[note: this page is still a baby / work-in-progress!! please be kind; aiming to “launch” summer 2022, at which time it’ll be listed in the menu & you can judge harder. wanna help? hit me up at email@example.com, subject line “ACCESS”]
[skip to detailed venue list here]
a brief preamble on access
we know this: nyc is TRASH for people with disabilities. none of us want to continue these fucked up disparities in our creative communities, but because most of nyc is inaccessible, accessible spaces tend to be more expensive—meaning those without cash often don’t have the means to rent them.
if it sounds like i’m engaging in preemptive apologetics, that’s because i am: the goal here is to provide info on access in music venues, not shame DIY spaces for lacking capital or valorize institutions that pay their way to goodwill. all that said (& said at greater length at bottom, lol), what weird music spaces are accessible in nyc, & to what degree?
♿︎ ACCESSIBLE VENUES
detailed breakdowns HERE.
what info should we track?
there are MANY factors affecting who can/can’t access an event. our questions include, can a wheelchair user enter this space? do they need to notify someone prior to their arrival? how hard will it be to get to the venue in the first place; is there a wheelchair-accessible subway station nearby? even if the main space is accessible, can wheelchair users access other spaces, such as a backyard or rooftop? are there ADA-compliant bathrooms? changing stations? does the venue provide contact information for questions about accessibility? do they include this info on their website?
below is the info we’re starting to (try to!) find/record on this page, relevant both for prospective audience members & performers. if you have thoughts about priority items, plz let me know! firstname.lastname@example.org, subject line “accessibility.
+ single or multi-user, gendered
+ baby changing station
• xx miles from *
• Bus connections:
* only listing stations with an elevator, at least as recorded here: https://new.mta.info/accessibility/stations
sites like this
do you know of another resource compiling or providing this kind of information? let me know (email@example.com) so i can compare notes & pass on what we’ve got! here are projects i know about:
Half Access // “Half Access is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to making live music accessible. Our database provides accessibility info on any and all venues to help prepare disabled folks on what to expect before arriving at a show, and will be used by us to work with venues on improving accessibility in their spaces. … Looking to get more involved with Half Access? We’d love to have you as a Volunteer!” Click: Half Access Volunteer Form
Is This Venue Accessible // “The purpose of “Is This Venue Accessible?” is to provide detailed information about accessibility at music venues. I hope it also draws attention to the fact that many show spaces–both DIY and non-DIY–are inaccessible, and maybe somehow we can help change that.” // inactive, but great 2015 liz pelly coverage <here>
[i love our town, but it is at times a garbage fire:] a lengthier post-amble on access
[i wrote all these words & they were v distracting at the top but i don’t feel like deleting them yet soooo here we go ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ if you’re reading this, that’s quite a personal choice lol]
we know this: nyc is TRASH for people with disabilities.
one of the biggest issues is just GETTING AROUND: our subway system is one of the least accessible major transit systems in the world (check this sobering comptroller’s report for breakdowns); where elevators exist, they’re often busted; the buses are a shitshow & Access-a-Ride is a joke; the “vast majority” of our traffic signals are inaccessible to those with visual impairments, & our sidewalks are “an obstacle course”. if you’ve ever maneuvered a stroller through one of the zillion stations without an elevator, you may have been devastated but were certainly not surprised by the death of 22-year-old Malaysia Goodson, who fell down a flight of stairs while carrying one with her daughter, a horrific accident that renewed conversations around the MTA’s lack of access as a reproductive justice issue.
none of us want to continue these fucked up disparities in our creative communities, but… MONEY. even developers with cash aren’t building inclusive spaces, probably because the city as a whole hasn’t done shit about its mountains of ada-related lawsuits; last year a nyt piece promisingly titled “Finding a Home that Can Accommodate a Disability” may have achieved the impressive feat of pissing people off more than their usual real estate trash fire fare (turns out the solution for that particular 34-year-old man was just paying $2400/month in rent 🙃).
because most of nyc is inaccessible, accessible spaces tend to be more expensive… and those without a truckload of cash often don’t have the means to rent them. it’s gonna be tough to find a DIY spot that can be reached via wheelchair for the same reason that very few of our homes can be reached that way: who can afford a place with an elevator??? the DIY-world aside, even most “legit” art spaces are facing hella costs & back rent right now because, oh right, the fuckin pandemic.
if it sounds like i’m engaging in preemptive (…down here i guess post-emptive??) apologetics, that’s because i am, lol: i want to start providing info on access in music venues, but i’m not trying to shame DIY spaces for lacking capital or valorize institutions that pay their way to goodwill. to take an extreme case, i’m not here to applaud carnegie hall for either their elevators or their afrofuturism festival; i’m glad those things exist in ways that benefit people i care about, but i recognize that ultimately the institution itself is an irredeemable cesspool that exists to benefit the rich (mostly) dudes on its board. (whatever, you chose to read a rant ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)