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Experience the Center in a Relaxed Environment

Midland Center for the Arts is committed to providing a supportive and welcoming environment that makes live performance and our museums accessible to those with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), developmental and physical disabilities, sensory processing disorders, PTSD, and for other sensory-sensitive people with their families.

Upcoming Relaxed Events

Holiday Art Fair

NOV 20 & 21, 2021

Kick off the holiday shopping season as we are excited to bring Holiday Art Fair back indoors at Midland Center for the Arts! Featuring over 30 local artists and vendors, this more intimate version of our annual tradition features booths of artists, festive treats and a visit from the one and only Santa Claus! Take home one-of-a-kind art, handmade items and special gifts for the holiday season.

Individual and families with sensory-sensitivities can access a social story here to prepare for their experience at the Holiday Art Fair!

Holiday Pops with the Midland Symphony Orchestra

December 11, 2021 / 3:00 pm

Doors open at 2:45 pm for seating

Broadway star Erica Spyres hosts this annual Center tradition. You may remember Erica from her performance as Carrie Pipperidge in 2020’s Carousel – the last event featured on our stage prior to the pandemic shutdown. Join us for her triumphant return to sing holiday favorites and songs from her career onstage. Erica appeared on Broadway and on tour in Once and Carousel, and has been featured regionally in Company, Annie Get Your Gun, The Mikado, Camelot and more. The Midland Symphony will also be joined by Choirs of the Center singing all of your favorite holiday tunes!

Learn more about Relaxed Performances with this Q&A

Download our Holiday Pops Social Story to help prepare for your Center experience!

Listen to the songs you’ll hear during the concert!


What is a Relaxed Performance?

Relaxed performances feature the same content and performers as other performances of a show, with some simple changes to the environment, including:

  • Lower light and sound levels, with special effects like strobe lights and smoke removed
  • House lights kept at a low level to allow movement around the auditorium
  • House doors are kept open; audience members are welcome to stand, move around, and leave as need be
  • Audience members are welcome to bring their own manipulatives, seat cushions, comfort objects, headphones, electronics, special snacks, and other support items to the show.
  • A designated Take-A-Break Space available with quiet activities near the theater
  • Trained volunteers on hand
  • A Social Story that portrays the theatre-going experience with pictures and text
  • A scene-by-scene summary of the plot of the show or a playlist of the concert repertoire
  • The performance is a shush-free zone - audience members can talk quietly or express themselves freely during the performance

Sensory Friendly Backpacks

We wish to create a positive environment for people of all sensory needs when visiting the Museum of Science & Art and attending Midland Center performances. Sensory Friendly Backpacks are available to check-out during your experience. Just ask Guest Services when you arrive!

Sensory Friendly Backpacks include:
  • Social narrative
  • Stress ball
  • Fidget toy
  • Water toy
  • Noise-dampening headphones