The Hobby Center Foundation developed the Autism Theatre Initiative to increase accessibility to the performing arts. The first performance was an incredibly successful presentation of Disney’s The Lion King on July, 28, 2012, specifically for individuals on the autism spectrum and their families. Houston and the Hobby Center was the first city to provide an autism friendly performance of a nationally touring production. Since then, the Foundation has also provided sensory friendly performances of both the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and Disney’s Aladdin.
The Foundation has expanded this initiative into its long-running Discovery Series program which offers free performances in our smaller theater, Zilkha Hall to Houston students.
These performance experiences are specifically tailored for those with sensory sensitivities and their families and create a welcoming and supportive environment. Accommodations are made to allow for a more relaxed and inclusive experience. As a Foundation we are focused on making these presentations both sensory-friendly but also financially feasible and accessible to those who might otherwise not be able to afford a such performances.
The Foundation’s efforts to serve this community led to recognition as one of the eighteen most autism-friendly businesses in the Greater Houston area from Action Behavior Centers.
With the help of the Houston community, we can continue to serve a traditionally underserved community in arts presentation.