Engaging Multisensory Experiences in Outdoor Spaces

Event graphic consists of five rectangular tiles containing imagery and text. The tile at top center reads "Cultural Access Collaborative, Thursday, May 11 at 3:00 PM." A green leaf is draped over an open hand. Below, a forest green tile at bottom left reads, "Engaging Multisensory Experiences in Outdoor Spaces. Andy Slater at Garfield Park Conservatory." The remaining tiles are images of a microphone hovering above purple lillies; broad-leaved tropical plants; and a person standing on a green, black and gold-patterned surface, holding a white cane with tip touching the floor.

Gather with the Collab for an in-person exploration at Garfield Park Conservatory to savor the summer season in Chicago with this workshop devoted to touch, sound, smell, and taste in nature! We are joined by Andy Slater, Chicago-based media artist, sound designer, teaching artist, and disability advocate and members of the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance Team for a site-specific exploration of multisensory approaches in outdoor spaces. Grow your own personal toolkit for creating sensory opportunities for your visitors in this immersive program and learn how other cultural organizations are increasing their offerings.  

Archived Event Videos

May 2023 Program Video Loop

Archived Event Speakers

Andy extends his left hand up to the sky. He is holding a Recording device with an attached microphone. The microphone has a small, black foam ball covering it. The sun shines down on Andy’s oversized amber sunglasses, bushy red beard, and thick green sweater. Photo credit: Charlie Simokiatis.

Andy Slater is a blind Chicago-based media artist, writer, performer, and Disability advocate/loudmouth.

Andy holds a Masters in Sound Arts and Industries from Northwestern University and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is a 2022 United States Artists fellow, 2022-2023 Leonardo Crip Tech Incubator fellow and a 2018 3Arts/Bodies of Work fellow at the University of Illinois Chicago.

He is a member of the Society of Visually Impaired Sound Artists and a teaching artist with the Atlantic Center for the Arts’ Young SoundSeekers program, Midwest Society For Acoustic Ecology, and Creative Users’ Sensory Shift program.

Andy’s current work focuses on advocacy for accessible art and technology, Alt-Text for sound and image, the phonology of the blind body, spatial audio for extended reality, and sound design for film, dance, and digital scent design.


Mattie faces the camera and smiles. She wears a black blouse speckled with white dots, and stands amidst lush green plants at Garfield Park Conservatory.

Mattie Wilson is the Director of Programs and Interpretation with the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance. 

Creating opportunities for visitors to connect and be inspired by plants and nature is at the core of what she does, utilizing the Conservatory’s plant collection and grounds. Mattie’s role is to ensure that offerings are inclusive, accessible and equitable for all visitors. 

As the accessibility coordinator for GPCA and team lead for our work with Of/By/For All, she leads the team to meet a strategic plan goal of being the most inclusive nature center by 2023. 

Mattie strives to build on teammates’ talents, knowledge and skills and lead the department to making adjustments as related to going virtual with all programming.