Blog For All!
2015 Archive

American Repertory Theater Accessible Performances

Posted Friday December 25 2015 at 06:32 am in Cultural Inclusion

American Repertory Theater logo

The following is American Repertory Theater's (A.R.T.) schedule of upcoming accessible performances:

The Pirate Princess
Sensory Friendly: December 28, 2015 2:00pm

Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Audio Described: December 30, 2015 7:30pm and January 3, 2016 2:00pm

Nice Fish
Open Captioned: January 28, 2016 7:30pm and January 31, 2016 2:00pm
ASL Interpreted: February 2, 2016 7:30pm and February 6, 2016 2:00pm
Audio Described: February 4, 2016 7:30pm and February 7, 2016 2:00pm

1984
Open Captioned: February 25, 2016 7:30pm and February 28, 2016 2:00pm
ASL Interpreted: March 1, 2016 7:30pm and March 5, 2016 2:00pm
Audio Described: March 3, 2016 7:30pm and March 6, 2016 2:00pm

In The Body of the World
Open Captioned: May 12, 2016 7:30pm and May 15, 2016 2:00pm
Audio Described: May 26, 2016 7:30pm and May 28, 2016 7:30pm



Artist Spotlights - Handmade Holiday Market

Posted Sunday December 20 2015 at 09:52 am in Call For Artists

Adriana Mallozzi
I inspired by a Ms. Wheelchair Massachusetts contestant I met in March 2014.  She had her headrest and armrests covered in fabric that matched her pageant dress.  It was brilliant! I had never seen anything like it before.  And it made perfect sense!  We accessorize ourselves with jewelry, hats, belts, nail polish, etc., why not our wheelchairs?  After all, we consider them to be extensions of ourselves.

Atara Schimmel
My life changed drastically and abruptly since severe and chronic pelvic pain over took my body.  Art has been my hope and my spirit and I have followed the ways of healing and of life through art.  I make jewelry laying on the floor in my bedroom during the time that my pain levels were so high that all that I could do was lie on the floor of my room.  I found beauty and peace in the gem-stones and distraction from the 24/7 pain in the focus that creating jewelry demanded.  I struggle daily with pain and I work very hard to maintain my connection to life.  Art helps me with this tremendously.

Catherine Thatcher
"Art in my life gives me a chance to play with shapes and color and textures.  I like to create beauty that people love to wear."  Catherine's favorite medium is wire and has developed a line of fun and funky jewelry by wrapping high-polished noble metals around semi-precious gemstones, crystals as well as Marino & vintage glass.  It is her passion to see silver and gold tones against and around the beads.

Lisa Lundin
I make art because it fulfills a longing in me.  I feel complete when I make a piece of art.  Looking at the paint or ink on my hands and then looking at my finished piece I feel proud to call myself an artist.  I feel unique and special and that I am doing something I am meant to do.

Mihoko Wakabayashi
SAORI Weaving is an art of weaving by hand that is dedicated to free expression and self-development for everyone, regardless of physical or mental ability, age, or artistic aptitude.  SAORI Weaving is pure improvisation from the heart, with no premeditated pattern in mind.  Colors unfold, designs emerge, and beauty blooms directly from the genius of each unique individual working in harmony with loom, thread, and the spark of the moment.  SAORI Weaving is a profound inner journey, yet we can enjoy it socially, working alongside others.  We can also create clothing, bags, tapestries, and many useful items that can be appreciated by all.

Millicent Holder
I usually make jewelry because I don't usually feel like drawing.  I started making jewelry because I wanted something nice to wear.  I've made so much jewelry during the years that I want to sell it.  Making jewelry keeps my mind occupied. When my minds occupied I have a better peace of mind.  When I create jewelry I feel good and proud of myself after I finished my jewelry.  When I create jewelry I'm expressing my good character.

Sandra Jackson
I was a professional woman supervising a department and an accident caused epilepsy.  After surgery, I permanently have seizures.  My artwork is about expressing self, seeing what people like, and feeling from my heart what people like.  I'm an upbeat person and people are upbeat around me.

Tony DeBlois
Ever since he was born - blind and weighing less than two pounds - Tony DeBlois has been defying the odds and wildly surpassing others' expectations.  Diagnosed early on as autistic, at two years old his talent for music was revealed when he played "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" on a toy piano.  Going on to graduate with honors from the Berklee College of Music, today Tony leads an improvisational jazz ensemble and performs solo shows from Dublin to Taipei and also Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center.



Handmade Holiday Market Artist Spotlight - Lisa Corfman

Posted Thursday December 17 2015 at 06:13 am in Open Door Gallery

Origami Crane

Guest blog post by Lisa Corfman, an artist currently exhibiting at the Open Door Gallery's Handmade Holiday Market.  Lisa is founder and owner of Rocky Arts Unfolded.

Find your rock!

Becoming a successful artist is hard.  You have to find your rock, the thing that makes you unique.  Rocks endure, they symbolize forever and each one is different with its own life story.

As an artist with a disability, origami (the art of folding paper) is my rock.  Since art is a broad topic, origami adds to my stability and creates the web of interconnectedness between my poetry, charcoal drawings, paintings, jewelry, sculpture, teachings, and my entertainment services.

I fold paper to create jewelry with unique tiny art.  I make charcoal drawings, 77 to date, put them into an imaginative environment, each featuring a different origami model.  Each day I complete a charcoal drawing, I write a poem about the model, giving backstories to the drawings.  My audience likes color, so acrylic paintings of origami are in the works, many completed mimicking the appearance of the 77 charcoal drawings.  That leaves my sculptural pieces and services to you.

Most of my sculptural pieces have rocks!  How?  Well, called "Origami Rocks" they are found rocks, painted gold with poetry and the matching origami adhered, becoming a garden decoration, a door holder or one beautiful paper weight.

Another special sculptural item, the Crane of Remembrance, contains a rock.  With symbolism for peace, long life or healing, a crane is folded out of durable clear plastic and a rock or two is put inside to honor this gifted one's purpose forever.  In Jewish tradition, a stone is placed on loved one's graves; this item centers on that ritual.  Wing inserts show the cause.  The inserts are up to your imagination.  You can email an image me, you can pick a word like "Family" to write on one wing and a name like "Joseph Smith" or a company like "Rocky Arts Unfolded" on the other, and choose a personalized background color.  Submit an order form or just ask!

Everyone deserves to have a rock in their life.  I hope I can help you find yours!



Very COOL Partnership - VSA Hosts Duskin Trainee in COOL Schools Program

Posted Monday December 14 2015 at 3:15 pm in Education

Art for People

This past semester VSA MA partnered with the Duskin Disability Leadership Program at UMass Boston's Institute for Community Inclusion by hosting one of its 2015 trainees.  Yui Higashikawa participated in the intensive five-month program for Japanese people with disabilities to develop leadership and self-advocacy skills, which they then take back to Japan.

Yui is a fourth-year student in the English department at Chikushi Jogakuen University in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan.  Born with a physical disability, Yui is an artist and a certified pastel art instructor.  She is interested in disability and visual arts, specifically "how art and color affect the mind, body, and brain of people with disabilities and . . . how drawing or reading picture books differently impacts people with various disabilities".

During her time in Boston, Yui assisted and was mentored by Nicole Gsell, a COOL Schools Teaching Artist at the Henderson Inclusion School.  For three days a week, Yui shadowed Nicole and even led a lesson on pastels in a K1 classroom.  She was able to learn more about arts programs for people with disabilities in the United States, and about how art is used to create more inclusive environments and programs, particularly in schools.  The students and staff at the Henderson truly welcomed Yui with open arms and were full of appreciation for her as she departed.  At the culminating awards ceremony on December 11, Yui shared how much she would miss her time here in Boston but is so excited about what she learned about herself and her future in arts and inclusive learning environments.  Additionally, Yui contributed art to the annual VSA Handmade Holiday Market, helping her discover another outlet for her artistic and career endeavors.



Teaching Artists - Take a Short Survey on Your Experience

Posted Sunday December 13 2015 at 11:07 pm in Education

Teaching artist showing student how to play musical keyboard

The Association of Teaching Artists (ATA) believes in sharing information to support the work of professional Teaching Artists.  As a practitioner led national network and community of practice ATA is reaching out to you for your perspective, your expertise and experience working as a Teaching Artist during the past two years, for a snapshot of where Teaching Artists are in the fall of 2015.  In response to the overwhelming number of inquiries from all over the country ATA receives from Teaching Artists and from artists who are inquiring about the practical and financial aspects of the work of Teaching Artists, ATA is looking to you.

Take the survey here.

The deadline is December 15, 2015.



Dew Jareanvai Exhibit - A Dynamic Journey: My Tribute to Rayleen Lescay

Posted Friday December 11 2015 at 9:44 pm in Open Door Gallery

Dew Jareanvai - Limitless Possibilities

Dew Jareanvai, currently selling his work at the Open Door Gallery's Handmade Holiday Market, is also exhibiting "A Dynamic Journey: My Tribute to Rayleen Lescay" in the lobby of The NonProfit Center in Boston.

Dew uses the mediums of acrylic paints, oil pastels and everyday objects to create abstract works.  His art frequently focuses on human potential and the belief that its only limits are self-imposed.

"A Dynamic Journey: A Tribute to Rayleen Lescay" is a collection particularly close to Dew's heart.  Rayleen was a young woman that lived freely and without placing unnecessary limits on her life, or her abilities.  Unfortunately, Rayleen succumbed to cancer in 2009.  As one of her closest friends, Dew created this collection to honor her spirit and chronicle their journey together, including Rayleen's courageous battle against cancer.

This collection is comprised of four acrylic paintings following a narrative order.  The red in each painting represents Rayleen.  The painting titled Limitless Possibilities (shown above) is about Rayleen's zest for life and her boundless energy and curiosity.  She loved to be center stage, and enjoyed doing pop-a-wheelies; and the purple and white swirly lines represent her love of movement.

Other painting in the series include "Rayleen's Adversary", "Loss Of Rayleen", and "Rayleen Holding Court".

Don't miss Dew's exhibit while you are shopping at VSA's Handmade Holiday Market.



Community Day at the Museum of Science

Posted Thursday December 10 2015 at 06:19 am in Cultural Inclusion

computer science education

Join Boston's Museum of Science for a Community Partners Day on Saturday, December 12, 2015.  The Museum will be celebrating Computer Science Education weekend.  Participate in a wide range of hands-on computer science activities throughout the Museum.  Learn programming basics in fun online games with software engineers from Microsoft, engineer a sculpture that lights up and buzzes, create an artificial intelligence to play tic-tac-toe and more!

  -- Registered guests will receive up to 4 free adult and/or children exhibit hall entrances per reservation.

  -- Guests can view the exhibits until 5:00pm, when the Museum closes.

  -- Registered guests will receive a hand-stamp for Exhibit Hall entrance at the Community Relations registration table in the Museum lobby on December 12, 2015 between 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM.

  -- Tickets to The Science Behind Pixar can be purchased at the box office for an additional $12 per person.  (Regular price: $29 adults, $27 seniors and $23 children 3-11)

  -- Visit http://tiny.cc/mos1212 to register.  Registration ends December 10, 2015.

  -- ASL interpreters will be available.  Please indicate if you need an interpreter on the registration site.



The 'Special' Power Of The Arts

Posted Wednesday December 09 2015 at 06:29 am in News

WNET New York recently interviewed former Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith who founded Very Special Arts, now known as VSA, four decades ago to bring the visual, literary and performing arts to those with disabilities.  Kennedy Smith said she launched the initiative to help foster learning in special education classrooms.

"It develops children in a special way: That they love to go to museums, that they love to try different things, that they become more creative, that they're not just leaning things by rote, but they're doing it because they enjoy it," she told MetroFocus Host Rafael Pi Roman.

Kennedy Smith, who served as U.S. ambassador to Ireland, received the Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama for her work with VSA.

Despite the success of VSA, David Marquis, the executive director of the VSA affiliate in New York City says it's still a struggle to convince people of the significant role the arts play in a child's life and education.  "I think people don't realize the academic connection of growing a child's mind through the arts," he said.



SAGE Crossing Foundation Seeks Visual Arts Teacher for Adults with Disabilities

Posted Tuesday December 08 2015 at 06:46 am in Call For Artists

Adult painting

SAGE Crossing Foundation is looking for a teacher for adults with a range of disabilities for the visual arts for two days a week in January and February.  The participants are very enthusiastic and the staff is great.  Currently the days are Mondays and Wednesdays from 10am - 2pm but the days may be flexible.  SAGE can assist in paying for and delivering the materials to the Watertown location.  There are two good rooms available for teaching and storage.

Please replay to nancy@harrodd-r.com with an expression of interest and resume.



Practical Steps to Making a Career in the Arts Possible

Posted Tuesday December 01 2015 at 11:36 pm in Cultural Inclusion

Craig Dunn, VSA Minnesota's Executive Director, was asked to put together some thoughts for a webinar on how young people with disabilities might approach making a career in the arts.  Since it was designed for the Great Lakes ADA Center, some of the specific resources point to organizations in MN, WI, MI, IL, IN and OH, but most of the info is applicable to all and makes strong usage of VSA's publication "Putting Creativity to Work: Careers in the Arts for People with Disabilities" which is available as separate PDF downloads for each chapter.

The webinar shares information, resources and strategies that will allow you to better understand how to pursue an interest in the arts – visual arts, music, dance, writing or theater – so that it might become a viable career path.  The webinar includes information on why educational training, skill development, interning and volunteering are all important and how to make connections for each.  Also explored are differences between being an independent working artist and working for an arts organization and how each has its benefits and pitfalls.



Black Friday, Cyber Monday, GIVING TUESDAY!

Posted Monday November 30 2015 at 4:23 pm in News

Giving Tuesday

December 1, 2015 is Giving Tuesday.  That means, it's a great day to support VSA Massachusetts as we promote the involvement of people of all abilities in the cultural life of our communities through our COOL Schools, Open Door Gallery, and Cultural Inclusion programs.

Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season to celebrate and encourage charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations.  So as you embark on this special time of giving, please consider sustaining this important work with a monthly contribution of $10 or more.  Give online today to support children and adults with disabilities through the arts!

Donate Now



Autism-Friendly Performance of A Christmas Carol at Hanover Theatre

Posted Tuesday November 24 2015 at 8:41 pm in Cultural Inclusion

Actors on stage performing A Christmas Carol

The Hanover Theatre is partnering with the New England Chapter of Autism Speaks, Theatre Development Fund, HMEA's Autism Resource Central and VSA Massachusetts to offer an Autism-friendly performance of A Christmas Carol.  This performance is intended as a unique theatre experience for individuals and families impacted by autism.  The performance will happen in a supportive, judgment-free environment, and other accommodations of support will be provided, including a quiet area if individuals and families need a break from the experience and trained staff and volunteers to assist with patrons' needs.

View or download an Autism-friendly performance guide to help prepare for the show!

A Christmas Carol - Autism-Friendly Performance
Tuesday, December 22, 2015 at 6pm
Hanover Theatre, Worcester MA
Use promotional code 7Hills for half price adult tickets
Full price tickets $28, $42, $52
Children and students already 50% off
More info and purchase tickets



Free VSA Webinars - 11/24/15 and 12/1/15

Posted Thursday November 19 2015 at 06:14 am in Education

Webinar

Free webinars scheduled by the Office of VSA & Accessibility, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts:

The Art of AAC: Creating Visual Supports to Inspire Communication and Participation During Arts Instruction
Tuesday, November 24, 2015  3-4:15pm
Presenters: Lisa Pierce-Goldstein and Aubrey Rubin
More info and registration

Can You Feel It?: A Tactile Approach to Music Literacy
Tuesday, December 1, 2015  3-4pm
Presenter: Jennifer Nichols
More info and registration



Critter Day - Jungle Encounters, ASL-Interpreted at Boston Children's Museum

Posted Monday November 16 2015 at 10:36 pm in Cultural Inclusion

Critter Day Cat

The health and population of wild cats teaches us about the entire animal kingdom.  Watch these cats, and learn about each species, where it is native to, and how its wild cousins survive. 

