Press Release

Release Date: March 7, 2019
Contact: Cara Olsen/Deputy Director
Sandler Center Foundation
757.385.2402 |

Sandler Center Foundation Presents a Sensory-Friendly Performance as Part of Special Needs Initiative  

~Provided Free to Families of Individuals with Sensory-Input Challenge~

March 7th, 2019- Virginia Beach

On March 19, 2019 at 7PM, the Sandler Center Foundation will present A Sick Day for Amos McGee, the first of its sensory-friendly programs and part of its overall special-needs initiative. The performance creates an opportunity for individuals with sensory-input disorders, autism, or other developmental or cognitive disabilities, and their families or caregiver, to experience the performing arts in a welcoming and accommodating environment. These performances are fully funded through the Sandler Center Foundation and its generous members and supporters. This children’s performance is free to attend, but pre-registration is required at

“Our major outreach expansion goal for 2019 is to better serve the special needs community,” said Lisa Baehre, Executive Director of the Sandler Center Foundation. “Our Foundation members believe everyone in our community should have an opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by the performing arts. Sensory-friendly programming welcomes individuals with specials needs to experience live performances in an environment where they can be comfortable.  We’re very excited about this first step of many to come in our special needs initiative.”

Resources are made available to families on the website, such as a study guide and a social narrative. The social narrative covers how the volunteers will help the family find seats, locate the bathrooms, and even show them to a breakroom where ear plugs, coloring books and fidget spinners will be available if needed.  It tells visitors to expect that the lobby may be a bit loud upon arrival as other patrons are seated, and other helpful tips about the environment to anticipate. The goal is to provide a wonderful experience which will long be remembered.

Founded in 2005, the Sandler Center Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization with a mission to educate, inspire creativity, broaden horizons, build community, enrich lives, increase understanding and acceptance through intercultural exchange, improve our local economy, strengthen local arts organizations and instill appreciation of the arts to future generations through the underwriting of world-class performing arts programming and performances at the Sandler Center of the Performing Arts.

In addition to its Special Needs Initiative, the Sandler Center Foundation also invests in an expansive Education Program serving area school children and hosts the local military, area educators, first responders and their families to a free Sandler Center resident company performance through their Local Heroes Program.   More can be found about membership and all these programs at


The media is invited to attend this sensory-friendly performance. Please contact Foundation Deputy Director Cara Olsen to arrange. or 757385.2402.