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    2012 Archive

    New Year's Resolution: Attend An All Access Pass Tour

    Posted Monday December 31 2012 at 4:14 pm in News

    All Access Pass Tour

    Join us at an All Access Pass tour to learn more about our work towards educational and cultural inclusion in the arts.  We are hosting tours of VSA Massachusetts as a way to bring our mission to a wider audience.  The tour takes no more than one hour.  You'll hear a welcome from board and staff members and then take a guided tour of our work.  We'll share some inspiring stories about how the arts transform our communities and create opportunities for inclusion.

    Upcoming tour dates:
    Wednesday, January 16, 5:45pm
    Wednesday, February 13, 12:00pm
    Thursday, March 14, 5:45pm
    Tuesday, April 23, 12:00pm

    89 South Street, Suite 101, Boston 02111

    To reserve a spot and request ASL interpretation or other accommodations, call Kati Blair Kotrc at 617-350-7713 x101 or email kati@vsamass.org.

    VSA International Young Soloists Award Program

    Posted Saturday December 29 2012 at 08:26 am in Call For Artists

    VSA International Young Soloist Competition

    Since 1984, the VSA International Young Soloists Program has identified talented musicians, aged 14-25, who have a disability.  The VSA International Young Soloists Competition annually selects up to four outstanding musicians from the United States and the international arena, and supports and encourages them in their pursuit of a career.  These emerging musicians receive $2,500, professional development opportunities, and a performance at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

    Applications are accepted online.
    Submission deadline is January 15, 2013.
    Learn more about the competition.

    Institute on Disability Webinar: iPad Adaptations in Minutes

    Posted Thursday December 27 2012 at 11:25 am in Education

    Institute on Disability Webinar Logo

    While the iPad is promoted as a universally-designed tool, individuals with various disabilities often benefit from the added support of adaptations.  This webinar will demonstrate over 30 ways an iPad can be adapted in five minutes or less using everyday materials.

    Who: Institute on Disability
    When: January 8, 2013 3:30pm
    Cost: $59

    ASL-Interpreted Performance of Arabian Nights

    Posted Sunday December 23 2012 at 6:06 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Arabian Nights

    Enter ancient Persia and be transformed by the power of storytelling – again!  The Nora Theatre Company and Underground Railway Theater revive their award-winning production (2012 Independent Reviewers of New England Awards for Best Ensemble, Best Puppetry, Best Costumes, and Best Director) of Dominic Cooke’s Arabian Nights.  Based on One Thousand and One Nights, a collection of folk tales from the Middle East and Asia, Arabian Nights is rich with suspense, romance and hilarity – stories irresistible for all ages.  At its heart is the power of the imagination to heal, inspire, and transform.

    Where: Central Square Theater
    When: Saturday, December 29 2011, 3pm
    How: Phone Martine at 617-576-9278 x 210.  Mention you would like to purchase $25 ASL Tickets.

    Arts as Antidote for Academic Ills - New York Times

    Posted Saturday December 22 2012 at 10:31 am in Education

    Chuck Close

    New York Times, 12/18/2012
    Written by Patricia Cohen
    Photo by Kirsten Luce

    Stationed in front of one of his large self-portraits, the artist Chuck Close raised his customized wheelchair to balance on two wheels, seeming to defy the laws of gravity.

    The chair’s unlikely gymnastics underlined the points that Mr. Close was making to his audience, 40 seventh and eighth graders from Bridgeport, Conn.: Break the rules and use limitations to your advantage.

    The message had particular resonance for these students, and a few educators and parents, who had come by bus on Monday from Roosevelt School to the Pace Gallery in Chelsea for a private tour of Mr. Close’s show.  Roosevelt, located in a community with high unemployment and crushing poverty, recently had one of the worst records of any school in the state, with 80 percent of its seventh graders testing below grade level in reading and math.

    Read More →

    Violinist With One Hand Inspires Young Musicians - Boston Globe

    Posted Saturday December 22 2012 at 08:07 am in Education

    Adrian Anantawan

    Boston Globe, 12/20/2012
    Written by Geoff Edgers/Globe Reporter
    Photo by Josh Reynolds

    The first time the students saw Adrian Anantawan play his violin, they were stunned.  He had no right hand, and yet an attachment he called “the spatula” allowed him to play an arrangement of the Beatles song, “Yesterday.”

    “I was astonished,” says Kelly Exilus, 11, a violist from Jamaica Plain and one of the students that spring day at the Conservatory Lab Charter School in Brighton.  “I thought, ‘Wow.’ ”

    Nobody at the school talks much these days about Anantawan’s right arm.  They’re too busy practicing, while also learning a greater truth from their teacher: Music is the great equalizer.

    Read More →

    CapeCodCAN! Presents Broadway and Beyond

    Posted Thursday December 20 2012 at 10:16 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Broadway and Beyond

    Broadway and Beyond is a musical revue of song, dance, poetry and beyond . . . bringing us back from the future to the heyday of Broadway and celebrating the capabilities and talents of the people of Cape Cod, including those with disabilities.  When two people come back from the year 2045 to the present to encounter Broadway as it used to be, anything can happen!