November 21, 2015  11:30 am and 12:30 pm  ASL-Interpreted
Free with paid Museum admission.  Free tickets distributed first-come, first-served one hour before each program.

To protect the audience and to provide you with the safest show possible, only kids ages 6 and up are allowed at this program.

For more information, visit the Museum website or contact:
Saki Iwamoto, Health and Wellness Educator
Iwamoto@BostonChildrensMuseum.org
617-986-3697



Art is for Everyone Exhibit and Opening Reception

Posted Wednesday November 11 2015 at 9:41 pm in Cultural Inclusion

Cape Cod CAN's Fall 2015 "Art is for Everyone" exhibit runs from November 11 to 22, 2015 at Cultural Center of Cape Cod, 307 Old Main Street, South Yarmouth.  Opening reception November 13, 2015 from 5 – 7 pm.

Featuring art works created by approximately 150 people people representing 15 different Cape Cod organizations, under the tutelage of local Cape Cod Artists interpreting the common theme: Natural Wonders.



Free Show - Michael Mack's "Hearing Voices, Speaking in Tongues"

Posted Sunday November 08 2015 at 9:04 pm in News

Michael Mack returns with his moving, often humorous, multi-character, one-man show of a family navigating mother's schizophrenia and eventual recovery.  Called by the Boston Globe "Transcendent art that reaches out with unblinking honesty."  See the award-winning show about love and schizophrenia.

Michael Mack was a little boy when his mother was first diagnosed with schizophrenia -- becoming convinced that she was the Virgin Mary.

One in every five families faces a major mental illness, and the stunning transformation of a loved one can strike a child mute.  But Michael Mack found his voice, and he shares it with others in his feature-length solo play Hearing Voices, Speaking in Tongues.

Over a decade in creation, Mack's multi-character one-man show is a lyric memoir of one family navigating a life-changing reality.  Mack charts his mother's odyssey through state hospitals, halfway houses, jails, and homelessness until she finds recovery through an unexpected grace.  Exploring the shadowy landscape between psychosis and religious illumination, Hearing Voices, Speaking in Tongues is one family's journey of deliverance.

SHOW TIME - November 9, 2015 at 7:00pm sharp (please arrive early).  Doors open 6:30.

SHOW PLACE. Cambridge Hospital, Macht Auditorium, 2nd floor of the Macht Building.  1493 Cambridge Street, Inman Square, Cambridge 02139.



East Coast Premier of "La Casa Linda"

Posted Tuesday November 03 2015 at 07:01 am in Cultural Inclusion

A documentary about disability and independence by Barefoot Vision Film.  Written and directed by Fred Woods.

Saturday November 7, 2015 at 2pm
Cambridge Public Library
449 Broadway

Sponsored by:
City of Boston Mayor’s Commission for Persons with Disabilities
Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities
Cambridge Department of Human Service Programs
Disability Reframed: A Community Film Series

This is a scent-free event.  Out of consideration for people with environmental illness and/or multiple chemical sensitivity, please refrain from using perfume or other scented products.



Curator in Training Art Exhibit

Posted Monday November 02 2015 at 06:32 am in Cultural Inclusion

Graduates of the Seven Hills Foundation Curator in Training program are pleased to showcase the artwork of their peers of all abilities in this art exhibit.  This collaborative exhibit showcases the transformation of all things; representing the alteration and effect of time.  Many of the artists have been inspired by the transition of the seasons, while embracing this opportunity to explore what the word "Transition" means in context to our relationship to Earth.

Exhibit displayed November 4 - December 28, 2015
Opening reception November 5, 2015 from 5 to 7 pm
UMASS Medical School Memorial Library
55 North Lake Avenue Worcester, MA 01655

The Seven Hills Foundation Curator in Training (CiT) program is a 10-week curriculum which incorporates lessons with field trips to local museums where the trainees meet with professional curators, directors and designers who share their knowledge and expertise.



The Enchanting Music of Sign Language - Christine Sun Kim

Posted Wednesday October 28 2015 at 10:22 pm in Cultural Inclusion

Artist Christine Sun Kim was born deaf, and she was taught to believe that sound wasn't a part of her life, that it was a hearing person's thing.  Through her art, she discovered similarities between American Sign Language and music, and she realized that sound doesn't have to be known solely through the ears — it can be felt, seen and experienced as an idea.  In this endearing talk, she invites us to open our eyes and ears and participate in the rich treasure of visual language.

View the video on the TED Talks website.



Help the Museum of Science with Access Testing

Posted Sunday October 25 2015 at 10:49 pm in Cultural Inclusion

A message from the Museum of Science:

The Museum of Science, Boston is committed to the inclusion of people with disabilities and strives to create an environment that is inviting, engaging, and accessible for everyone.  To work toward achieving this goal, there are times throughout the year when the Museum seeks people with a variety of abilities and disabilities to help improve the accessibility of our Museum.  Hearing from people with disabilities expands our knowledge about the museum experience and informs how we design museum offerings, such as exhibits and programs, in the future.

We are now seeking visitors with a range of disabilities (including, but not limited to, sensory, physical, and cognitive disabilities) who would like to be contacted to test new exhibit prototypes and explore the museum.  Interested participants will come to the Museum of Science to interact with exhibit prototypes or explore other existing museum experiences.  Testing could last anywhere between 30 and 90 minutes and will always include free admission to the Museum of Science exhibit halls for the day and free parking in the Museum’s garage.

If you would like to help the Museum of Science become more accessible by providing feedback during an upcoming testing session, please fill out this online form.

This form asks for your contact information as well as some details about the group you plan to visit the Museum with.  If you prefer to fill out this form over the phone instead of online, please contact Stephanie Iacovelli, a Research and Evaluation Assistant, at 617-589-4438.  You may also email her with any questions at siacovelli@mos.org.



VSA Massachusetts Announces COOL Schools Personnel Changes

Posted Sunday October 18 2015 at 10:37 pm in Education

COOL Schools Logo

Guest blog post by VSA Mass. Vice President and COO Charles Washburn.

The new COOL School year is off to a grand start and we have a great team in place to help make it a great success.

While we were sad to say goodbye to Wilhelmina Peragine, we look forward to following her career at Harvard and finding new ways to keep her engaged with VSA Massachusetts.  We are excited to welcome Aysha Upchurch to our team as Associate Director of COOL Schools.  Although Aysha is taking on a new position, she is not new to VSA Massachusetts or to the work we are doing through COOL Schools.  Last year we had the good fortune to have Aysha as an intern and teaching artist as she pursued her Ed.M. in the Arts in Education program at Harvard Graduate School of Education.  Aysha brings a great wealth of experience as a dancer, educator and arts administrator, as well as a passion for social change and for professionalizing the teaching artist field.

Another milestone to celebrate is Nicole Agois' recognition by the International VSA Affiliate Council for achieving a decade of service.  Nicole assumes the role of COOL Schools Director and is orchestrating our efforts to gain a deeper understanding of the COOL Schools model and what makes it work in order to help it grow.

Kati Blair Kotrc has moved to a reduced schedule and will focus on facilitating the work between VSA Massachusetts and the Advancement office of Seven Hills Foundation.  Through our affiliation with Seven Hills, we are working together to create new opportunities for COOL Schools and beyond.

We are also fortunate to have two new interns from the Harvard Graduate School of Education contributing to the cause this year.  Flossy Azu is joining us from the International Education Policy program, and brings a keen interest in inclusive arts learning as well as experience teaching from kindergarten to high school.  Laura Stickle is in the Arts In Education program and has experience with coaching teachers in arts-based literacy development.

We look forward to the year ahead.

Charles Washburn Signature



Arts for All Boston Regional Meeting

Posted Sunday October 18 2015 at 9:53 pm in Education

Mass Creative Logo

Join MASSCreative, Arts|Learning, and Arts at the Boston Public Schools for discussion and action steps on how we can best advocate for quality arts education and youth arts programs for each student in Massachusetts.

Bringing together the arts education community, including educators, parents, and arts organizations to discuss how to build public support for arts education.  Come ready to share why arts education is important to you and get involved with one of our arts education initiatives:

• Including one year of arts education in high school as a university admissions requirement.
• Injecting the arts into STEM education.
• Measuring creativity and innovation across all subjects.
• Funding arts education in under-resourced schools by tapping into Title I Funds.

When:
October 20, 2015 from 6:30pm - 8pm

Where:
Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building
2300 Washington St
Boston, MA 02119

More information and registration.



VSA Webinar - Exploring a Watercolor Lesson through Universal Design for Learning and a Process of Collaborative Inquiry

Posted Sunday October 18 2015 at 9:00 pm in News

Webinar

Description: Based on the VSA Minnesota Reaching All Learners (ReAL) workshop series, this interactive webinar will use the power of collaborative inquiry to analyze a visual arts lesson through the lens of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) both in terms of the written lesson plan and what the lesson looked like in action.  Facilitators will lead participants through the Artist to Artist reflective process of lesson analysis to demystify and make visible UDL principles that are part of the lesson design and tease out the manifestations of those principles.  Time will allow for participants to share their own insights, ask questions, and develop a better understanding of principles and elements of UDL as it applies to their own practice.

Takeaways for Webinar participants include:
• Concrete examples of UDL principles guiding lesson planning
• Process and strategies for analyzing a lesson
• Connections to the Artist to Artist Community of Practice

When: Tuesday, October 20, 2015 from 3-4pm EDT

More information and registration.

Realizing this blog post is coming at pretty much the last minute, it's worth pointing out that The Kennedy Center maintains an archive of prior VSA webinars which this will certainly become a part of.



ASL Interpreted Community Partners Day at Museum of Science

Posted Wednesday October 14 2015 at 06:50 am in Cultural Inclusion

Young girl looking closely at exhibit in museum

The Museum of Science invites everyone to join them for a Community Partners Day October 17, 2015.  Experience the excitement of archaeology with dozens of hands-on activities, live presentations, and special programs.  Hear about the latest human ancestors discovered in South Africa, meet real glass blowers, learn about underwater shipwrecks, and see if you can find our roaming Roman soldiers.

  • Registered guests will receive up to 4 free adult and/or children exhibit hall passes per reservation.
  • Guests can view the exhibits until 5:00pm, when the Museum closes.
  • Guests can pick up their reserved tickets at the Community Relations registration table in the Museum lobby on Oct. 17 between 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM.
  • Tickets to The Science Behind Pixar can be purchased at the box office for an additional $12 per person.  (Regular price $29 adults, $27 seniors and $23 children 3-11.)
  • Registration is required to attend.
  • Registration ends October 15, 2015.
  • ASL interpreters will be available. Please indicate if you need an interpreter on the registration site.



    Help Shape Boston's Creative Community

    Posted Friday October 09 2015 at 07:07 am in Cultural Inclusion

    Boston Creates Logo

    Boston Creates, Boston's cultural planning process, draws from a theoretical framework of creative capital, developed by WolfBrown.  Creative capital is based on the idea that creativity of residents and creative culture of the city are important, intangible assets, creating a culturally vibrant and inclusive community.

    Cities with high levels of creative capital encourage, reward and integrate imaginative thinking into all aspects of community life.  Help understand the creative capital of Boston and create a plan that will prioritize, coordinate, and align public and private resources to strengthen this creative capital over the long term.

    You can help by taking an online survey available in English and Spanish.



    Walk! Run! Come Have Fun! - AbilityFest

    Posted Monday October 05 2015 at 10:09 pm in News

    Ability Fest - Seven Hills

    Join us at Institute Park in Worcester October 18, 2015 starting at 10am for AbilityFest.  Join a diverse community of Seven Hills friends, families and supporters as we challenge and encourage each other to SEE, BELIEVE and ACHIEVE!

    Seven Hills AbilityFest is an inaugural event where our community will celebrate the A-bilities of children and adults with life challenges.  AbilityFest will provide an opportunity for community-wide fun through your participation in either a 5K road race or the 1 mile "Murphy Mile" walk in honor of Alice Murphy – all during a festival of arts, music and inclusive activities.  WXLO Radio and host, Jen Carter, will keep the music going along with guest performances from the stage.  Browse our vendors and exhibitors and take part in the interactive fun!  The event opens at 10:00 am with warm-ups and the race and walk start at 11:00 am.  Bring your friends and join the fun and help celebrate the talents, hopes and dreams of ALL!

    More information and sign-up.



    Symposium on Art for Cultural Inclusion

    Posted Thursday October 01 2015 at 3:34 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    4 artists from Shades of Inclusion exhibit

    An innovative symposium and pop-up artist exhibition which showcases the work of Arts Connect International (ACI) Artist Leaders; catalyzing conversations on inclusion in our Boston community and beyond.  All of ACI's Artist Leaders work as change agents nationally and internationally through his/her art form.  This one day symposium is designed to promote cross-sector and multi-disciplinary approaches to building and supporting inclusive environments.  Environments where collaboration is paramount, where innovation is innate, and where acceptance and celebration of diversity rests at the core.

    Artwork will be available for both viewing and purchase.  Light refreshments will be served.  Artist after party from 6-8pm, location to be announced.

    This event is held in association with the Arts in Education Program @ Harvard Graduate School of Education and is an ArtWeek Boston event.

    Saturday, October 3, 2015 from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM
    Harvard Graduate School of Education
    13 Appian Way Cambridge, MA 02138
    Register here.



    Meet the Intern: Laura Stickle

    Posted Thursday October 01 2015 at 2:31 pm in News

    Hello my name is Intern

    Hello!  My name is Laura, and I am thrilled to be interning with VSA this year.  I grew up dancing and singing in Indiana and studied Vocal Performance at Indiana University.  After graduation, I spent a year in Boston as an AmeriCorps volunteer with ReadBoston’s Reading Trail program and then moved abroad to Seoul to teach Kindergarten and study Korean.  Most recently, I worked as an instructional coach for a children’s literacy organization in Chicago and am currently studying Arts in Education at Harvard.

    What are your favorite pastimes?
          "Dancing, singing, spending time with my niece and nephew (writing songs and plays, having dance parties, reading and making up stories before bed), sitting in kitchens talking with family and friends, playing euchre, drinking chai tea lattes, baking treats, and reenacting movie scenes."

    If you could be a cartoon character, who would you be?
          "Alice in Wonderland - She had such wonderful adventures and had the opportunity to meet so many delightfully bizarre characters."

    Read More →

    Meet the Intern: Flossy Azu

    Posted Tuesday September 29 2015 at 9:13 pm in News

    Meet the Intern: Flossy Azu

    Hi, I'm Flossy!  I was born and raised in Accra Ghana, lived in Massachusetts for four years and I am presently back in Massachusetts after five and a half years in Sendai, Japan.  I'm in the International Education Policy program at Harvard Graduate School of Education for the Ed.M class of 2016.

    What are your favorite pastimes?
          "I love music and I love to dance!  I love all sorts of music and I don't need to understand the lyrics to be able to sing the song if I'm listening to something good.  It brings me joy to cook, and gather people to share in quality time centered around the appreciation of food.  Eating brings me joy, especially traveling to different countries and indulging in the local cuisine."

    If you could be a cartoon character, who would you be?
          "Captain Planet.  He has green hair, friends from around the world AND he saves the Earth!"

    You are trapped on an island.  What three items do you want to have with you?
          "Chocolate, coconuts, music and someone to talk to.  I need four."

    Read More →

    Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture Call to Artists: Boston Artists in Residence

    Posted Wednesday September 23 2015 at 10:11 pm in Call For Artists

    Boston Artists in Residence

    The Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture, in coordination with the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, invites Boston artists to apply to Boston AIR to become an artist in residence within a City of Boston department or agency.

