Stone House, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts, will present a multi-sensory performance appropriate for families with children on the Autism spectrum. This performance will be tactile, participatory, and rely on visual storytelling and one-on-one connection between performers and audience. The show will have its initial public performance on May 2nd and 3rd. 

Spellbound artists will work with Old Stone House Education Director Maggie Weber and the education staff of the Old Stone House as well as Autism Spectrum Disorder experts from Devereux to create an interactive, multi-sensory performance structure that is appropriate for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Throughout the winter and spring artists will work in residence at the Old Stone House in order to devise, build, and rehearse the show.


The play will be an adaptation of Spellbound Theatre's "Under the Tree", using the previously successful materials, context, and design of this show, but creating an entirely new performance that will integrate best practices of creating Autism-friendly performances as well as the historical context of The Old Stone House and New York State history and environmental education. This project will be appropriate for touring to additional performance sites after the initial public performance at the Old Stone House.                 



Year End Appeal

The Jeanette and Paul Wagner Program for Children with Disabilities was featured in the Historic House Trust's 2014 Year end appeal.  Contributions donated to the Historic House Trust in response to the appeal went directly to the Wagner program.  We thank you for your generous support of this important program.

Ansel Lurio speaks about the Jeanette and Paul Wagner Program for Children with Disabilities.
Wagner Program Partners