Through the BAFTA New York-Woman of Her Word Scholarships, Michele Spitz has supported graduate media studies students with disabilities for the past three years. Over this period, her commitment, mentoring and generous financial support all have enriched the lives of promising scholars and importantly raised the level of awareness for a more diverse workplace which includes people
with disabilities. We are grateful to Michele’s deep personal commitment to the BAFTA New York Scholarship program and to these students. Her passion has made a real difference in the lives of our scholars and she has truly supported BAFTA New York’s educational mission.
Linda Kahn Media, LLC
New York Women in Film &Television is enormously grateful to Michele Spitz for initiating the Woman of Her Word Grant as part of the Fund for Women Filmmakers. The grants provide production support and voicing of the audio description for films on disability as well as other subjects. Michele’s generosity has allowed for numerous films, many award-winning, to be accessible for blind or visually impaired audiences. Her commitment to expanding opportunities for disabled audiences and to expanding audiences for independent filmmakers is remarkable.
New York Women in Film and Television
Accessibility to the arts is a lofty goal that many of us in the industry aspire towards, but the actual execution can be cumbersome or at worst, costly. We are grateful to count Woman of Her Word as a friend and a patron in this regard: Michele sponsored open-captioned performances of our co-production of Spring Awakening at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. Her ongoing commitment to ensuring that theater and film are accessible to all audiences is an exceptional endeavor, and she comes from a genuine place of understanding that too few of us have arrived at.
Deaf West Theatre
It was a pleasure to work with Michele Spitz on the exhibition The Senses: Design Beyond Vision at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum (April 13–October 28, 2018). In order to make our exhibition accessible to all visitors, the museum sought to incorporate open audio description with every video. We also created a comprehensive audio gallery guide. This award-winning digital app is coordinated with braille numbers in the gallery. Michele's wonderful voice and expert knowledge of accessible communication practices guided us throughout our process. Her voice is an elegant beacon unifying our exhibition for the public. Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum is grateful for the generous support and expertise of Woman of Her Word.
Senior Curator, Contemporary Design
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Michele Spitz is a passionate and accomplished artist whose heart and philanthropic vision are just as extraordinary as her storied career. Michele’s generosity and creativity allowed student’s with visual impairments and multiple disabilities in our ExploreAbility Program to enjoy a fully immersive and accessible introduction to the arts. Students, staff and families dined with performers, engaged in a panel discussion regarding careers and resilience, and then walked across the street to see to their new friends perform with audio description from the front row in School of Rock! This masterfully coordinated experience was the highlight of our summer program and something that our students would not have had access to without Michele’s contribution and ingenuity.
Director of Youth Services
Helen Keller Services for the Blind
Michele Spitz has worked tirelessly to use her voice and philanthropy toward full social and cultural integration of the blind. From her sensitive film descriptions to her support of our community in attending cultural events, Michele is a true friend to the blind and our extended community. The Lighthouse for the Blind in San Francisco looks forward to partnering with her in a growing range of programs, from SuperFest, the world’s longest-running disability film festival, to creative ways to get the visual aspects of our culture described with subtlety and beauty.
LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Michele has not only been an SFJAZZ Member for many years, but is one of the founders of our Ticket Outreach Fund, which provides free concert tickets to community service organizations and their clients, opening up the live music experience to a whole new audience that otherwise might not be able to enjoy an evening out. Her contribution was designed to underwrite ticket attendance for members of Lighthouse for the Blind. We at SFJAZZ are extremely grateful for Michele’s proactive commitment to bettering the San Francisco Bay Area, through her professional work and through her philanthropy.
Director of Development
Beginning in the 2012 Arts & Ideas season, the support from Michele Spitz
enabled the JCCSF to bring over 1,000 people to our lectures, conversations and performances who would not otherwise have been able to attend. To date, Lighthouse for the Blind exclusively continues to benefit from the underwriting program Woman of Her Word initiated. Accessibility is a core value here at the JCCSF, so when families from low income housing, as well as veterans, senior centers and the disability community are able to thrill to a musical or dance performance or enjoy a lecture or stimulating onstage conversation, we can only point to the generosity of Michele Spitz and her vision for our institution and thank her for making accessibility a reality.
Audience Development Manager
Jewish Community Center of San Francisco (JCCSF)
Michele Spitz’s vision and generous support has made an enormous impact in our community by helping our Center make it possible to reach out to seniors who are physically challenged, financially limited and/or socially isolated. Michele helps us to engage them in stimulating, accessible excursions to experience the joy and life-affirming connectivity of live theater! No words truly articulate the depth and soulfulness of the impact Michele makes in our senior community!
Director of Adult Programs
Osher Marin Jewish Community Center
Michele Spitz is a powerhouse. She is a non-stop philanthropist that hardly has time to breathe. I’ve known Michele for over 5 years, and what she has accomplished in that short amount of time is incredible. Michele is someone that gets things done. Our Meet The Biz program for performers with and without disabilities was blessed with a donation from Woman of Her Word. It was funded through Actors For Autism in support of underwriting notable industry instructors for individual workshops. She is a connector, a talented artist, and has a motivation to help and do good in this world through her voice.
Meet The Biz