    Boston AIR Stage One: Request for Qualifications

    A cohort of ten artists will be invited to study and expand their own civic and social practice, alongside a parallel cohort of City employees who will be exposed to examples of artistic practices which incorporate art and artists into government work.  Artists will receive $1,000 stipends for capacity development and support as they create proposals to work with a City department or agency.  Both the artist and City cohorts will attend master workshops and lectures by guest artists and have opportunities to exchange ideas and co-design proposals.

    Boston AIR Stage Two: Request for Proposals

    Three artists will be awarded $20,000 stipends each for six-month-long residencies within a City of Boston department or agency to develop and test ways that creative approaches can meaningfully impact the work of the public sector.

    The City of Boston cohort includes representatives from the following departments (not a final list) the Office of Women’s Advancement, Veterans Services, Elderly Affairs, Mayor's Commission for Persons with Disabilities, Department of Neighborhood Development, Boston Transportation Department, Department of Public Works, Parks and Recreation Department, the Education Cabinet, the Office of Arts and Culture, and the Mayor's Office.

    Deadline: Sunday September 27, 2015
    More information.



    Access . . . It's Not As Scary as You Think!

    Posted Wednesday September 16 2015 at 9:17 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Children in a museum looking at artwork with magnifying glasses

    Cultural Access New England presents "Access . . . It's Not As Scary as You Think!" at Peabody Essex Museum in Salem MA.

    Many museums, historic sites, and other cultural organizations are just starting to understand the necessity of access within their institutions.  This introduction will include an exploration of myths and realities surrounding people with disabilities and will strengthen your comfort level enabling you to better serve this audience.  An overview of access services, practical tips, scenarios, and legalities of the Americans with Disabilities Act will arm you with tools to make it work!

    The museum is wheelchair accessible.  For American Sign Language or other accommodations please contact Iwamoto@BostonChildrensMuseum.org by October 8, 2015.

    Participants will be welcome to continue networking with colleagues and enjoy the museum after the workshop.  The Peabody Essex Museum is one of the oldest continuously operating museums in the United States.  It is a successor to the East India Marine Society, established in 1799.

    October 15, 2015 10am
    Peabody Essex Museum
    161 Essex Street
    Salem, MA 01970



    2015 Massachusetts Disability Summit: The ADA at 25

    Posted Thursday September 10 2015 at 11:11 pm in News

    Massachusetts Office on Disability Logo

    2015
    Massachusetts Disability Summit:
    The ADA at 25

    Date:
    September 18, 2015
    Time: 8:30am - Registration
    9:15am - Speaking Program
    Location: Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Room 052A
    415 Summer Street
    Boston, MA 02210

    Join a Who's Who from the Disability Community.
    Summit is immediately before the Abilities EXPO.
    Continental Breakfast for first 200 to RSVP.

    RSVP & Accommodation Requests to:
    Phone: 617-727-7440
    Email to: MOD-Events@state.ma.us



    Artist Market at the 2015 Boston Abilities Expo

    Posted Wednesday September 09 2015 at 10:38 pm in News

    Flower painting by Cristina Powell

    VSA is proud to sponsor the Artist Market at the 2015 Boston Abilities Expo.

    Visit the Market to meet VSA artists and see a unique selection of beautiful fine art and crafts- including prints, paintings, textiles, and jewelry.

    The expo and market are free to the public.  Please join us!

    September 18-20, 2015
    Boston Convention and Exhibition Center/Hall C
    415 Summer Street, Boston, 02210
    Friday and Saturday- 11 am to 5pm
    Sunday- 11 am to 4 pm



    Open Door Gallery Exhibit "Shades of Inclusion"

    Posted Monday September 07 2015 at 5:39 pm in Open Door Gallery

    Basil Kincaid, Scratch cards and mixed media on mannequin

    The Open Door Gallery presents "Shades of Inclusion" now through November 13, 2015.  Artist Leaders from Arts Connect International unpack what inclusion means to each of them through their respective work.  The show beckons the viewer to interact with the nebulous term of inclusion, asking each of us to examine our own inclusionary bias, opening the term for critique, investigation and building.  Above all, the exhibit is a celebration of the diversity found in our local and international communities, utilizing art as a catalyst for multi-dimensional conversations on inclusion.

    Arts Connect International is building the preeminent model for arts entrepreneurship; cultivating and connecting leaders in the field committed to cultural and social inclusion.  Shades of Inclusion showcases the work of seven Artist Leaders who focus on multiple art forms, geographical locations and aspects of inclusion.

    Shades of Inclusion events:

    Living Room Performance: 9/17/15, 6:00-8:00pm

    Artist Talk and Reception: 10/2/15, 6:00-10:00pm

    #ArtBar: 11/5/15, 5:00-7:00pm



    COOL Schools 2014-2015 Report Now Available!

    Posted Monday September 07 2015 at 4:36 pm in Education

    COOL Schools 2014/2015 Report

    Click the above image or this link to download, print, read the full report.



    Teaching Artist Faye Dupras Named Seven Hills/VSA Mass. Employee of the Quarter

    Posted Monday September 07 2015 at 4:12 pm in Education

    Faye Dupras with some of her puppets

    Faye Dupras recently joined the COOL Schools team as a Teaching Artist, sharing her exceptional skills as a puppeteer and educator.  She has shown commitment, professionalism and passion from the start.  Her partner teachers have unanimously reported seeing tremendous growth in their students as a result of working with Faye.  VSA MA is excited to have Faye on their team, revealing the outcome of her amazing talent and impact on the students.  Faye's future with VSA MA is bright and we're proud to recognize her as Employee of the Quarter.



    Boston Children's Museum - Bubble Daze - ASL Interpreted

    Posted Monday August 31 2015 at 07:13 am in Call For Artists

    Large Bubble

    Join Boston Children's Museum for a 3-day bubble spectacular!  Bubble Performers and Artists from the world over will show off their skills and teach you some to try.  Put yourself inside a bubble, then make your own bubble wand to use during the outdoor extravaganza!

    Friday September 11, 2015 from 5 – 8 pm (No ASL)
    Saturday September 12, 2015 from 1 – 4:30 pm
    *ASL Interpreted performances at 1:30 and 2:30 pm

    Sunday September 13, 2015 from 1 – 4:30 pm (No ASL)

    Free with paid Museum admission.

    For more information, visit the Museum website or contact:
    Saki Iwamoto, Health and Wellness Educator
    Iwamoto@BostonChildrensMuseum.org
    617-986-3697



    What Artists Knead

    Posted Monday August 24 2015 at 09:48 am in News

    Kneading Bread

    A series of breadmaking parties for artists curated by Shaw Pong Liu, musician and artist-ethnographer for Boston Creates, Boston's cultural planning initiative.

    Over 1,000 people have participated in over 90 community conversations for Boston Creates, since the community engagement stage began in June 2015.  Most of these conversations have been neighborhood-based. Shaw Pong seeks to connect more voices to the planning process.

    Please RSVP by clicking below the date of the breadmaking you'd like to attend.

    Friday, August 28, 6pm-8pm
    Public Art Salon @ the Cornerstone (corner of Washington and Bowdoin), Dorchester** with guest chef Fulani Haynes, Carribean Salad demo

    Saturday, August 29, 10am-12pm
    Hubbard St (by Stonybrook station), Jamaica Plain

    Sunday, August 30, 5pm-7pm
    The Riverbank, Mattapan**

    Monday, August 31, 6pm-8pm
    Ashfield Street, Roslindale

    **Outdoor venue, check WhatArtistsKnead.org for weather updates.



    Call for N. E. Artists: Walter Feldman Fellowship for Emerging Artists

    Posted Monday August 24 2015 at 08:26 am in Call For Artists

    Walter Feldman Painting

    The Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston announced a call for entries for the second year of the Walter Feldman Fellowship for Emerging Artists.  This program supports the careers of young artists through the experience of a solo exhibition and provides them with curatorial support, as well as expert counsel in marketing and business skills needed to fully leverage this opportunity.

    The Fellowship is open to artists working in 2D media other than photography who are under the age of 40 and have yet to have their first solo exhibition.

    Six or more finalists will be selected for a group show to open in November 2015.  From this group show, two winners will be chosen to receive a solo exhibitions in 2016.

    More information at the Arts & Business Council website.  Apply at CallForEntry.org  (Log-in or new registration is required.)  Application deadline is August 31, 2015.



    VSA Webinar: Beyond the Basics of Dance Education for Students with Disabilities

    Posted Tuesday August 18 2015 at 06:24 am in News

    Webinar

    Description: This Webinar synthesizes emerging research and classroom experience delivering strategies to develop practice, pedagogy, and policy in teaching dance to students with disabilities. We will move past inclusion basics and include ground-breaking work from disability dance leaders who "put the disability first", challenging and expanding traditional constructs of dance teaching and artistry.

    Attendees will learn how to:
    • Attend to wide-ranging abilities of individual students while maintaining or elevating the integrity of the group or class experience.
    • Deliver high-level arts learning while building students’ behavioral, cognitive, and social skills capacity.
    • Challenge and change the culture of schools and communities that may not recognize the exceptional and essential value of inclusive arts learning.
    • Create and achieve specific personal and professional goals to expand the culture of dance learning and artistry.

    When: Tuesday August 25, 2015 from 3-4pm EDT

    More information and registration.



    All Voices Count - 2015

    Posted Tuesday August 11 2015 at 06:01 am in News

    All Voices Count

    Are you an artist?
    Are you an actor?
    Are you a storyteller?
    Are you a poet?

    All Voices Count brings together young actors and storytellers with disabilities and those without, to create multidisciplinary performances that address relevant contemporary communication as well as social and political issues.

  • When: August 17, 2015 11am-2pm, August 18, 2015 10am-4pm, August 19, 2015 5-8pm, August 21, 2015 10am-4pm
  • Where: Massachusetts College of Art & Design, The Pozen Center, 621 Huntington Ave., Boston
  • RSVP: 617-426-4737 or 617-290-1947
  • E-mail: utp@RCN.com
  • All learning styles will be accommodated.

    Presented through a collaboration of Until Tomorrow Productions, Massachusetts College of Art & Design, and VSA Massachusetts.



    Sensory-Friendly "Wild Music" at EcoTarium in Worcester

    Posted Monday August 03 2015 at 3:56 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Large wood instrument mounted on wall

    Whales compose, bullfrogs chorus, songbirds greet the dawn, and people everywhere sing and dance. What do we all have in common?  Find out in Worcester EcoTarium's summer exhibit, Wild Music.

    Discover how nature is filled with "musicians" that create distinct musical masterpieces to communicate with and relate to one another.  And, explore how human music is inspired by the music of other living creatures – from tiny insects to giant whales.  Wild Music offers unique experiences to see, hear and feel sounds!

    Sensory-Friendly Sunday August 23, 2015 from 10am - noon.  An exclusive early opening with exhibit sounds turned down.



    Company One Theatre's "Colossal"

    Posted Wednesday July 29 2015 at 06:31 am in News

    Football player speaks with man in wheelchair

    Last November we blogged that Company One Theatre was seeking a wheelchaired actor for it's production of Colossal.  They found the right guy and we'd like to think our post helped them out.  Anyway . . .

    The lights burn bright.  The smell of turf hangs thickly in the air.  The crowd erupts in thunderous applause.  The beauty and brutality of football seduce Mike to stray from the path his father had mapped out for him, but when a snap decision results in a career-ending injury, Mike must tackle the past and make peace with the man he dreamed he would be.  Played in four quarters with a half-time show, dance company, and a drumline, Colossal's explosive theatrical storytelling and full-contact physicality carries this unmissable summer event all the way to the end zone.

    Company One Theatre's Colossal
    Boston Center for the Arts
    Now through August 15, 2015
    More information
    Purchase tickets



    Teacher Art Retreat 2015

    Posted Monday July 27 2015 at 10:46 am in Education

    The Teacher Art Retreat is a chance to get away and work within the arts.  It is three days of experiences put together to relax, create and discover more about yourself as an educator as well as the art forms you will work with.  Each workshop is build to try new methods and reinvent previous skills, to meet new people and enrich friendships.  Participants always remark about how amazingly good they feel during and after the retreat.  Real professional development for creative teachers.  Don't miss out!

    August 10-12, 2015
    Hampton, NH
    All educators are welcome.

    Visit the Teaching Art Retreat for more information or email Elizabeth@theinspiredclassroom.com or call 978-226-8291.



    Celebrate 25 Years of the ADA in Worcester

    Posted Thursday July 23 2015 at 06:22 am in News

    Seven Hills Foundation is a proud sponsor of the City of Worcester's 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on Saturday, July 25, 2015 from noon to 4:00 p.m. at Union Station.

    The day the Americans With Disabilities Act passed in 1990, then-U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa delivered a speech from the Senate floor in a way most of his colleagues didn't understand.

    Harkin, the bill's sponsor, used sign language for the benefit of his brother who was deaf and had taught Harkin this lesson: "People should be judged on the basis of their abilities and not on the basis of their disabilities."

    With the country marking the act's 25th anniversary, Brandi Rarus, a former Miss Deaf America, remembers how important it was for people with disabilities to make it known they would no longer allow others to set limits on what they could achieve.

    "Those of us with disabilities face many barriers," says Rarus. "Some of those are unavoidable.  I can’t listen to the radio as I drive to work in the morning.  Often, because of communication barriers, I have to work twice as hard as a hearing person.  Instead of taking me five minutes to make a doctor’s appointment, it takes me 10."

    But some barriers are avoidable, Rarus says.  And that's why the Americans With Disabilities Act has played such an important role in people's lives for the last 25 years.

    Please join us for this local celebration--enjoy an afternoon of entertainment, interactive exhibits and activities, educational resources, food and dance!

    Date: Saturday, July 25, 2015
    Time: Noon to 4:00 p.m.
    Place: Union Station, 2 Washington Square, Worcester

    More Information



    Boston Conservatory Music Program for Young Children on the Autism Spectrum

    Posted Tuesday July 21 2015 at 06:20 am in News

    Students and teacher playing music

    The Boston Conservatory Music Program for Young Children on the Autism Spectrum is a fun and engaging way for parents to introduce their young children on the autism spectrum (ages 3-8) to music.  Taught by graduate students and alumni of The Boston Conservatory's renowned Music Education program, these 45-minute "mommy and me"-style classes take place every Saturday at the school's state-of-the-art training facilities, and run for a period of 10 weeks, beginning September 2015.

    PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:

  • Curriculum that nurtures a broad musical foundation through hands-on experiences and engaging activities
  • The use of handheld percussion instruments to practice rhythmic patterns and explore various ways to create with musical sounds
  • The use of movement props to discover different ways to connect with music
  • Opportunities for students and parents to make music together in a group
  • The musical repertoire for this program consists of folk songs and original compositions created by the program's instructors.  Families will receive a CD of songs from class to play at home.

    Learn more about this program at the Boston Conservatory website or contact rbernard@bostonconservatory.edu.



    Non-verbal Theatre and Puppetry - "Yellow Bird Chase" on Boston Common

    Posted Wednesday July 15 2015 at 4:08 pm in News

    Yellow Bird Chase

    A clownish maintenance crew finds a magical yellow bird.  Seeing its value, they try to capture the bird, but it escapes and a great chase begins.  Racing over land, across the sea, and through the air, battling pirates, monsters and terrible pop songs, how far will our crew chase to catch the yellow bird?

    Join Liars & Believers in a new story for all ages told in mask, puppetry, and gibberish.  "Yellow Bird Chase" - July 18, 2015 at 12pm, 2pm, & 4pm and July 19, 2015 at 12pm & 2pm near the carousel on Boston Common.  Run-time is 30 minutes.



