The MindsEye Arts and Culture Coordinator will be recognized at this year’s American Council of the Blind virtual Conference and Convention
Belleville, IL, June 25th, 2021—MindsEye is proud to announce that Arts and Culture Coordinator Magan Harms is the 2021 recipient of the American Council of the Blind (ACB) Audio Description Achievement Award for an individual in the field of performing arts. This is one of only 9 awards bestowed each year by the ACB Audio Description Project that honor “individuals and/or organizations for outstanding contributions to the establishment and/or continued development of significant audio description programs in each of three areas: media, performing arts, and museums.”
The award will be presented during ACB’s 60th annual conference and convention General Session on July 22, 2021. Harms will accept her award via recorded remarks.
Harms was nominated by MindsEye Audio Description client Erika Wolf and President and CEO Jason Frazier. In the words of Frazier, “Harms’ work showcases her can-do attitude which has allowed audio description to reach people who need it despite the odds stacked against her during a pandemic. Her ingenuity and grit made her an outstanding candidate for this award.”
As Arts & Culture Coordinator for MindsEye, Harms is tasked with ensuring a rich landscape of audio description offerings in the St. Louis metro area encompassing both Missouri and Illinois suburbs. She brings a bachelor’s degree in arts management and years of experience as an audio describer to this role. Under her direction, the Audio Description Program of MindsEye has expanded its presence while developing new methods of reaching patrons alongside better ways of measuring patron satisfaction and the impact of services on the community.
When the pandemic shuttered arts venues in March 2020, the St. Louis region’s audio description offerings dwindled to zero. Knowing that the people who depend on audio description for entertainment and recreation were now isolated in their homes, Harms worked to shift programming to virtual offerings. To do this, Harms developed new techniques for making audio description available outside the standard live broadcast from within a theater. She described The Muny’s virtual summer season, pandemic PSAs, and Metro Theater’s virtual production “Jacked!” She also created recorded descriptions for the Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis’ distanced productions of “A Late Summer Night’s Stroll” and “A Walking X-Mas Carol.”
Over the past year, Harms also developed and debuted a virtual, described ballet class in partnership with Vitality in Motion. This four-session class quickly filled to capacity with people who are blind or have a visual impairment joining from around the country. She has added audio description for the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, for a virtual series at the Missouri Botanical Gardens, and for self-guided tours at the Soldiers Memorial Military Museum. These new innovations have greatly increased the audio description capacity of the St. Louis region.
Please leave a comment below to congratulate Magan on this much-deserved recognition!
To learn about becoming an audio description volunteer, please contact Magan: