Des Moines Symphony and Academy Performs its First Sensory-Friendly Concert

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DES MOINES, Iowa – The Des Moines Symphony and Academy is hosting its first sensory-friendly concert in the metro.

A sensory-friendly concert is designed for an audience of all ages and abilities, including people who are on the autism spectrum.

Symphony Manager of Beginning Strings and Community Connections Amanda Drish said they researched symphonies across the country before putting together their own here in Des Moines.

“We think it is really, really important that our community is able to access us at their level. We want to meet them halfway, and I think this is the best way we could have done that for them,” Drish said.

The Temple of Performing Arts will have a variety of seating like chairs, bean bags and carpet seating to fit around 150 people.

There will be no bright lights or colors during the performance and people will be able to play with fidget spinners and other hand-held items.

Drish said people are able to bring their own snacks, blankets, noise canceling headphones and other comfort items.

“This is a judgment-free zone. This is an area where the entire family can come and participate in this event, and hear beautiful music by Des Moines Symphony musicians,” Drish said.

The concert is being performed by the Des Moines Symphony String Quartet and is called “Little Johnny & Papa Haydn.” People will hear familiar melodies and songs from both Star Wars and Harry Potter. The show runs about 45 minutes.

Prior to the concert, there is an open house featuring local organizations that offer sensory-friendly activities. Those include: Adventures in Social Drama, Des Moines Art Center, Music Speaks, Science Center of Iowa, Get Air – Trampoline Park, Des Moines Playhouse, Spirit Taekwondo, Des Moines Performing Arts, Monkey Joe’s and Blank Park Zoo.

The sensory-friendly concert is Sunday June 9th at 3:00 p.m. The open house is at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $10.

The Temple For Performing Arts is located at 1011 Locust Street, Des Moines.

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