    2015 VSA Intersections: Arts and Special Education Conference

    Posted Sunday July 12 2015 at 9:38 pm in Education

    Intersections of Arts Education and Special Education

    Intersections provides professionals in the intersecting fields of arts education and special education the opportunity to share current information in research, practice, programs, and policy, and serve as a leading catalyst for change.  This conference brings together educators, administrators, researchers, teaching artists, and more interested in improving the arts learning experience for students with disabilities.

    2015 VSA Intersections: Arts and Special Education Conference
    August 3-4, 2015
    Full details and registration



    ADA 25th Anniversary Celebration on the Boston Common

    Posted Thursday July 09 2015 at 06:33 am in News

    Join us Wednesday, July 22, 2015 from 11am - 3pm on the Boston Common to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Help us mark this important milestone kicked off with a march, great performers, speakers, and tons of family-friendly activities including our sidewalk chalk art installation to commemorate Sidewalk Sam, one of Boston's favorite artists and social activist.

    For the full schedule of events and more information, visit the ADA 25 Boston website.



    Upcoming VSA Webinars

    Posted Tuesday July 07 2015 at 06:19 am in News

    Webinar

    Free webinars scheduled by the Office of VSA & Accessibility, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts:

    Fundamentals: Big Ideas from the National Core Arts Standards and Guiding Principles for Students with Disabilities
    Tuesday, July 21, 2015  3-4pm
    Presenters: Marcia McCaffrey, President, State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education and Dr. Sharon M. Malley, author of Students with Disabilities and the Core Arts Standards: Guiding Principles for Teachers

    The presenters will: 1) provide an overview of the National Core Arts Standards highlighting the standards framework, the big ideas behind the standards as well as a brief tour of the website nationalartsstandards.org; 2) provide a description of principles and practices that are fundamental to working with students with disabilities in arts education; and 3) discuss how the National Core Arts Standards supports student-learning for all students.
    More info and registration

    Arts and UDL 101: Designing for Variability is Beautiful
    Tuesday, July 28, 2015  3-4pm
    Presenters: Don Glass, PhD and Wilhemina Peragine, VSA Massachusetts

    Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a transformative framework for guiding the design and evaluation of curriculum, programs, and materials.  The framework focuses on learning designs that consider human variability and growth.  UDL addresses the problem of practice of how we design curriculum to support a wide range of learners in inclusive educational settings.  The arts may play a key role in providing these learning options in curricula that is universally designed for learning.
    More info and registration



    Boston Museum of Fine Arts - "Beyond the Spectrum" Program

    Posted Monday July 06 2015 at 06:27 am in Cultural Inclusion

    Young boys working with clay

    Boston Museum of Fine Arts offers their Beyond the Spectrum program as part of Artful Healing.  The program includes an art tour and activity for children 8-12 years of age who are on the Autism Spectrum, including Asperger's Syndrome, to explore and create with their parent or guardian one Saturday a month.  The next class on July 11th and will be focusing on Clever Disguises presented in artwork and making masks.

  • Beyond the Spectrum program
  • Boston Museum of Fine Arts
  • July 11, August 8, September 12, October 3, 2015
  • $9.00 per child
  • More information
  • Email artfulhealing@mfa.org with questions


  • Community Partners' Day at Museum of Science

    Posted Wednesday July 01 2015 at 06:17 am in Cultural Inclusion

    Butterfly on Leaf

    Join Boston Museum of Science Saturday, July 11, 2015 for a free Community Partners' Day.  This event will coincide with Butterfly and Caterpillar Weekend.  In addition to visiting the main exhibit halls, including the Theater of Electricity and the Hall of Human Life, guests can attend presentations from Harvard University researchers on butterflies and caterpillars, learn to make their own butterfly garden at home, participate in hands-on activities in our caterpillar lab, and more.  All registered attendees will receive exhibit hall entrance.

  • Registered guests will receive up to 4 free adult and/or children exhibit hall passes per reservation.
  • Guests can view the exhibits until 7:00pm, when the Museum closes.
  • ASL interpreters will be available.  Please indicate if you need an interpreter.
  • Guests can pick up their reserved tickets at the Community Relations registration table in the Museum lobby on July 11 between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM.
  • Registration ends July 9 at 5:00pm.  Please register online at http://tiny.cc/mos711

    If you have any questions, please contact Maria Cabrera (mcabrera@mos.org, 617-589-0418) or James Boyd (jboyd@mos.org, 617-589-0315).



    Highland Street Foundation's Free Fun Fridays

    Posted Thursday June 25 2015 at 06:53 am in News

    Free Fun Fridays

    Highland Street Foundation presents it's 7th annual Free Fun Fridays which starts June 26, 2015.  70 museums and cultural venues, 10 weeks of fun, 7 sites open for free each Friday.  Free Fun Fridays offers visitors no cost admission to many of the most treasured cultural venues in Massachusetts.

    See the full schedule at Highland Street Foundation's website.



    Gateway Artists "Up the Ladder" Reception at the Open Door Gallery

    Posted Sunday June 21 2015 at 8:20 pm in Open Door Gallery

    Abdel Michel, U.S.S. Constitution, Pencil on paper, 7x11

    A group exhibition of artists who have participated in the "Up The Ladder" program at Gateway Arts.  Through grants and private donations, over the past two years these artists have received individualized coaching and mentoring from visiting artists and other art professionals.  The goal has been to develop significant work for their portfolios; and create support materials such as bios, resumes and artist statements.  These artists have been successful at showing and selling their work and becoming part of the mainstream art world, through exhibitions in galleries, museums, on the Gateway website and social media.

  • Gateway Arts "Up the Ladder"
  • Reception June 25, 2015 from 4-7 pm
  • Open Door Gallery
  • 89 South Street, Suite 101
  • Boston, MA 02111


  • Accolades for Our Embodying Literacy Professional Learning Community

    Posted Saturday June 20 2015 at 11:49 pm in Education

    Kids in classroom learning theater arts

    The VSA MA Embodying Literacy professional learning community enabled 11 Boston Public Schools Arts Teachers to explore arts integration strategies to support literacy and inclusion of students with and without disabilities.  Through discussions with fellow participants and coaching from the instructors, participants developed inclusive, arts-integrated literacy curricula based on Dance, Drama and English Language Arts Common Core standards.  The program was led by two VSA MA master teaching artists; Priscilla Harmel (dance) and Marianne Adams (drama).

    Embodying Literacy had a very successful and productive second year, and continued to build important collaborative relationships between BPS arts teachers who rarely have the opportunity to collaborate.  Pending funding, we will offer the program again next year.

    Stephanie Nikolau, who participated in our Embodying Literacy Professional Learning Community, wrote this about her experience:

    The inspiration, support, advice, resources and teaching you have shared with us certainly fills my classroom and lives in my Theater students this year.  You have helped me develop a Playmaking process that's transparent to the kids.  They can speak to the process and create original performance pieces, when last year it seem like a lofty, and more abstract, string of activities and events.  You have given me the language and confidence to advocate at the department, school, district and city-level when it comes to meeting our students needs (inside and outside of the arts classroom).  You have helped me create a mission statement for my team, helped me train a school of teachers (and arts colleague close to my heart) in differentiating instruction through movement and storytelling.  I have met so many of my professional and personal goals this year through the participation of "Embodying Literacy", and I hope we have given back the support and genuine encouragement you have given to us!  You are brilliant, and I look at your work and presence in this field with awe.  I truly hope to work at the capacity you do one day.  You transform practices in education and help improve the practice of teachers across the country.  Thank you for helping me build my future.



    Bringing Cape Cod Together Piece by Piece

    Posted Friday June 19 2015 at 11:30 pm in News

    Mosaic including a crane (bird)

    Join Cape Cod Collaborative Arts Network (CapeCodCAN!) at the unveiling of this breathtaking mosaic.  The 8 foot by 9 foot mosaic was developed by 150 creative Cape Cod individuals living with disabilities under the tutelage of local artists, with guidance from their affiliated organizations, and support from generous sponsors and donors.

  • June 24, 2015 at 4pm
  • Hyannis Transportation Center
  • 215 Iyannough Road
  • Hyannis MA 02601
  • Reception Immediately Following
  • Free Parking Nearby


  • Blue Man Group Sensory-Friendly Performance

    Posted Wednesday June 17 2015 at 06:40 am in Cultural Inclusion

    Blue Man Group

    On Saturday, June 20, 2015 at 11am, minor production changes will make the Blue Man Group show more sensory-friendly, including the reduction of sound and light levels at select moments along with a social story available here.  In addition, audience supports will be in place, including:

  • Headphones available
  • Trained volunteers
  • Calming area
  • Judgment-free environment
  • Blue Man co-founder Phil Stanton: "We've heard from many families affected by autism that their children responded to the Blue Man character in a very moving way.  We don't know the exact reason.  We can only speculate that it has to do with the Blue Men communicating in their own unique way — non-verbally, through visuals, touch and sound."

    All tickets to the 11am June 20, 2015 performance are offered at a discounted rate with Blue Man donating $5 of every ticket to Autism Speaks.

    Purchase tickets here.  Click on "find tickets" and enter the promo code AUTISMSPEAKS.  Groups of 15 or more, please call (617) 542-6700.



    40 Days, 60 Countries, Hundreds of Young Artists: The VSA Digital Arts Festival

    Posted Monday June 15 2015 at 10:23 pm in News

    Join a virtual field trip that can encourage students to study and respond to the arts!  Starting June 16, 2015, examples of the positive power of the arts will be on full digital display, courtesy of the 40 Days Digital Arts Festival.  This celebration brings together people of all abilities from all over the world through international exchanges of art exhibitions, educational materials, art performances, and professional development materials.

    What Is In The 40 Days Festival?
    The 40 Days Festival is a repository of materials such as lesson plans, videos, photographs, letters, etc of art and education exchanges.  The project is truly diverse:

  • There are many projects that are school programs that have been exchanged between two countries and have the lesson plans, evaluation materials and samples.
  • There are projects that are professional art exchanges of music and art in which one country is showcasing the talents of professional artists with disabilities in another country.
  • There are professional development materials for educators and artists to use that countries have shared with each other and are now accessible to anyone.
  • There are projects with military ties.  One project involves Veterans with PTSD working with refugees on a writing project.  Another project involves video and film of individuals’ experiences and memories of war.
  • There are projects that showcase how different Affiliates run some of our more popular projects such as Young Soloist.
  • There are projects that are a sharing of culture through the arts.
  • Be sure to visit the festival website often as a new project will be unveiled daily for the next 40 days.



    Call for Music Therapist/Music Teaching Artist

    Posted Friday June 12 2015 at 7:29 pm in Education

    Music therapist playing guitar in classroom

    VSA MA COOL Schools seeks a passionate and experienced music teaching artist/music therapist to lead a music program for students ages 5 - 21 with significant disabilities.  The program will run on Fridays from September 2015 - April 2016.

    Description
    VSA MA is seeking an experienced music teaching artist to work with two groups of approximately 15 students each at the “Creative Kids Program” at the Boston College Campus School (Chestnut Hill).  Students have significant disabilities and medical needs and are 5 - 21 years old.  The program focuses on supporting individual IEP goals through music.  Education students from Boston College serve as one-on-one buddies to students participating in the program.  The program runs on Fridays in two 10-week cycles, one in the Fall semester and one in the Spring.

    Requirements
    Candidates should have demonstrated experience in music therapy and/or music education, and significant experience working with students with disabilities.  We are particularly interested in candidates who have experience working with students with significant disabilities and medical needs.  Candidates must be willing to lead short group discussions with Boston College “buddies” after each session to debrief student progress towards goals and provide support.  Strong oral and written communication skills and an ability to work as part of a team are necessary.  Candidates must also be committed to on-going professional development as an arts practitioner and educator and to participating in other meetings as required.

    Please send a resume and cover letter providing more information on your artistic and professional experience, and sample lesson plan/curriculum to education@vsamass.org

    Learn more about the VSA MA COOL Schools Program.



    Free Webinar: The Art of Self-Expression

    Posted Friday June 12 2015 at 06:49 am in Education

    Webinar

    The goals of this webinar are to support the attendees to make the visual arts a daily form of self-expression for individuals with mild to severe physical, intellectual and emotional disabilities.  Founder and executive director of Art Therapy Express Program, Inc., Lisa Bartoli will cover characteristics, strategies and goals for five major areas of disability (physical, visual, intellectual, emotional, and learning), positioning individuals for maximum success, adaptive and work station devices, 2d vs. 3d, sensory stimulation, space, securing the work, tools, sources for adaptive equipment, thinking outside of the box, textures, wheelchair rollers, foot painting, head sticks, etc.  This webinar is jam packed with useful information for adapting an art program, resources for buying or creating assistive technology, and even low cost recipes.

    Presenter: Lisa Bartoli is the founder and executive director of Art Therapy Express Program, Inc.  She graduated with a Master's Degree in Creative Arts in Therapy and brings 27 years of post graduate experience.  She has introduced art as self-expression to thousands of children, teenagers, and adults with mild to severe physical, intellectual, and emotional disabilities.  Lisa utilizes the arts to empower individuals, providing self-expression and communication for individuals within schools, hospitals, nonprofit organizations and her own adapted art studio.  By building a bridge between each student's capability and his/her imagination, providing a place where even the non-verbal individual can speak through the arts.  Lisa provides teacher and staff in-services and student internships to local colleges and universities.

    Intended Audience: Administrators, principals, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech therapists, art therapists, art teachers, special education teachers, teachers, professors, university and college interns and students, volunteers, nonprofit staff, museum staff, and parents and siblings of students with disabilities.

    The Art of Self-Expression: Textures, Tools, Techniques, and Thinking Outside of the Box
    Tuesday, June 23, 2015 3-4pm

    Registration Link



    Nominate a White House Champion of Change for Disability Advocacy

    Posted Wednesday June 10 2015 at 06:47 am in News

    This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a landmark civil rights law that promises equal access and equal opportunity -- regardless of ability.  The ADA's legacy can be seen everywhere, whether you're using a curb cut as you cross the street, using a sign language to catch every lyric at a concert, or receiving reasonable accommodations to do your most efficient work possible.  While the Federal government has led many efforts to implement the ADA to the fullest extent possible, much of the success of the ADA is due to the persistence of long-time state and local disability advocates who have advanced inclusion in their communities.

    Despite the many successes of the ADA, non-discrimination, full inclusion, equal opportunity are still not a reality for many individuals with disabilities.  Thankfully, there are numerous Americans with disabilities who are working to uphold and expand the spirit of the ADA whether it's getting disability history taught in their colleges or ensuring that social media is accessible.  Help identify and honor both long-time local disability rights advocates and young leaders with disabilities who are dedicated to disability advocacy and advancing the legacy of the ADA for the next 25 years.

    Nominees may include:

  • Leaders who advocate for equal employment of people with disabilities
  • Advocates who work to improve accessible public transit
  • Citizens who fight for the creation of barrier free programs and public spaces
  • Community members who create innovative ways to make communication accessible
  • Leaders who help organize efforts for greater inclusion of students with disabilities in higher education settings
  • Submit your nomination by midnight Thursday, June 18 (be sure to choose Americans with Disabilities Act in the "Theme of Service" field of the nomination form).



    ASL-Interpreted "Friends of Broadway" at Boston Children's Museum

    Posted Saturday June 06 2015 at 9:00 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Friends of Broadway is a musical revue of girls who travel all over the country singing and dancing to music from Broadway, movies, pop songs, oldies, holiday favorites, and much more!  There is something for everyone in this high energy, non-stop fun show that the whole family can enjoy!

