Posted Tuesday January 16 2018 at 11:52 pm
The VSA MA family is thrilled to welcome Portia Abernathy Brown to the team, as our new Director of Programs! In this new position, Portia will be overseeing programming both in our Education and Cultural Inclusion programs, as well as supporting development efforts.
Personally and professionally, Portia is committed to VSA's mission to promote the meaningful inclusion of all people in our cultural community and could not be more excited to have the opportunity to do the work she loves with a team that shares her enthusiasm and passion.
Portia was inspired early on by a family member with a disability to pursue a career in special education. She began working for Denver Public Schools as an Affective Needs teacher for students with Social and Emotional disabilities. In the classroom, she drew on her own background and students' interests to infuse the arts into the curriculum to deepen learning, increase engagement, support self-expression, and connect with general education peers. It was clear from those experiences how powerful the arts are as levers for equity, access, community, creativity, learning, and inclusion.
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Posted Sunday October 22 2017 at 12:13 pm
As the winds continue to take us into new, unchartered, and opportunity-filled terrain, VSA Massachusetts is thrilled to announce that we are commencing a national search for the position of Director of Programs. This individual will oversee creation and execution of both our signature COOL Schools Programs, as well as our innovative and emergent Cultural Inclusion Programming.
Sorry, deadline for application submission was November 10, 2017.
Posted Saturday October 21 2017 at 4:48 pm
It is with bittersweet excitement that we announce the departure of Aysha Upchurch from VSA Massachusetts after three and a half years of service, laughter, creation and innovation within our COOL Schools programming, and across the organization. Aysha started with VSA in September 2014 as an Education Intern, and found that the internship was an invaluable complement to her coursework while in school at the Harvard Graduate School of Education -- it allowed her to ground the theoretical frameworks around school-community partnerships, inclusion, and arts integration strategies. She was delighted to join the staff full time in 2015 after her graduate studies to explore and implement coaching supports and professional development programming, also while bolstering the organization's framing of the intersectional and social justice nature of its work and mission.
Aysha took a moment to write her own words of gratitude:
My time at this organization, this family, has been invaluable to me as it has afforded me the opportunity to advance and support work I care about, all while becoming more plugged in to the Boston arts and education communities. When I came to the Boston area three years ago and survived the most evil winter I have ever experienced, I was certain that I would not stay. (I hate the winter.) However, weathering tundra-like temperatures became possible largely in part to the fantastic people I had the privilege to work with and learn from at VSA and the network of local community arts organizations. I believe deeply in the work that is being done for arts and inclusion in schools and the larger community. I also believe that teaching artists and community arts organizations have an indelible role in advancing truly progressive and equitable school reform, and it has been a pleasure to work for an organization that brings those voices into the conversation.
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