Garden Theater Celebrates Becoming a Certified Autism Center™, Embracing Community Inclusivity

Garden Theatre

In a significant move towards inclusivity and accessibility, the Garden Theater has been officially recognized as a Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). This prestigious designation is granted to organizations that demonstrate a commitment to providing supportive environments for autistic and sensory-sensitive guests, as well as their families through autism specific staff training and certification programs through IBCCES.

“The Garden Theater has always been a beacon of culture and community,” said Katie Jones, Executive Director of the Garden Theatre. “Becoming a Certified Autism Center only furthers our mission by ensuring that our staff and volunteers are equipped with the knowledge and skills to meet the needs of all our patrons. We strive to be a venue that is accessible and welcoming to everyone.”

Garden Theatre

As part of the broader initiative spearheaded by Visit Traverse City, the Garden Theater’s certification contributes to city’s objective of becoming a Certified Autism Destination™ (CAD), a distinction given to cities offering a range of trained and certified recreational, entertainment, and accommodation facilities.

The Garden Theater, a cornerstone of the community, will continue to function as a dynamic space showcasing films, music, and diverse events that enhance community vitality. Building on its legacy as a movie house, the theatre now hosts live music, dance, storytelling, and theater performances. It further strengthens community ties by collaborating with local businesses for events and offering private rental opportunities.

“We are thrilled to include the Garden Theater in our expanding network of Certified Autism Centers,” said Myron Pincomb, Board Chairman of IBCCES. “Their certification marks a pivotal step in making Traverse City a more inclusive and accessible destination for all visitors.”

Garden Theatre

For over two decades, IBCCES has stood as a leader in cognitive disorder training and certification, impacting healthcare, education, and corporate sectors worldwide. Their comprehensive programs integrate evidence-based content, insights from autistic individuals, and robust ongoing support to ensure meaningful and sustained outcomes.

In conjunction with their certification efforts, IBCCES also operates This complimentary online resource assists families in locating certified destinations and preparing for leisure activities, with each site fulfilling the requirements of the Certified Autism Center (CAC) accreditation.


Delivering The Global Standard for Training and Certification in The Field of Cognitive Disorders – IBCCES provides a series of certifications that empower professionals to be leaders in their field and improve the outcomes for the individuals they serve. These programs are recognized around the world as the leading benchmark for training and certification in the areas of autism and other cognitive disorders.


About Garden Theater

Located in the heart of downtown Frankfort mere blocks from Lake Michigan, The Garden Theater has provided cultural enrichment and entertainment for nearly a century. In 2018, the 501(c)3 Friends of The Garden Theater was formed with the mission to use the historic Garden Theater to build a stronger community and with the vision that The Garden will act as a gathering space using film, music, and events to enhance the community’s vitality. The organization has committed to the growth of the theater, becoming more than just a movie house, now offering live music, dance, storytelling, and theater. The theater also hosts events in collaboration with local businesses and is available for private rentals. To learn more, please go to

Learn More About Becoming A Certified Autism Center™

Fill out the form below to learn more about our CAC Program, which includes staff certifications, training options and center certification.


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