  • June 21, 2015 at 2:15pm
  • ASL-Interpreted
  • Free with paid museum admission
  • Recommended for kids 3 and up
  • For more information, visit the Museum website or contact:
  • Saki Iwamoto, Health and Wellness Educator
  • Iwamoto@BostonChildrensMuseum.org
  • 617-986-3697


  • "Juneteenth" at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

    Posted Saturday June 06 2015 at 5:40 pm in Call For Artists

    The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston invites you to "Juneteenth".  Juneteenth is the oldest known tradition, commemorating the historical significance of June 19th, which was the ending of slavery in 1865.

    Juneteenth is a cultural celebration, at the Museum, that highlights creativity and community in a number of ways, which include showcasing the work of visual, fashion, dance, performance, and musical artists.  Also, those who attend can engage in the tour and talk in the Museum galleries and meet up with the Future Boston Alliance to recognize the grassroots commemoration Juneteenth.

    Activities taking place include:

  • Performance Art from Siphon and Obehi Janice
  • Community Mural Making
  • Visual Artist: Anthony Young
  • Fashion
  • Spotlight Talks: "Gordon Parks: Back to Fort Scott"
  • Highlight Tours: African American Artists
  • Meet-Up
  • Roxbury International Film Festival, Film: An American Ascent
  • Wednesday, June 17, 2015 from 6-9:45pm
    Visit the MFA website for more details.



    Massachusetts Cultural Council's UP Webinar Series

    Posted Thursday June 04 2015 at 06:44 am in Cultural Inclusion

    The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) is putting inclusive design at the center of its work with cultural organizations across the Commonwealth with the creation of its new initiative: UP.  The goal of UP is to support and celebrate nonprofit cultural organizations that incorporate inclusive design to expand audiences and enhance experiences for all.

    The MCC is hosting two webinars showcasing the work of several UP Organizations focused on inclusive theater and inclusive exhibits.

    Inclusive Theater Webinar
    - Wednesday, June 10, 2015 from 1:00 – 2:00pm
    - Charles Baldwin, Wheelock Family Theatre
    - Rhoda Bernard, The Boston Conservatory
    - Jason Slavick, Liars & Believers
    - More info and registration

    Inclusive Exhibits Webinar
    - Monday, June 15, 2015 from 1:00 – 2:00pm
    - Hannah Goodwin, Museum of Fine Arts
    - Nora Nagle, Museum of Science
    - Emily Curran, Old South Meeting House
    - More info and registration

    Webinars will be closed captioned and recorded.



    Low Vision Technology Fair

    Posted Wednesday June 03 2015 at 06:16 am in News

    Vendors from various low vision companies will be on hand to show their latest devices in the area of low vision and blindness.

  • Tuesday, June 9, 2015
  • 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
  • Easter Seals Technology Center, NPC Building 1st floor, 89 South St. Boston, MA 02111
  • Free
  • Contact: Cathy Bly 617-226-2634 or cbly@eastersealsma.org for further information.
  • VSA MA is located in the same building directly across the lobby from Easter Seals Technology Regional Center.  Stop by and visit us at the Open Door Gallery.



    StageSource 2015 Theater Conference

    Posted Sunday May 31 2015 at 7:01 pm in News

    Stage Source - Your Theater Connection

    StageSource is holding their biennial theater conference at the Opera House.  It promises to be a terrific day of programming with a keynote by Julie Burros, the new chief of Arts & Culture in Boston, followed by a panel about civic engagement in the arts.  There will be short data reports on gender parity, audiences for new work, SpaceFinder, ASL initiatives, and audience development/community partnerships, with follow-up breakouts at lunch.  (Julie Burros will also be leading a lunch breakout).  The afternoon has two sessions of workshops and panels, with seven choices in each session.

  • StageSource 2015 Theater Conference
  • June 7, 2015
  • Boston Opera House
  • Members $30, non-members $50
  • Visit the StageSource website for more information and to register


  • Free Museum of Fine Arts Tickets Expiring May 31, 2015

    Posted Wednesday May 27 2015 at 4:05 pm in News

    MFA Tickets Expiring May 31, 2015

    Visit Boston's Museum of Fine Arts for free!  Here's what you have to do:

    - Come see us at the Open Door Gallery, 89 South St., Boston.
    - Enjoy our current "Up the Ladder" exhibit by Gateway artists.
    - Ask us for free MFA Access Program passes (limit 2).
    - Go to the MFA before the tickets expire May 31, 2015.

    First come, first served.  Come and get em!



    Town Meeting to Discuss Boston's Creative Future

    Posted Wednesday May 27 2015 at 06:45 am in News

    Help us create a plan for arts and culture

    Boston Creates, under the leadership of Mayor Martin J. Walsh, is a community-wide effort to harness Boston's creativity to build a shared vision for arts and culture.  You can help shape this future by considering questions such as:

  • What are your observations about Boston's cultural life?
  • What are its strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are the needs of your community?
  • What are your suggestions for addressing those needs?
  • How can Boston Creates improve things?
  • What is your vision for citywide cultural development?
  • What would success look like in ten years?
  • What role should the City of Boston play?
  • What other questions, observations or suggestions do you have?
  • Do you suggestions for other key people or organizations that we should be sure to include in the process?
  • Attend the town meeting June 2, 2015 from 6-9pm at The English High School in Jamaica Plain and express your opinions on these questions.  Or submit comments to this blog post and we will relay your thoughts to the city.



    Deaf and Hard of Hearing Family Event at Boston Children's Museum

    Posted Thursday May 21 2015 at 10:11 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Boston Children's Museum Logo

    - Date: Saturday, May 30, 2015
    - Admission: You must pre-register to receive discount admission.  All guests must pay admission at the Admissions Desk upon arrival.
    - Non members: $7 per person (half off regular admission price)
    - Members: Free
    - Registration required

    ASL Interpreted Programs:

        11 am: Magic show by Deaf magician, Steve Weiner
        There's nothing scary in Steve’s show, but everything is geared towards comedy and fun tricks he has collected for the past 30+ years of his career!

        12 pm: Family Circle
        Bring your lunch and meet other families!  There will be resources, and Katie Prins, the Coordinator of Outreach and Support Services from Boston Children's Hospital's Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program, will be facilitating the conversation.

        1:30 pm: KidStage show: The Tale of the Three Little Pigs

        2:30 pm: Dance workshops by Deafblind dancer, Kerry Thompson
        How do you dance if you cannot hear the music?  How do you dance if you cannot see?  Is salsa and merengue a food or a dance?  What is bachata?  Come find out as Kerry Thompson, a Deafblind dancer and Director for Silent Rhythms Dance, teaches us to think about music and dance in a different way through performances and workshops.

    Contact
    Saki Iwamoto, Health and Wellness Educator
    Iwamoto@BostonChildrensMuseum.org
    617-986-3697



    2015 Kennedy Center National Seminar for Teaching Artists

    Posted Monday May 18 2015 at 10:12 pm in Education

    Abstract Art

    The Kennedy Center National Seminar for Teaching Artists is designed to strengthen the quality and impact of teaching artists' work.  To do so, this intensive, multi-day Seminar leverages the Kennedy Center's decades of experience in professional learning for artists.

    The National Seminar involves 30 teaching artists from around the nation in lively discussions and activities designed to help them learn and apply targeted skills in Residency and Lesson Design.  Instruction is supported by live demonstrations, PowerPoint presentations, and colorful print materials that identify key concepts through diagrams, checklists, and useful planning forms.  Throughout the Seminar, time is provided to process the learning in small and large group discussions and reflections.  In the months following the Seminar, participants continue to develop their Residency and Lesson Plans in consultation with a Kennedy Center teaching artist/mentor.

  • National Seminar for Teaching Artists
  • Washington, DC
  • August 11, 2015 - August 13, 2015
  • Application Deadline: May 29, 2015
  • More information
  • Apply now


  • Commonwealth Shakespeare Company Presents ASL-Interpreted Romeo and Juliet

    Posted Thursday May 14 2015 at 10:31 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Romeo and Juliet

    Verona is a city marked by a violent feud between two rival families: the Montagues and the Capulets.  As the bloodshed rises to its peak, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet share a forbidden love that might have the power to end their two families' strife.

  • Romeo and Juliet
  • ASL-Interpreted
  • Saturday May 30, 2015 at 2pm
  • The Strand Theatre
  • 543 Columbia Road
  • Dorchester, MA 02125
  • More information
  • Purchase tickets (Only $5!)


  • ASL/Audio-Described Shrek The Musical at Wheelock Family Theatre

    Posted Tuesday May 12 2015 at 06:47 am in Cultural Inclusion

    Shrek the Musical

    The 2008 Broadway smash about a horrible ogre, a feisty princess and a garrulous donkey, Shrek the Musical simultaneously subverts and fulfills fairy-tale expectations.  With wit and a mischievous humor, we follow our misanthropic, green hero as he learns about the power of friendship and the magical nature of love; all while thwarting a dastardly villain.  Based on the irreverent picture book by William Steig and the award-winning animated film by DreamWorks, this singing, dancing extravaganza explores the relative nature of beauty, the beguiling myth of "happily-ever-after", and the importance of accepting others for who they really are.

  • ASL/Audio-described
  • Friday May 22, 2015 at 7:30pm and Sunday May 24, 2015 at 3:00pm
  • Wheelock Family Theatre
  • 180 The Riverway, Boston
  • More information
  • Purchase tickets
  • The Theatre is wheelchair accessible
  • All performances are Open Captioned


  • Arts and a Changing Boston, Featuring Dr. Manuel Pastor

    Posted Monday May 11 2015 at 06:55 am in News

    Manuel Pastor Speaking

    Barr Foundation, Klarman Family Foundation, and TDC present: Arts and a Changing Boston, Featuring Dr. Manuel Pastor

    Already a majority-minority city, Boston's demographics are continually evolving.  Yet, the profile of artists, producing and presenting organizations, arts audiences and supporters, has lagged this change.

    What does that mean for the future of our city and our sector?  And, what roles can we each play to create a more equitable, diverse and inclusive cultural sector?

    Drawing on population and economic data, Dr. Pastor will explore present and future demographic scenarios for Boston, together with strategies for creating greater equity and inclusion in the arts, which we all know can be powerful contributors to economic and social sustainability.

    Dr. Manuel Pastor is Professor of Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California.  Founding director of the Center for Justice, Tolerance, and Community at the University of California, Santa Cruz, he currently directs the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity at USC and co-directs USC's Center for Study of Immigrant Integration.  Dr. Pastor's research has generally focused on issues of the economic, environmental and social conditions facing low-income urban communities – and the social movements seeking to change those realities.

  • May 21, 2015
  • 9:30 - 11:00 am
  • The Paramount Theatre
  • 559 Washington Street
  • Boston, MA 02111
  • FREE - Register below:



  • Free VSA Webinar - Teach them to FLY! How Storytelling Gives Wings to Primary-age Children with Disabilities

    Posted Sunday May 10 2015 at 10:11 pm in Education

    VSA Webinar Series

    Storytelling can give students with disabilities their wings.  It addresses the whole brain, engaging all learning styles, and multiple ways of knowing.  It allows teachers in self-contained and inclusive classrooms to reach children who have not responded to other strategies, providing students with differentiated ways to achieve and demonstrate understanding.  In this interactive webinar, participants will explore storytelling strategies that authentically address the Common Core State Standards for English/Language Arts in the primary grades.  In the process, they'll learn a story that they can immediately take into the classroom -- and most importantly -- participants will discover how storytelling can help children with disabilities learn to FLY!

    When: May 19, 2015 from 3 - 4pm

    Read More →

    The Arts Leading the Way to Student Success

    Posted Sunday May 10 2015 at 9:29 pm in Education

    The Arts Leading the Way to Student Success. A 2020 Action Agenda for Advancing the Arts in Education.

    Arts Education Partnership recently added a great resource to its website: "The Arts Leading the Way to Student Success: A 2020 Action Agenda for Advancing the Arts in Education".

    The publication articulates the role and contribution of the arts in education improvement efforts and provides arts and education leaders and other like-minded stakeholders with a blueprint for collective action and systemic change.

    Read, download, print, the PDF from here.



    Liars & Believers Free Staged Reading of "Who Would be King"

    Posted Thursday May 07 2015 at 8:48 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Who Would Be King

    Violence and betrayal, angels and prophets, villains and kings . . . and rubber chickens.

    Who rises to rule and how far will he fall in the great clown kingdom of Who Would Be King?  This new epic tale, created by Liars & Believers, swings from absurd buffoonery to high tragedy, with kinetic physicality, silliness, swords and a live band.

    Adapted from the ancient tale of King Saul, Who Would Be King is the story of a good man given an impossible task, who stands up and fails nobly.  It asks, what is the difference between good and great, and where is God between the two?

    Come help create Who Would Be King!  Liars & Believers presents a staged reading of this new work-in-progress.  Halfway through development, the play is being shared with you as it now stands.  Join in a discussion afterwards about what works, what doesn't and where it should go in the next phase of creation.  Be part of the ensemble and help tell the story.

    Liars & Believers expands the language of live performance, exploring the widest variety of theatrical forms, creating accessible, unique shows that meaningfully engage the world we share.  Liars & Believers is an UP designated organization by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

    Monday May 18, 2015 at 7pm at OBERON in Cambridge, MA
    Run Time: 2hours with intermission
    Free tickets available.



    Everyone Has a Disability Experience.  What's Yours?

    Posted Tuesday May 05 2015 at 10:30 pm in Call For Artists

    Tilt. New Angeles on the Disability Experience.

    The Kennedy Center asks you to bring honesty to the table.  To shift perception through media, video, and creative storytelling.  To showcase that people are people first—not simply defined by a disability.  This is the TILT challenge.

    Share your disability experience—in your own life, the lives of others, or by creating fictional characters—through the art of digital media and storytelling.  Seeking authentic stories that will inform, enlighten and tilt this perception.

    The TILT Challenge invites middle school, high school, and pre-professional students, ages 13-22, from around the world to submit.  Submissions must be no more than 5 minutes in length and are due May 15, 2015.  Winners will be invited to Washington, D.C., and winning submissions will be showcased at the Kennedy Center the week of July 20-26, 2015.



    CapeCodCAN! presents Scary Gary's Graveyard of Golden Oldies Radio Show

    Posted Sunday May 03 2015 at 5:11 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Scary Gary Radio Show Flier

    Cape Cod Collaborative Arts Network – CapeCodCAN!
    is pleased to present the Cape Cod Premiere of
    Scary Gary's Graveyard of Golden Oldies Radio Show
    Musical Review at the Cotuit Center for the Arts
    May 15, 2015 (6pm), May 16, 2015 (6pm), and May 17, 2015 (2pm)
    All tickets are $20.  Purchase tickets here.


    In the last two years all CapeCodCAN! performances have sold out.
    Purchase your tickets as soon as possible!



    Shoe Town Art Center of Haverhill Offers Accessible Pottery Class

    Posted Sunday May 03 2015 at 4:18 pm in News

    Man spinning pottery wheel

    Having recently moved to an ADA compliant facility with wheelchair accessibility, Shoe Town Art Center of Haverhill is pleased to offer pottery classes which include the availability of a wheelchair accessible pottery wheel.

    The 6-week Saturday sessions start May 9, 2015 and thereafter will run May 16, 23, June 6, 13, 20.  From 12 noon to 3 pm.  All supplies are included in the cost.

    For more information visit the Shoe Town Art Center website.



    Henderson Inclusion School Presents "The Lion King"

    Posted Sunday May 03 2015 at 3:55 pm in Education

    The Lion King

    The Lion King, Friday, May 8, 2015 at 1pm

    at the Henderson Lower School 1669 Dorchester Ave.

    Including Third and Fourth Grades, Rooms 7, 8, and 10

    Starring the Fifth Grade from the Upper School



    VSA Massachusetts Workshop on Universal Design for Learning in Early Childhood

    Posted Thursday April 30 2015 at 10:11 pm in Education

    Multicolored raised hands

    VSA Massachusetts would like to invite you to a workshop on Universal Design for Learning in Early Childhood!

