Sensory Friendly Initiatives

UIS Performing Arts Center is pleased to announce the addition of sensory-friendly events to the performance schedule. These events are designed specifically to be enjoyed by individuals with neurodivergence. 

Last year, UIS Performing Arts Center offered two additional performance events to the Class Acts series for our audience members with sensory needs. After positive feedback and community wide response, we are excited to continue to offer Sensory Friendly programming for the 2023-2024 Staley Class Acts Season.

2023-2024 Season
We are pleased to start our second year of Sensory Friendly programming with two new shows!

To reserve your tickets please call the UIS Ticket Office at (217) 206-6160 or follow the links above.

Positive Caregiver Feedback
Here is what caregivers had to say about Sensory Friendly programming during the 2022-2023 season:

  • “The parking being close helped a great deal. The guidance to where we were going also helped. The smaller setting was not too overwhelming, allowing people to move around, make noises, leave, and come back without everyone staring or looking around.”
  • “(My child) loved going to the auditorium to see live performance without judgement or being asked to leave.”
  • My son and others were truly allowed to be themselves as part of a group listening to great music, and that felt really awesome.”
  • “(Chris Vallillo) was very understanding & accepting. He was great at encouraging all types of participation.”

What is Sensory Friendly Programming at UIS Performing Arts Center?

Our Sensory Friendly shows are offered in our 120-seat UIS Studio Theatre, with limited lighting and sound changes. Audience movement, vocalizations, and ability to come and go as needed is welcomed and encouraged.

Sensory Inclusive Kulture City Badge for 2024
Additionally, the UIS Performing Arts Center has partnered with KultureCity® to enhance our ability to assist and accommodate guests with sensory needs. Our goal is to provide an inclusive experience for all guests during all events. We strive to raise awareness of the needs and challenges faced by individuals with sensory processing needs by supplying our staff with annual training and by offering the resources and accommodations below to our guests.

KultureCity® Sensory bags
KultureCity® Sensory bags containing special KCVIP badges, feeling thermometer, fidget tools, and noise-canceling headphones are available for checkout (at no cost by leaving an ID) at our Guest Services Desk located on the House Left side of the lobby.

Weighted Lap Pads
Weighted lap pads are available upon request (at no cost by leaving an ID) at our Guest Services Desk located on the House Left side of the lobby or by speaking to a UIS PAC staff member.

Quiet Areas
Quiet areas are located at the corner lounges rear the House Right and House Left sides of the lobby and are marked by signage.

Social Story and KultureCity® App
Download the KultureCity® App to get your social story to help you further with your visit to the UIS Performing Arts Center.

Special thanks go to local partners The Hope School, The Hope Autism Clinic, Behavioral Perspectives, and Springfield Public Schools Family and Community Engagement/Springfield Parents for Students with Disabilities for continuing to support the UIS Performing Arts Center in reaching audiences for these events

These videos can help all guests of the UIS Performing Arts Center understand what they will experience when they attend an event.

UIS Studio Theatre attendance experience

Sangamon Auditorium attendance experience