UCF, Dr. Phillips Center partner for concert series serving people with autism, other needs

Inclusive Knights Concert Series part of UCF Celebrates the Arts

ORLANDO, Fla. – An annual partnership with the University of Central Florida and the Dr. Phillips Center in Orlando is wrapping up, with a concert catering to those with autism or other special needs.

April is Autism Acceptance Month, when we recognize the challenges those with Autism Spectrum Disorder have to overcome, but also bring awareness and acceptance to developmental disabilities.

Rachel Moalli, director of corporate affairs at the Dr. Phillips Center, and Christine Lapka, assistant professor of music education at UCF, spoke with News 6 about the free Inclusive Knights Concert Series on Friday.

Lapka said the concert is an opportunity for UCF students to learn more about autism and cater to guests who need different accommodations.

“Several of the music education students have written scripts, and they will be dressed as characters. So it’s very student friendly, young person friendly, the students are going to also teach people about music. So they’ve picked out elements in the music that are important for young people to learn about. And they are going to have them moving to the music as well, because sometimes it’s hard, difficult to sit for an entire concert,” she said.

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The Dr. Phillips Center said it encourages patrons to “bring hearing protection, fidget toys, manipulatives, cushions and support objects to the concert.”

“We know the arts impact people’s lives for the better. The Art Center, our vision is arts for every life. And everyday, we strive to make sure guests from every walk of life as a civic anchor in our region feel comfortable, the second they walk through our door,” Moalli said.

The concert runs 50 minutes without intermission.

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About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined ClickOrlando.com in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.