    When: Tuesday, June 2, 2015 4-6pm

    What: This workshop is an introduction to Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and is particularly suited for educators working with children in early childhood.  A challenge every early childhood teacher faces is how to successfully meet the variable needs of all children in their classroom.  UDL is a framework that, at its core, is about making content and skills accessible to all students.  This workshop will include an overview of the neuroscience research supporting the UDL framework and provide strategies for building lessons using that framework that support high levels of engagement and achievement for all young learners.

    Presenter: Hilary Shea, BPS Inclusion Specialist

    Location: VSA Mass. office, The NonProfit Center
    89 South Street, Boston, MA 02111 (near South Station)

    Price: Free to attend!

    Please RSVP by emailing Nicole Agois at nicoleagois@vsamass.org by May 10, 2015.

    Let us know if you have any questions, and feel free to share this with anyone that might also be interested!  We hope to see you there!



    ASPiRE! Worcester Presents Wheelchair Dance Performance and Workshop

    Posted Wednesday April 29 2015 at 9:17 pm in News

    Please join ASPiRE! Worcester as they welcome some very talented international visitors from Belarus.  Ms. Harchakova, a well-known wheelchair athlete and public figure in Belarus who uses dance as a method of social adaptation and rehabilitation for people with mobility limitation along with Mr. Kisialiou, a world class wheelchair ballroom dancer.  They will start the evening with a performance (in professional dance costume), and then offer an interactive workshop for those in attendance at this inclusive opportunity.

    Thursday, May 7, 2015
    7:00-8:30pm
    ASPiRE! Worcester
    150 Goddard Memorial Drive
    Worcester, MA 01603
    RSVP to Spencer Gale
    AVP of Seven Hills Global Outreach
    and International Center of Worcester
    508-755-2340 X1308



    Yo Soy...Je Suis...I Am...The Future

    Posted Tuesday April 28 2015 at 06:52 am in Call For Artists

    Yo Soy - The Future

    VSA's Yo Soy...Je Suis...I Am...The Future invites children from around the world to imagine their future!

    What: Students with disabilities are invited to share images of their artwork addressing The Future.  Who will you be in the future?  Where will you live?  What are your hopes and dreams?  How will you change the world?

    Where: Submitted artwork will be exhibited online.  Selected works will be exhibited at the United States Department of Education in Washington, D.C.

    Who may submit: Parents/guardians or educators of children with disabilities, grades Pre-K through 12, ages 3 to 22, are encouraged to submit their children’s artwork.

    Artwork Specifications: Two-dimensional works preferred, images of three-dimensional works accepted, no larger than 18 x 24 inches.

    When: May 11, 2015 - Deadline to submit artwork.

    More information: At the Kennedy Center website.

    Teacher Resource Guide



    ArtWeek Boston #ArtBar! at Open Door Gallery

    Posted Friday April 24 2015 at 11:54 am in Open Door Gallery

    #ArtBar!

    #ArtBar!  Bringing community together for laughter and libations through art.  Join us at the Open Door Gallery for a early evening/post-work event full of art making, socializing, laughter and libations!  This ArtWeek Boston event is hosted collaboratively by VSA Massachusetts and Arts Connect International.

    ARTISTIC EXPERIENCE NOT REQUIRED ~ just an open mind and a good sense of humor, both of which will take you a long way.  People of all ages and abilities are welcome (email to RSVP@vsamass.org with requests for ASL or other accommodations).  What's not to love about friends, laughter, art and community?  There will be a super artsy after party announced following the event as well, so stay tuned and join us at a local restaurant for continued fun (21+ for this part!).

  • May 8, 2015
  • 5:00 - 7:30 pm
  • Open Door Gallery
  • 89 South Street
  • Boston, MA 02111
  • Buy tickets below:



  • Call for Artists: Touch­able Sculp­ture for Albin Polasek Museum in Florida

    Posted Wednesday April 22 2015 at 11:27 am in Call For Artists

    Chaulk colored hands help upward

    The Albin Polasek Museum & Sculp­ture Gar­dens is now accept­ing sub­mis­sions for the 2015 – 2016 Exhi­bi­tion "Sight Unseen: Touch­able Sculp­ture".

    Sight Unseen is a sculp­ture exhibit based around the con­cept of touch­able, hands-on, 3-Dimensional art.  Selected works must be made to safely with­stand vis­i­tor touch­ing and encour­age inter­ac­tion.  Blind and vision-impaired individuals will be invited to par­tic­i­pate.  Blind­folds will be avail­able for vis­i­tors to use to expe­ri­ence your art with height­ened sen­sory aware­ness, so please keep that in mind as you cre­ate your con­cept.  Selec­tion will be based on the artists’ aes­thet­ics as well as their abil­ity to embrace the theme.  Make the audi­ence want to touch your art!

  • Exhi­bi­tion Runs Tues­day, Decem­ber 7, 2015 – Sun­day, April 17, 2016.
  • The dead­line for entry will be 5:00 PM EST on Fri­day, Sep­tem­ber 18, 2015.
  • Visit the museum website for full details.


  • CapeCodCAN! Flash Mob at JFK Hyannis Museum

    Posted Tuesday April 21 2015 at 11:35 am in News

    Flier for CapeCodCAN flash mob

    Join CapCodCAN! at 12:00 noon Saturday May 2, 2015 at the JFK Hyannis Museum for their flash mob as part of the Hyannis "Spring on Main" events.

    For a video of last year's CapeCodCAN! flash mob, visit this blog post.



    Physically Integrated Dance Teacher Training - AXIS Dance Company of California

    Posted Sunday April 19 2015 at 11:02 am in Cultural Inclusion

    Woman dancing with wheelchaired dancer

    A week long explorative dance intensive with AXIS Dance Company to challenge and learn new skills derived from the company's working ethos and repertoire that will enhance and develop your own practice in improvisation, choreography and performance.  The week also includes a specialized teacher training for dance teachers and experienced artists wanting to enhance their skills and working methods in inclusive dance and translation for dancers with physical disabilities.

  • August 3-11, 2015
  • 10 am-5 pm with evening events TBD
  • Application Deadline: April 27, 2015 by 5pm
  • More information
  • Apply now


  • "Invitation to Dance" at Regent Theatre, Arlington MA

    Posted Thursday April 16 2015 at 11:11 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    At age 23, Simi Linton was injured while hitchhiking to Washington to protest the war in Vietnam.  Suddenly a young disabled college student, she confronted discrimination she couldn’t have imagined before.  Simi emerges as a resourceful activist, and in time realizes that love, sexuality, and dance can once again be central to her life.

    Invitation to Dance
    A documentary film by Christian von Tippelskirch & Simi Linton
    The Regent Theatre
    7 Medford Street
    Arlington, Mass.
    Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at 7:30pm
    Purchase tickets
    There are 15-20 wheelchair spaces in the theatre so it might be best to request a space in advance.



    Belmont World Film Presents the East Coast Premiere of "The Finishers"

    Posted Wednesday April 15 2015 at 10:03 pm in News

    The story of Boston Marathon participants Dick Hoyt and his cerebral palsy-stricken son, Rick, were the models for this moving film set in picturesque southern France.  A determined teenage boy confined to a wheelchair pesters his unemployed father to enter an Ironman contest.  After multiple attempts to reach his non-communicative father, the son finally convinces him to start training, and the two begin a grueling program that reaps unexpected rewards.

    The Finishers
    86 Minutes
    French with English subtitles
    Sunday, April 19, 2015 at 7pm
    West Newton Cinema
    1296 Washington Street
    West Newton, MA
    For more information and to purchase tickets visit Belmont World Film
    or call 617-484-3980



    Boston Conservatory's Teaching Music to Students on the Autism Spectrum Conference

    Posted Tuesday April 14 2015 at 10:14 pm in Education

    Girl playing violin with eyes closed

    An innovative new program for public and private school music educators, "Teaching Music to Students on the Autism Spectrum" is a two-day conference that will address important topics such as:

  • Current Research in Autism
  • Strategies for Teaching Music to Individuals on the Autism Spectrum
  • How Autistic People Learn and Perceive Music
  • Working Effectively with Students on the Autism Spectrum and their Families
  • Featuring industry experts Matt Savage, Dr. Theoharis Theoharides, Lisa Jo Rudy, and Mary Romaniec with teaching demonstrations by music instructors from The Boston Conservatory Program for Students on the Autism Spectrum.

    Friday and Saturday, May 8 - 9, 2015
    Teachers can earn 12 Professional Development Points (PDPs)
    Tuition: $65 - Includes admission to all conference sessions and events plus meal on Saturday
    The Boston Conservatory, 31 Hemenway Street - Studio 401, Boston, MA 02215
    Visit the Conservatory's website for full details and to register.



    CTC Studio: Creating Inclusive Learning Environments

    Posted Monday April 13 2015 at 9:27 pm in Education

    What role can the arts play in building more inclusive learning environments?

    Recorded April 10, 2015 in the CTC (Continuing the Conversation) Studio, Harvard University Arts in Education program.

  • Nicole Agois Hurel (AIE 2006), COOL Schools Director, VSA Massachusetts
  • Hannah Hanssens-Reed, (AIE Candidate), VSA Massachusetts intern
  • Aliza Greenberg, (AIE 2007), Program Manager, Metropolitan Opera Guild and Autism and Education Specialist, Trusty Sidekick Theater Company, CTC Co-Chair
  • Lauren Jobson-Ahmed (AIE 2013), Program Coordinator, Everyday Arts and Special Education, Urban Arts Partnership, CTC Committee Member
  • Steve Seidel, Director of the Arts in Education Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education


  • ASL-Interpreted Critter Day - The Creature Teachers at Boston Children's Museum

    Posted Sunday April 12 2015 at 6:54 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Critter Day

    April 18, 2015  (School Vacation Week and Sense of Smell Day!) 2:15 and 3:15 pm

    For human beings, our primary sense is our sense of sight. Most animals rely on their noses to learn about the world around them.  As we celebrate Sense of Smell Day, learn how different animal use their noses to communicate, find food, and navigate their world.

    Free with paid Museum admission
    Ages 6 and up
    ASL-Interpreted
    For more information, visit the Museum website or contact:
    Saki Iwamoto, Health and Wellness Educator
    Iwamoto@BostonChildrensMuseum.org
    617-986-3697



    The 48 Hour Disability Film Challenge

    Posted Saturday April 11 2015 at 11:50 pm in Call For Artists

    disability film challenge

    Hollywood is making a call to action to involve people with disabilities in the media.

    The second annual Disability Film Challenge will be a weekend short film challenge will that will take place on April 17 - April 19, 2015.  Entrants will have 48 hours to make a three to five minute film that will feature disability.  Rules will be given out on the Friday before the challenge begins.  The goal is to further incorporate disabled directors, writers, producers and actors into the film business.

    The winning films will screen at the TCL Chinese Theaters in Hollywood during the HollyShorts Film Festival this August.  The Disability Film Challenge will also set up mentors for the winning films.  Peter Farrelly, who directed some of the highest grossing comedies of all time including Dumb and Dumber 1 and 2, Something About Mary, etc will mentor the winner of the Best Film Maker award.  Casting director Pam Dixon who cast such films as The Mask of Zorro, City Slickers and Green Lantern will be mentoring the winner of the Best Actor award.

    Read More →

    VSA Massachusetts Seeking Teaching Artists for COOL Schools Program

    Posted Thursday April 09 2015 at 11:08 pm in Education

    Young girls in school

    VSA Massachusetts is seeking Teaching Artists for our Creative Outlook On Learning (COOL) Schools Program who are interested in creating arts-integrated learning experiences for students of all abilities.  The majority of our program openings are in Boston but we also have openings in Worcester for the 2015-16 school year.

    We are looking for Teaching Artists in all disciplines (dance, music, poetry, creative writing, drama, visual arts, media arts) and all grade levels (preK - 12) with:

  • Experience and joy teaching students with diverse learning styles and abilities in ways that offer multiple options for participation and success and build on student strengths
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and implement arts-integrated curricula that supports academic content and skills
  • Excellent collaboration and communication skills; comfortable interacting with school teachers and administrators; knowledge of school structures and desired culture
  • Commitment to tracking student and teacher growth through our online evaluation tool
  • Demonstrated knowledge and ability to offer culturally responsive content that celebrates the diversity of BPS students
  • Commitment to ongoing professional development as an arts practitioner and educator
  • Read More →

    Volunteer at the 2015 All Kids Can Festival!

    Posted Monday April 06 2015 at 10:31 pm in Volunteer Opportunities

    Girl Wearing a Mask

    Come Volunteer at the 2015 All Kids Can Festival!

    What is the All Kids Can Festival?
    The 2015 All Kids Can Festival will provide children with and without disabilities in grades K-5 the opportunity to learn through hands-on activities in music, theater, visual arts, and movement.  Students attending will also have the chance to explore the exhibits of the Boston Children’s Museum.

    When and Where?
    Boston Children’s Museum
    Thursday, June 4, 2015, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
    (Volunteers are asked to arrive at 8:30 am and stay until 2 pm) Breakfast and lunch will be provided for volunteers!

    What do we need help with?
    * Making art!  Help artists & students with the different art projects.
    * Museum Guide!  Guide the school groups through the Children's Museum.
    * Logistical Support!  Help with set-up, lunch, & registration.

    Contact Us:
    If you are interested in volunteering at this year's VSA MA All Kids Can Festival, or would like further information, please contact Nicole Agois, COOL Schools Director.
    Phone: 617-350-7713 x 103
    TTY: 617-350-6836
    Fax: 617-482-4298
    Email: nicoleagois@vsamass.org



    Providence Children's Museum Invitation to Attend Training Sessions

    Posted Wednesday April 01 2015 at 06:45 am in Cultural Inclusion

    Dragon on top of museum

    Understanding Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders
    Thursday, April 9, 2015  noon to 2pm

    Learn ways to support individuals with autism spectrum disorder as visitors to the museum.  Conducted by The Autism Project.

    Deaf & Hard of Hearing Sensitivity Training
    Wednesday, April 29, 2015  6:30pm to 8:30pm

    Learn about deaf culture and communication tips for interacting with deaf and hard of hearing people.  Conducted by the RI Commission on the Deaf and Hard Hearing.

    You are welcome to join these presentations to Providence Children's Museum staff and volunteers by RSVPing to Saunders@ChildrenMuseum.org

    Providence Children's Museum
    100 South Street
    Providence, RI



    6th Annual Arts in Healthcare Conference at Lesley University

    Posted Friday March 27 2015 at 10:44 pm in News

    Multi-colored Globe

    In the global society in which we live, the arts open pathways to understanding and communication between peoples.  In addition, the arts are channels for creativity and celebration, mitigate the effects of stress and trauma, and are known to facilitate innovative spaces for emotional release.  The arts can provide people a tangible result for their efforts in a relative short time, actions that can take place through individual or collective effort.  The conference will feature arts based approaches initiated by Lesley University faculty and other international experts.  Circumnavigate the globe using the arts as our compass for exploration.

    6th Annual Arts in Healthcare Conference at Lesley University
    Friday, April 17, 2015 and Saturday, April 18, 2015 9:00am - 5:00pm
    Lesley University Brattle Campus
    Washburn Commons
    10 Phillips Place
    Cambridge, MA 02138
    More details, cost information, and registration form
    Contact Beth Chambers at echambe5@lesley.edu
    6 LMHC CEUs Available Each Day
    Detailed Workshop Descriptions with Presenter Bios
    Keynote, Panel, and Additional Presenter Bios



    Big Apple Circus - Autism Friendly Performances

    Posted Wednesday March 25 2015 at 06:18 am in Cultural Inclusion

    Big Apple Circus

    Big Apple Circus has joined with world-renowned Autism Spectrum Disorder experts to adapt the circus performance for families with members on the spectrum and create a joyful experience for all.  The adapted show includes the same world-class artistry as the full performance with a shorter running time, adjusted lights and sound, calming centers, pictorial social narratives, and many especially-trained staff and volunteers to assure a memorable event for everyone!

