Big Umbrella Festival Returns to Lincoln Center

Big Umbrella Festival Returns to Lincoln Center

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts will welcome young audiences with autism and other developmental disabilities and their families for a free weekend of programming at Big Umbrella Festival from September 16-18, 2022!

For three days, this campus-wide festival will feature performances, installations, workshops, and online content designed with and for neurodiverse audiences.

Taking place both indoors and outdoors, families are invited to choose from four timed slots on Saturday and Sunday, plus a Friday night session dedicated to teens and young adults.

This year, Big Umbrella Festival will feature innovative installations across Lincoln Center’s campus—including “Softy,” a transformation of the Josie Robertson Plaza into a soft and participatory environment with colorful outdoor cushions by Bryony Roberts Studio; “Word Play,” an interactive playground on Hearst Plaza by Ecosistema Urbano; and “Pneumaphone,” a collection of pneumatically driven sound sculptures on The Deck designed by Godfried-Willem Raes in collaboration with Logos Foundation.

The festival will also present exciting in-person performances by Dancing Wheels Company, Omnium Circus, and Bluelaces Theater Company, as well as an interactive WeBop Family Jazz Party concert from Jazz at Lincoln Center. Plus, audio theatre experience “Mountain Goat Mountain” (created by Zoë Barry, Liz Francis, Nikita Hederics, Tahli Corin, and Sarah Lockwood) will provide guided virtual activities for families to set up and step into their own imaginative worlds from home. ReelAbilities Film Festival will also offer four in-person film screenings on Lincoln Center’s main plaza, as well as virtual screenings available on

Launched in 2018, Big Umbrella Festival was the first festival of its kind dedicated to arts programs for young people on the autism spectrum and their families. In 2021, Lincoln Center presented Big Umbrella Outdoors—an extension of the original festival with a weekend of outdoor programming as part of Restart Stages.

All events at Big Umbrella Festival are Relaxed Performances, designed to be inclusive for guests with a range of sensory needs. Guests are encouraged to engage with events at their comfort level, in a supportive environment.

Accommodations include: a Visual Guide, in English and Spanish, detailing directions, arrival instructions, and venue amenities with images; All events located on accessible routes and will include accessible entrances, restrooms, and seating; Assistive listening devices with headsets and neck loops are available at all performances; American Sign Language interpretation available for most performances and upon request; Captioning available for some performances and upon request; and Audio description available for film events and upon request.

Chill out spaces are available, as well as noise-reducing headphones and fidgets at all event spaces.

If you require any additional accommodations, please contact or 212-875-5375.

Entry to all Big Umbrella performances and installations will be available for FREE via General Admission—first-come, first-served. FREE Advance Reservation tickets are also available. These provide you guaranteed access to all outdoor scheduled performances and drop-in activities during the designated window. For more information on Big Umbrella Festival, click here.

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