The Union for Contemporary Art and EnChroma Improve Arts Experience for Color Blind Visitors
For Immediate Release
September 18, 2023
(Omaha, NE) The Union for Contemporary Art is the first organization in the state of Nebraska to offer EnChroma glasses for colorblind people. The glasses are equipped with special lenses designed to help those with red-green Color Vision Deficiency (CVD) experience colors.
As an organization dedicated to eliminating barriers to cultural experiences and expression, The Union’s investment in EnChroma glasses will enable richer engagement with many aspects of the organization’s work. Both adult and youth size glasses are now available to colorblind community members when visiting The Union. Guests will be able to experience (some perhaps for the first time in their lives) a significantly richer visual palate as they view art exhibitions in The Union’s Wanda D. Ewing Gallery, create art in their public multimedia studios, or harvest free produce in their vibrant Abundance Garden.
“Accessibility is a core value for us,” Union Communications Director Patrick Mainelli notes. “This means we’re continually evaluating how we present our work to the public and how we invite people in to engage with our space. The EnChroma glasses are a direct example of how someone’s experience can be significantly improved when we are more attentive to their needs and consider how they will experience our work.”
Colorblindness affects one in 12 men and one in 200 women: 350 million people worldwide, 13 million in the U.S., roughly 84,000 in Nebraska and over 20,000 in Omaha. While people with normal color vision see over one million shades of color, those with CVD only see an estimated 10% of hues and shades. Common color confusions include green appearing yellow, tan or gray; pink looking gray; purple like blue; and red viewed as brown.
Click here to see more images of how color blind people see artwork at The Union.
The cutting-edge EnChroma technology — already in use at over 100 museums around the world, such as the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, the Dallas Museum of Art, and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, among others — is now available at The Union for Contemporary Art for all visitors in need. The experience of looking through the glasses for a person who is colorblind can vary. Typically, they see a broader array and greater vibrancy of colors immediately or within seconds. Some visitors have a more dramatic experience, depending on the severity of their CVD.
“Color, like art, evokes emotion and tells a story,” said Erik Ritchie, CEO of EnChroma. “For millions of color blind people, some of that information, and the emotional intent of the artist, can be harder for them to interpret. We are pleased that The Union is the first museum in Nebraska to further open up the colorful experience of art to those who are Color Vision Deficient. We hope that other organizations will soon do so as well.”
EnChroma Color Accessibility Program™
EnChroma is the lead advocate for “color accessibility” through its EnChroma Color Accessibility Program™. The program helps over 200 public venues such as schools, parks, libraries, museums, tourism bureaus, resorts and other organizations purchase EnChroma viewfinders and glasses for colorblindness to help students and guests better understand schoolwork that involves color, and make colorful exhibits, attractions and experiences more accessible to the colorblind. Via the program, EnChroma donates a pair of glasses for each pair an organization buys to loan to the public or students.
About The Union for Contemporary Art
Founded in 2011, The Union for Contemporary Art strengthens the cultural and social landscape of Omaha by using the arts as a vehicle to inspire positive social change. With seven distinct programs ranging from performing arts and exhibition, to a large community garden and youth engagement, The Union seeks to empower Omaha-area artists to reach their highest potential, and to foster a wider culture that appreciates the vital role the arts play in building community.
The Union is committed to removing barriers to the arts by providing programs that are accessible to everyone regardless of race, ethnicity, gender expression, sexual identity, income level, or ability.
Based in Berkeley, Calif., EnChroma produces leading-edge eyewear for colorblindness and low vision, and other solutions for color vision, sold online and through Authorized Retailers worldwide. Invented in 2010, EnChroma’s patented eyewear for colorblindness combines the latest in color perception, neuroscience and lens innovation to improve the lives of people with color vision deficiency around the world. EnChroma received an SBIR grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It earned the 2016 Tibbetts Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration in recognition of the firm’s innovative impact on the human experience through technology, and the 2020 Innovation Award in Life Sciences from the Bay Area’s East Bay Economic Development Alliance. For more information call 510-497-0048 or visit enchroma.com.
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The Union for Contemporary Art
Patrick Mainelli, Communications Director / firstname.lastname@example.org / 402-933-3161
Kent Streeb, Vice President of Communications and Partnerships / email@example.com / 530-908-9225