    April 7, 2015 11am and 6:30pm
    Boston City Hall Plaza
    Tickets available online



    VSA Webinar: Structuring a Professional Development Program for Special Education Classrooms

    Posted Monday March 23 2015 at 11:27 am in Education

    Webinar

    Description: This webinar will focus on the structure of a professional development program which teaches best practices and strategies for implementing the arts in all levels of special education.  This program, the Teaching Artist Training Institute (TATI), examines interactions between classroom teachers, teaching artists, administrative staff, paraprofessionals, related service providers, and parents to provide context for all aspects of instruction in a special education classroom.

    Topics to be discussed:
    • Variety of entry points for trainee learning: observation, immediate discussion of what has been observed, experientials, written reflection
    • Context of trainee learning: in-class, whole school, professional development day, lunch discussions, and interface with related service providers, classroom teachers, paraprofessionals, parents, administrative staff
    • Exposure to multiple modalities: physical theater, music, and visual arts

    When: Tuesday, March 31, 2015  3-4pm EDT

    Level Addressed: Beginner

    Intended Participants: Our webinar will discuss how to structure an all-inclusive professional development program for special education.  Anyone who is interested in working in the special education classroom is encouraged to attend, including school administrators, arts organization professionals, teaching artists, classroom teachers, paraprofessionals, related service providers, art therapists, and parents.

    Read More →

    Henderson Inclusion School Performance: Write Around the World

    Posted Thursday March 19 2015 at 06:28 am in Education

    Write Around the World

    Our COOL Schools partner, Dr. William W. Henderson K-12 Inclusion School, presents a performance of "Write Around the World" Thursday, March 26, 2015 at 1:00pm.

    Featuring the third and fourth grades, the show takes place in rooms 7, 8 & 10.

    Henderson Inclusion School
    1669 Dorchester Ave.
    Dorchester, MA 02122



    Jeffrey Melzack's Teachable Moments Artist Reception at Open Door Gallery

    Posted Sunday March 15 2015 at 07:54 am in Open Door Gallery

    Solitude by Jeffrey Melzack

    Join us at the Open Door Gallery for Jeffrey Melzack's "Teachable Moments" artist reception.

    "Melzack uses colored pencil, watercolor and oils in landscapes and symbolic objects that evoke magical and whimsical worlds reminiscent of the works of Joan Miro and Paul Klee.  For Melzack art serves as a means of self-discovery, and one of his interests is in freezing those moments of anticipation and decision, when it is clear that events are about to unfold. . ."
        - Milva DiDomizio, The Boston Globe

    March 20, 2015
    4pm to 7pm, Artist Talk at 6pm

    Open Door Gallery
    89 South Street #101
    Boston, MA 02111



    ASL-Interpreted "Zooshows" at Boston Children's Museum

    Posted Wednesday March 11 2015 at 06:16 am in Cultural Inclusion

    Critter Day

    Discover animals large and small, feathered and furry, four-footed, two-footed and no-footed!  Celebrate all kind of animals!

    March 21, 2015  11am and noon  ASL-Interpreted
    Free with paid Museum admission.

    For more information, visit the Museum website or contact:
    Saki Iwamoto, Health and Wellness Educator
    Iwamoto@BostonChildrensMuseum.org
    617-986-3697



    Shrek The Musical - ASL-Interpreted, Sensory-Friendly, and Audio-Described Performances

    Posted Tuesday March 10 2015 at 06:21 am in Cultural Inclusion

    Shrek the Musical logo

    The Open Door Theater in Acton, Mass. presents "Shrek The Musical" March 20 - 29, 2015 with the following inclusive performances:
    - ASL-interpreted Sunday, March 22, 2015 at 2pm
    - Sensory-friendly Saturday, March 28, 2015 at noon
    - Audio-described Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 7:30pm

    SHREK THE MUSICAL, based on the Oscar winning DreamWorks film that started it all, brings the hilarious story of everyone's favorite ogre to dazzling new life on the stage.

    In a faraway kingdom turned upside down, things get ugly when an unseemly ogre - not a handsome prince - shows up to rescue a feisty princess.  Throw in a donkey who won't shut up, a bad guy with a SHORT temper, a cookie with an attitude and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits, and you've got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero.  Luckily, there's one on hand...and his name is Shrek.

    Full of all-new songs, great dancing and breathtaking scenery, SHREK THE MUSICAL is part romance, part twisted fairy tale and all irreverent fun for everyone!



    ASL Tour at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

    Posted Saturday March 07 2015 at 2:58 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Self portrait of Ellen Day Hale

    Come to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 6:00 pm for an ASL tour about American Women Artists.  This tour will not be voiced.  MFA is free after 4 pm on Wednesdays.  Get a (free) ticket from the desk and come in!  Tour meets in the Sharf Visitor Center, near the couches.

    Immediately after the tour, there is an ASL interpreted talk entitled "Her Own Subject: American Women's Self-Portraits before 1930" from 7 – 7:30 pm, Riley Seminar Room.  Join Laura Prieto, chair, Department of History, professor, History/Women's and Gender Studies, Simmons College, as she discusses an important aspect of the MFA's collection of women artists.

    For more information email access@mfa.org.



    Artsenses III - Sight: The Art and Science of Observation

    Posted Saturday March 07 2015 at 2:40 pm in News

    Bevil Conway looking through an aquarium

    Dr. Lisa Wong invites you to join her at Le Laboratoire Cambridge for the 3rd of the Artsenses series exploring the intersection of art and science through the senses.

    The evening will feature a brilliant discussion on vision, art and the power of observation.  Guest speakers will be Dr. Bevil Conway, an artist and neuroscientist with a particular interest in color perception, and Dr. Joel Katz, an artist and physician at the Brigham and Womens Hospital who teaches observation through art to Harvard medical students in his "Training the Eye" course.

    March 11, 2015 at 6:30 pm
    Le Laboratoire Cambridge
    650 East Kendall St.
    Cambridge, MA 02142
    RSVP to ​programs@lelaboratoirecambridge.com​



    Summer Internships Available at Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Office of VSA in Washington, D.C.

    Posted Saturday March 07 2015 at 1:58 pm in News

    Interns Wanted Summer 2015

    The Office of VSA and Accessibility at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. has two internship positions open for Summer 2015:
    Education – VSA Communications and Marketing Intern
    Education – VSA Special Events Intern

    Internships are unpaid full-time (40 hours per week) or part-time (20-30 hours per week) opportunities.  Application deadline is March 13, 2015.

    For more details and to apply, visit the Kennedy Center website.



    Meet the Teaching Artist: Bonnie Duncan

    Posted Thursday March 05 2015 at 6:42 pm in Education

    Bonnie Duncan

    Bonnie's Mission Statement:

    I have a true drive to integrate the arts into education.  I approach each project with techniques that bring students with different strengths and skills fully into the classroom and engage them with the materials they are studying.  I use the arts to allow students to make their own learning discoveries and to explore their subjects on their own terms.  I feel very strongly that students need to explore their own creative gifts, make their own mistakes, and achieve their own triumphs through the process of making a performance.  Although I am an artist and performer on my own, I come to the classroom as an educator first.

    Bonnie's Experience:

    I work directly with classroom teachers to plan and implement my residencies.  My in-depth knowledge, experience, and curiosity make my residencies very unique.  I have a passion for teaching teachers so they can continue incorporating drama, movement, and puppetry into their classroom after my visits.  Since 1999, I have worked and performed in over fifty schools, private & public, urban & suburban.  My residencies include some of the following elements: dancing the alphabet
; acting out stories, vocabulary words, moments in history; boosting vocabulary
; adapting books into plays and dances
; visualizing text
; becoming characters from a book or social situation; linking reading to personal experience
; making puppets and puppet plays
; building community, trust, and risk taking.

    Read More →

    We've Got Free Museum of Fine Arts Access Program Passes!

    Posted Tuesday March 03 2015 at 9:31 pm in News

    MFA Tickets

    Visit Boston's Museum of Fine Arts for free!  Here's what you have to do:

    - Come see us at the Open Door Gallery, 89 South St., Boston.
    - Enjoy our current exhibit of Jeffrey Melzack's artwork.
    - Ask us for free MFA Access Program passes (limit 2).
    - Go to the MFA before the tickets expire March 31, 2015.

    First come, first served.  Get them while they're hot!



    Youth Art Month Starts Today!

    Posted Sunday March 01 2015 at 12:38 pm in News

    Youth Art Month Log

    Youth Art Month is an annual observance each March to emphasize the value of art education for all children and to encourage support for quality school art programs.  Youth Art Month provides a forum for acknowledging skills that are fostered through experience in the visual arts that are not possible in other subjects offered in the curriculum.

    Youth Art Month's purposes are:
    - To direct attention to the value of art education which develops divergent and critical thinking; multicultural awareness; and technical, communication, and expressive skills.
    - To increase community, business and governmental support for art education.
    - To recognize art is a necessity for the full development of better quality life for all people.
    - To expand art programs in schools and stimulate new ones.
    - To increase community understanding and interest in art and art education through involvement in art exhibits, workshops, and other creative venues.
    - To provide additional opportunities for individuals of all ages to participate in creative art learning.
    - To encourage commitment to the arts by students, community organizations, and individuals everywhere.
    - To recognize art education as a viable component in the total education curricula that develops citizens of a global society.
    - To reflect and demonstrate the goals of the National Art Education Association that work toward the improvement of art education at all levels.



    Bring Dance and Drama Into Your Classroom to Enhance Literacy

    Posted Saturday February 28 2015 at 10:19 am in Education

    Embodying Literacy - Early Childhood

    As we thaw out from this winter, VSA kicks off the spring with an innovative program for teaching artists and classroom teachers.  Embodying Literacy - Early Childhood is a three-part workshop series that provides early childhood educators a unique opportunity to enhance and infuse their skill set with drama and dance integration strategies that support early literacy learning for students.  Each workshop will give teachers the opportunity to brainstorm ways to adapt these activities and processes to use in their own practice.

    Workshop #1: Entering Text
    Tuesday, March 17, 2015 from 4:30 - 6:30 pm

    Learn strategies that allow students to connect with and make meaning of text, both written and spoken, by using their bodies.

    Workshop #2: Creating Text
    Monday, March 30, 2015 from 4:30 - 6:30 pm

    Explore movement and drama vocabulary as a vehicle to embody stories and how processes involved in drama and dance offer connections to text.

    Workshop #3: Performing Text
    Thursday, May 21, 2015 from 4:30 - 6:30 pm

    Bring text to life through techniques such as mime, movement, shadow screen work and dramatic interpretation to help deepen student comprehension and connection to text.

    ALL workshops held at Curley K-8 School, 493 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

    To register or inquire further, please email nicoleagois@vsamass.org



    Meet the Intern: Tarin Griggs

    Posted Thursday February 26 2015 at 10:42 pm in Education

    Tarin Griggs

    I am an arts administrator from Richmond, California, and I am a Masters in Education candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in the Arts in Education Program.

    What are your favorite pastimes?
          "I am a poet and a dancer (trained in ballet, jazz, and modern.)  I also enjoy knitting, yoga, and reading outside whenever I have the time."

    If you could be a cartoon character, who would you be?
          "Peppa Pig! (I have a three year old cousin.  We watch a lot of Peppa Pig.)"

    You are trapped on an island.  What three items do you want to have with you?
          "A luxurious tent, a fancy sun hat, and a kayak to paddle back to civilization after a few days."

    Read More →

    Free Family Art Workshop Series - The Power of our Stories: Sign Language Interpretation, Movement & Visual Arts

    Posted Monday February 23 2015 at 12:31 am in News

    Familys Creating Together Logo

    Families Creating Together (FCT) invites Boston-area children and families to join "The Power of our Stories" on Wednesday evenings, March 4, 11, 18, 25 and April 1, 2015 from 6 to 7:30 pm with sandwiches and beverages at 5:30 pm.  Register for two, three or all five workshops.  Pick the dates best for you!  All workshops are free of charge.

    This is a FREE multi-generational workshop series for children ages 6 to 12 years old with and without disabilities and their families.  Children explore their life stories through sign language interpretation, movement, and visual arts.  A creative team of teaching artists leads the program.

    The workshops are held at Jamaica Plain Head Start, 315 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain.  Enter through the Stop & Shop parking lot, bear left.  The site is two blocks from the Orange Line Jackson Square T Stop and is wheelchair accessible.   Spanish and ASL interpreters provide assistance.

    FCT is a program of Community Service Care/Tree of Life Coalition.  To register and for more information, please call 617-522-4832 or email mfcabrera53@gmail.com.



    Boston Conservatory's Autism-Friendly Performance of "The Pajama Game"

    Posted Sunday February 22 2015 at 11:37 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Pajama Game

    The Boston Conservatory Theater invites you an autism friendly performance of The Pajama Game.  This is a special performance for families and friends of those who have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or other sensitivity issues.  At this performance, the theater environment and production will be altered to provide a sensory-friendly, comfortable and judgement-free space that is welcoming for this audience.  This performance is recommended for those families bringing a loved one on the autism spectrum, and their teachers and advocates who are familiar with and accepting of behaviors exhibited by some individuals on the autism spectrum.

    Saturday, March 7, 2015 at 2 p.m.
    The Boston Conservatory Theater
    31 Hemenway Street
    Boston, MA 02215
    $20 Adult, $10 Child
    Purchase tickets using code PJAFP14
    or contact Audience Services Manager at 617-912-9142
    More information, resources, FAQs



    Boston Globe - "Devices Give Blind Filmgoers Oscar-worthy Experience"

    Posted Sunday February 22 2015 at 8:32 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Carl Richardson at the Movie Theatre with his Dog

    Carl Richardson, State House ADA Coordinator and VSA Massachusetts Advisor, is featured in a Boston Globe article about blind movie patrons.

    Read the article here.



    Mass. Cultural Council and VSA Radio Spot on WCRB

    Posted Sunday February 22 2015 at 6:50 pm in News

    WCRB Logo

    Massachusetts Cultural Council recently aired a few radio spots about their UP Program which included this one about VSA Massachusetts.

    Download WCRB-2-2-15.mp3.

    Playing "WCRB-2-2-15".

    "And Massachusetts Cultural Council's UP Program, expanding access to arts and culture by supporting organizations like VSA Massachusetts, whose teaching artists help schools improve learning and promote engagement in the cultural life of the community.  VSA Massachusetts is affiliated with Seven Hills Foundation and the JFK Center for Performing Arts.  You can see how the arts, humanities and sciences improve life in Massachusetts at massculturalcouncil.org"



    Liars & Believers Present "Talk to Strangers" at OBERON, Harvard Square

    Posted Wednesday February 18 2015 at 01:43 am in News

    Talk to Strangers

    Do you Talk to Strangers?

    In splintering politics, deep-niche music genres, the solace of twitter and the loneliness of a bus stop, we are all looking for connection – your date from OkCupid, the woman behind you at the deli, or the audience member sitting right next to you.

    How did we get isolated, and how do we come together?

    In collaboration with the Boston Circus Guild and fifteen local performers, Liars & Believers brings you this immersive theatrical event.  Through live music, installation art, mask, video, aerial performance, dance, poetry, and more, we invite you to interact with the people moving through the world with you, and to . . . Talk to Strangers.

