Emily Mendonca
Echo Festival
Echo Festival is a place where experiences are brought to life and activities bring people together. Echo Festival is fully inclusive, allowing all levels of the spectrum to let loose and enjoy themselves in a fun and safe environment.
Artist/Thesis Statement
I have attended several music festivals, some big and some small. Accessibility and restrictions are a common factor among all these festivals. After assisting with neurodiverse children in my community, I wondered what a festival for children with autism would look like. Sensory play is vital for neurodiverse children and so I thought what better way to express this than through a festival.
The main goal of this festival was to make it all for them. I noticed how much music, dancing, games, and the arts can brighten their day and put a smile on their face. This is exactly what Echo Festival can achieve for neurodiverse kids.
Everyone deserves the chance to let loose, dance, laugh, and simply appreciate all they have to offer. After speaking with a family member who is autistic, she explained how broad the spectrum is. With all of this in mind, I decided to make Echo Festival inclusive by using colored flags to ensure that both sensory seekers and non-sensory seekers have a great day. For some, visuals, lights, and loud noises can be overwhelming which is why I designated sections of the festival with sensory safe pods along with noise canceling headphones.
What we are all about is inclusivity. We can all be a part of something brighter if we work together! Echo Festival is a place where children may share their experiences and meet new people. There are activities and events for everyone throughout the festival. We are all about sensory boards, interactive animations, art, colors, forms, and numbers. By creating Echo Festival, everyone can feel welcome and accepted.

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