Celia Hughes, Executive Director of Art Spark Texas (formerly VSA Texas) has over 40 years experience working in the arts as producer, audio describer, artist and administrator. She has worked alongside people with disabilities for over 30 years. At Art Spark Texas, she has trained and coordinated audio describers and has provided AD services in Austin and across Texas for over 18 years.
Celia is currently a member of the Subject Matter Expert Committee for the American Council of the Blind and Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professional Audio Description Certification project, where she is working with other describers to establish a certification process for describers in America. She was a co-founder of the Audio Description Coalition, an international group of individuals dedicated to the professional advancement of audio description in the areas of recreation, employment and culture. In 2010, the Audio Description Coalition developed and tested a training curriculum that promotes professional audio description for media, performance and museums, and which is still used a a model for describer trainings across the country. In 2001, Celia produced “The Art of Audio Description” a five-part video training series, the only video series available at the time. And, since then, she has described numerous performances, including an Inclusive By Design concert by jazz pianist Henry Butler recorded at the WGBH studios in Boston, MA, and the world premier of the documentary “The Eyes of Me,” at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin. She has helped launch audio description programs in numerous Texas communities, as well as in cities across the country. Currently, Celia and her describer team partner with AST CaptionSync to provide audio description for a wide range of educational videos and other online teaching resources.
Celia has led professional training workshops around the world; most recently, for the Taiwan National Ministry of Culture and National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts. Perhaps her best describing experience to date is Sight. Sound. Soul., a described, captioned, ASL interpreted live music and painting performance. Ms. Hughes holds a Masters Degree from the LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin, and a BA in Speech Pathology from Plattsburg State College, New York.