    Fully accessible to deaf audiences
    One Night Only - February 19, 2015 7:30pm
    OBERON, 2 Arrow Street, Harvard Square

    Click for Tickets



    Submit Your Video to CAST's Looking4UDL Contest

    Posted Monday February 16 2015 at 10:46 am in Education

    Girl in wheelchair with teacher

    CAST Professional Learning is looking for great examples of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in practice.  CAST, the Center for Applied Special Technology, was founded 25 years ago to explore ways of using new technologies to provide better educational experiences to students with disabilities.

    Here's your opportunity to show what UDL looks like in your classroom, school, or learning environment.  You or your school team could win $500 and the chance to show the world how you are effectively infusing the UDL principles into your practice.  Submit your video focused on one of the 3 UDL principles.  If your video is a "Top Finalist", it will be featured on the CAST Professional Learning website, the National Center on UDL, and CAST social media.  In addition, winners will receive free copies of two top-selling books on UDL – UDL Theory and Practice AND Dr. Katie Novak's UDL NOW!

    Deadline for submission to the CAST Looking4UDL Video Contest is February 27, 2015.  See the CAST Professional Learning webpage for full contest description, official rules, and registration form.



    2015 MCC Commonwealth Award Ceremony at Massachusetts State House

    Posted Monday February 16 2015 at 08:16 am in News

    Commonwealth Award Medal

    Presented every two years by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Commonwealth Awards honor individuals and organizations that have made extraordinary contributions to our communities, our economy, and the quality of life in Massachusetts.  VSA Massachusetts was a proud 1997 Commonwealth Award recipient in the Education category.

    The Commonwealth Awards ceremony is also an opportunity for the cultural community to gather and celebrate its unique role in making Massachusetts a wonderful place to live and work, and a destination for visitors from around the world.

    The event will feature inspiring performances by the Handel and Haydn Society and other artists from across the Commonwealth.  The event takes place Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 1:00pm and is free and open to the public.

    Please note that registration for the Commonwealth Awards has closed.  To inquire about late registration and our waiting list please send an email to Ann Petruccelli at ann.petruccelli@art.state.ma.us with "Late Registration" in the subject line.



    ASL-Interpreted "Critter Day" at Boston Children's Museum

    Posted Sunday February 15 2015 at 9:32 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Armadillo

    Animals and boxes—what's the connection?  Celebrate "not a box" for school vacation week, come meet animals that have their own special relationships with boxes, such as toys, homes, or a specially evolved part of their bodies.

    February 21, 2015  1:15 pm and 2:15 pm  ASL-Interpreted
    Free with paid Museum admission.

    For more information, visit the Museum website or contact:
    Saki Iwamoto, Health and Wellness Educator
    Iwamoto@BostonChildrensMuseum.org
    617-986-3697



    Seeking Research Participants - Exploring the Adaptive Process of Artists with Acquired Disability

    Posted Tuesday February 10 2015 at 9:11 pm in Call For Artists

    Photo by Kerry Cottle

    Kerry Cottle, Occupational Therapy student at the University of New Hampshire, contacted us hoping we could assist with her honors thesis.  Kerry is seeking participants for a research project: "Exploring the Adaptive Process of Artists with Acquired Disability".

    Purpose of the study: Examine the experiences of artists who have had an illness or injury that has led to a disability.  About 5-10 artists will be interviewed in order to gain a better understanding of the adaptation process of these artists.

    - Are you a professional or semi-professional artist who works in 2-Dimensions?
    - Have you experienced an illness or injury that has effected your ability to engage in your work?
    - Do you want to gain some exposure while helping contribute knowledge to the fields of rehabilitative health and the visual arts?

    If you answered yes to all three questions, and are 18 years or older, contact Kerry Cottle, Occupational Therapy student at the University of New Hampshire, kad255@wildcats.unh.edu, 603-660-9146, about participating in the study.

    Thank you.



    Reel Abilities - Disabilities Film Festival Boston

    Posted Saturday February 07 2015 at 12:26 am in News

    Reel Abilities Festival Boston

    The fourth annual ReelAbilities - Boston Disabilities Film Festival takes place this year February 19 - March 2, 2015.  Highlights include:

    Fixed explores the implications of emerging human enhancement technologies through the experiences of 5 people with disabilities; a scientist, a journalist, a disability justice educator, a bionics engineer, and an exoskeleton test pilot.  The film challenges commonly held beliefs about disability and normalcy by exploring technologies that promise to change our bodies and minds.  March 1, 2015 7:00 PM, Temple Shir Tikva, Wayland.

    Read More →

    Free Webinar: Brave New World, Questions & Answers for Not-Just-Yet-Professional Literary & Visual Artists

    Posted Thursday February 05 2015 at 11:11 pm in News

    Webinar

    This webinar offers tools for individuals who are interested in (or have already been) creating professional level works, but are "stuck" on what must actually happen once the work is finished and needs to find placement in the public market.  With modern healthcare creating ever more solutions for individuals with disabilities or chronical illness, these individuals are experiencing better qualities of life.  However, these advances have also created a new population where individuals are often too ill to work, but too educated or talented to allow those capabilities to go to waste.  Our lead presenter is part of that population and actively seeks ways to help fellow artists make the most of their talents and therefore, their lives.

    The Least You Need to Know – With the rise of self-publishing and low cost creator ownership/marketing, there is an excess of advice about what actually needs to be done by an artist for his or her work to be considered professional.  We will give the absolute basics that artists need to know copyrighting and distributing work in the literary and visual arts.

    What To Do Next – We will answer specific issues brought up by attendees, solving their specific problem so that webinar attendee can take next step in either starting/completing a project or getting work out to public/relevant audiences.

    Read More →

    Scholarship Opportunities

    Posted Wednesday February 04 2015 at 05:17 am in Education

    Wheelchaired Graduate

    Summer Experiential Learning Fellowships in Disability Policy Research
    Deadline: February 13, 2015

    RiSE Scholarship Foundation
    For high school students who learn differently.
    Deadline: February 15, 2015

    National Federation of the Blind 2015 Scholarship Program
    For blind college students in the United States and Puerto Rico.
    Deadline: March 31, 2015



    Sign the Arts in Action Petition to Governor Baker

    Posted Monday February 02 2015 at 10:48 pm in News

    Mass Creative

    A message from Matt Wilson, Executive Director of MASSCreative.

    As a supporter of the creative community, you know that arts and culture aren't just nice, but a necessary part of everyday life — something that helps us build communities where we want to live, work, play, and raise our kids.

    Right now, Governor Charlie Baker is planning his first budget for the Commonwealth, which will lay out his priorities for the state.  Let's make sure that Governor Baker provides the arts and cultural community with the support it needs to build vibrant and connected communities across the Commonwealth.

    Tell Governor Baker that you want a strong arts and culture budget in 2015.

    As you know, robust public funding for the arts is not a new concept in Massachusetts.  Over the past two years, the creative community has increased state investment in arts and culture by 25%.  Even so, arts and cultural funding has dropped by more than half, from $27 million in 1988 to $12 million in 2014.

    We have a long way to go before we get to where we need to be.  But we can get there by building on the success of the last two years.

    Tell Governor Baker: Keep arts and culture strong in the state budget.

    Over the next four years, we will work to restore public investment in the arts back to where it was two decades ago.  Join us in urging Governor Baker to increase investment in the creative community and boost the FY2016 Massachusetts Cultural Council budget by $3 million to $15 million.

    Sign the petition to Governor Baker.



    ASL-Interpreted "Motown the Musical" at Boston Opera House

    Posted Saturday January 31 2015 at 9:44 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Motown the Musical

    It began as one man's story . . . became everyone's music . . . and is now Broadway's musical.  MOTOWN THE MUSICAL is the true American dream story of Motown founder Berry Gordy's journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson and many more.  Motown shattered barriers, shaped our lives and made us all move to the same beat.  Now, experience it live on stage in the record-breaking smash hit MOTOWN THE MUSICAL!

    Motown the Musical
    ASL-Interpreted
    Sunday February 15, 2015  1pm
    Boston Opera House
    Tickets starting at $43
    Click for ASL Tickets
    Password: ASL
    More Information



    Sidewalk Sam, Former VSA Director and Officer, Dies at Age 75

    Posted Tuesday January 27 2015 at 6:47 pm in News

    Sidewalk Sam

    Guest blog post by Charles Washburn, Vice President & COO of VSA.

    Sidewalk Sam was a friend of mine.  That in itself is no real distinction because this wonderful man made fast friends of nearly everyone he met.

    But we were the kind of friends and colleagues who would let the ideas flow where they might and then circle back around and see what we could do with them.

    Like the time when, brimming with energy and enthusiasm he suggested that VSA Massachusetts should celebrate our 35th anniversary and our then recent move to the NonProfit Center near South Station with a Zestival!  The result was the convening of hundreds of people suspending their business in the Financial District to learn the bunny hop and take over South Station and Dewey Square for a day of dancing and art making.  Or the time we set up great troughs of paint for children to role their wheelchairs through and onto long sheets of cloth to create the backdrop for the world's first Wheelchair Dance Festival.

    Sidewalk Sam was fun to be with and embraced life with a special zeal, but he was also quite serious about his mission to take the arts off the pedestal most people reserve for them and place them at our feet.  He meant it literally when he asserted that the arts should be pedestrian.  When his creativity and talent opened a path to a career in which his work could grace the homes of the wealthy and hallowed walls of museums, he chose, instead to give art away to anyone who passed by.  He relished the conversations he would have during chance encounters while he was chalking up the sidewalk.  Children were naturally drawn in by his lively energy.  Adults would approach, at first hesitant, and get caught up in the creative vortex that was Sidewalk at work.  Invariably someone would come along seeking a hug, sharing a story about a past encounter and providing an update on family and friends.

    Last fall, I persuaded Sidewalk to share his own drawings and paintings once again in a gallery show.  He was uncomfortable with the very idea of presenting his artwork as exceptional, noteworthy and valuable.  I did not persuade him to sell any of these beautiful artworks; that would have been a step down the path he long ago rejected.  He and Tina, his wife, soul mate and collaborator, created a wonderful installation of images of what he could see from his window.  He seemed to relish sharing his love of life and art during the reception and challenged everyone who came to see his show to contribute their own drawings to a shared artwork, literally "drawing in the community".  It was quintessential Sidewalk Sam.

    I will miss Sidewalk, his friendship and tireless energy, and his ability to see beauty everywhere and in everyone.



    Workshop Opportunity: Universal Design for Learning in Early Childhood

    Posted Sunday January 25 2015 at 6:56 pm in Education

    Embodying Literacy - Early Childhood

    As part of our Embodying Literacy professional development series, we are excited to offer a workshop dedicated to Universal Design for Learning geared towards early childhood.  Boston Public Schools Inclusion Specialist Hilary Shea will be providing participants an overview of the neuroscience that supports UDL, as well as strategies for bringing this framework into classrooms.  This promises to be an informative and empowering workshop to equip educators with tips and tools to make their classrooms engaging and successful for all children in their classrooms.

    Title: Universal Design for Learning in Early Childhood
    Date and time: Thursday, February 5, 2015, 4:00 - 6:00 pm
    Location: VSA Massachusetts, The NonProfit Center, 89 South Street, Boston MA 02111 (South Street Room, 2nd floor)

    Register online on MyLearningPlan or contact Nicole Agois at nicoleagois@vsamass.org for more information.



    Free VSA Webinar - Tools and Techniques for Artists with and without Disabilities: How to Handle the Resistance in the Creative Process

    Posted Friday January 23 2015 at 06:41 am in Education

    VSA Webinar Series

    Content: Many creatives experience creative blocks due to the resistance that is part of the creative process.  Too often, resistance stops the artist from making movement in their art work or out in their careers.  This includes artists with disabilities and without disabilities – no artist is immune to this challenge.  However, resistance can be a conduit for change when the artist uses techniques and strategies alongside their art making process.  When someone attains a disability or goes through some changes in their lives or artistically this resistance can be stronger than normal.  This is where developing a toolbox to handle the many changes that effects one’s creativity becomes highly valuable to the artist.  This presentation addresses the many ways in which to redirect one's creativity.

    Takeaways:
    - Resistance is a natural part of the creative process
    - Basic understanding of creative blocks
    - Employ techniques and tools to stay productive

    Intended Audience: Artists, those that support artists, and also those interested in creativity and resistance

    Read More →

    ASL/Audio-Described "Pinocchio" at Wheelock Family Theatre

    Posted Monday January 19 2015 at 9:53 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Pinocchio

    Wheelock Family Theatre presents the world premiere of an original adaptation by Steven Bogart and Wendy Lement.  Pinocchio's tale illustrates the challenges and struggles that accompany growing up.  While being lured away from his loving home with promises of instant fame, fast money, and a life of fun and leisure, the impetuous Pinocchio must learn what is truly important in life.

    ASL/Audio-Description February 12, 2015 10:30am; February 20, 2015 1:00pm; and February 22, 2015 3:00pm
    All other performances offer Open Captioning
    Tickets: $20-$35
    Wheelock Family Theatre
    More information



    Creativity - A Showcase of Artwork from Seven Hills Foundation Artists

    Posted Sunday January 18 2015 at 12:16 am in Cultural Inclusion

    Aspire Program Logo

    You are invited to the opening of Creativity—a showcase of artwork from the artists of Seven Hills Foundation.  The Creativity Exhibit is part of ASPiRE!'s new Curator-in-Training Program and organized entirely by participants from ASPiRE!.  This new program engages individuals through community interaction and education in art history and design.

    The Curtor-in-Training Program enables participants to make informed, responsible decisions, while fostering an appreciation for art, self-expression, and creativity.

    For more information contact:
    Loretta Marie Adams, Therapeutic Art Instructor
    loadams@sevenhills.org.

    Monday, January 26, 2015
    Noon - 2 pm
    Brazelton Room
    81 Hope Avenue
    Worcester



    ASL Interpreted Wingmasters at Boston Children's Museum

    Posted Tuesday January 13 2015 at 10:59 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Man holding an owl

    Hawks and owls are often heard but seldom seen.  Join Boston Children's Museum for an up-close look at these winged hunters and learn about their amazing eyesight, perfect feathers and other adaptations that make them so good at what they do.

    Free tickets are distributed first come first served one hour before each program. For the safety and comfort of all, this show is recommended for kids 6 and up.

    January 17, 2015  11:15 am and 12:15 pm  ASL-Interpreted
    Free with paid Museum admission.

    For more information, visit the Museum website or contact:
    Saki Iwamoto, Health and Wellness Educator
    Iwamoto@BostonChildrensMuseum.org
    617-986-3697



    Harmony/和 with Mihoko, Sumiyo and Tomo

    Posted Monday January 12 2015 at 10:01 pm in News

    Harmony

    Our good friend Mihoko Wakabayashi of SAORI Worcester along with Sumiyo Toribe and Tomo Sakai will exhibit their work together in a group show entitled "Harmony/和" at the Krikorian Gallery, Worcester Center for Crafts in Worcester from January 15 - February 28, 2015.

    The artists' work relates to their life in America, and their connection to Japan.  They all strive for a condition of 和 (wa), a Japanese word meaning harmony.

    Opening reception will be from 5:30pm to 7:30pm on Thursday, January 15, 2015 with artists talk at 6pm.



    Creative Access: Residencies for Visual Artists & Writers with Spinal Cord Injury

    Posted Thursday January 08 2015 at 05:51 am in Call For Artists

    Alliance of Artist Communities

    The Alliance of Artists Communities is partnering with the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation to provide 12 residencies for visual artists and writers with Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI) at three host sites: Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT), Ragdale Foundation (Lake Forest, IL), and Santa Fe Art Institute (Santa Fe, NM).

    Creative Access offers artists with SCI the rare opportunity for concentrated time dedicated to their creative practice in a supportive residency community.  Awardees will be offered a one-month residency at one of the three host sites, including room and board, a $500 stipend, plus room/board and travel support ($250) for a personal assistant/caregiver if needed.

    The deadline to apply is January 15, 2015.
    More information and application.