    Presented live at Cotuit Center for the Arts, showtimes are Saturday January 12, 2013 at 6pm and Sunday January 13, 2013 at 2pm.  Tickets are $15 each.

    Read More →

    Huntington Theatre's "Our Town" ASL Interpreted

    Posted Tuesday December 18 2012 at 06:44 am in Cultural Inclusion

    Our Town Cast

    Obie Award-winning visionary director David Cromer brings his groundbreaking and critically acclaimed new version of the beloved, Pulitzer Prize-winning Our Town to the Huntington Theatre.  In 1901 Grover's Corners, George and Emily fall in love, marry, and live out their lives as one New England town becomes a microcosm of everyday life.  An Off Broadway smash playing for more than 600 performances, this wonderfully intimate staging marks the Huntington's first production in the Roberts Studio Theatre at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA.

    An ASL Interpreted performance will take place January 4, 2013 at 8pm.  Tickets are $15 for each Deaf or Hard of Hearing person and one guest.  As this is a small theatre TICKETS MUST BE PURCHASED BY DECEMBER 21st!  To purchase tickets, contact Meg Obrien at 617-273-1558 or mobrien@huntingtontheatre.bu.edu

    Learn more by visiting the Huntington Theatre website.

    Setting Up Success for Visual Artists - Webinar Archive Available

    Posted Sunday December 16 2012 at 11:00 am in News

    If you missed the December 11, 2012 free VSA webinar "Setting Up Success for Visual Artists", an archive is available until January 5, 2013.  To access the recording:

    1. Visit GoToMeeting.  You will be prompted to enter your email address and contact information prior to viewing the webinar.
    2. You must have Windows Media 9 or higher to view the recorded webinar.
    3. You must install the GoToMeeting Codec, which can be found here.
    4. You must have administrator rights on your PC to install the GoToMeeting Codec and view the recorded webinar in the GoToMeeting format.

    Also available is a Quick Links document (pdf) from the presentation.

    "I Am Light": An Evening of Disability Rights Poetry, Art, Expression, and Conversation

    Posted Friday December 14 2012 at 7:20 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Accessible Icon

    The Institute for Human Centered Design will host an informal evening with Eli Wolff, Sara Hendren, and others sharing disability rights poetry, art and expression, and to join in a conversation about the place of creative expression in the disability rights movement.

    Inspired by disability-rights poet and artist Neil Marcus, Eli Wolff has been writing poetry from the perspective of disability rights and advocacy for the last year.  Eli will be reading "I am Light" and other poems from this experience.

    Sara has been thinking a lot about adaptive and assistive technologies, prosthetics, and all the political and cultural ways we comprehend and represent disability.  Among several projects, Sarah will discuss "The Accessible Icon Project" that provides supplies and services to transform the old International Symbol of Access into an active, engaged image.

    When: December 19th at 7pm
    Where: The Institute for Human Centered Design, 200 Portland Street, Boston
    RSVP: wcrolius@ihcdesign.org or call 617-695-1225 x235

    Wine, fruit and cheese, or hot chocolate will be provided!

    Hanover Theatre Offers ASL Interpretation of A Christmas Carol

    Posted Tuesday December 11 2012 at 9:58 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Hanover Theatre - A Christmas Carol

    We previously blogged about Hanover Theatre's Broadway Series and the commitment to provide ASL interpreters.  "A Christmas Carol" has been added to the list of ASL interpreted plays.  The performance takes place Friday, December 21, 2012 at 7pm.

    More information is available at Hanover Theatre's website.

    Meet Me at the Coolidge . . . and Make Memories

    Posted Sunday December 09 2012 at 10:43 pm in News

    Meet Me at the Coolidge

    ARTZ - Artists for Alzheimer's and Coolidge Corner Theatre present an interactive film program for people with memory loss and their care partners.

    Meet Me at the Coolidge...and Make Memories is a one-of-a-kind film experience, designed specifically for people with memory loss and their care partners.  Short clips from classic films will be shown, followed by audience discussion and reminiscence, guided by a moderator.

    Where: Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard Street, Brookline MA
    When: Thursdays - December 13 2012,  March 14 2013,  June 20 2013  10am -12noon

    This program demonstrates how film can be a form of treatment for people with memory loss, Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.  The cinema has the power to connect us with our deep-rooted emotional memories - the kind that never leave us.

    For tickets, more information, or to volunteer, send an e-mail to Dee Brenner at brenner@artzalz.org or call 978-985-4427.

    Admission, Parking, and Refreshments are FREE but please RSVP with the number of seats requested.

    The Boston Globe Asks: "Is Art Therapy the Answer for Dementia?"

    Posted Thursday December 06 2012 at 05:14 am in News

    Art Therapy for Dementia

    Boston Globe, 11/27/2012
    Written by Karen Weintraub/Globe Correspondent
    Photo by Essdras M Suarez/Globe Staff

    DEDHAM — Carla shook a tambourine, while Dorothy played the xylophone and Leni tapped her palms gently on an African drum. Vivian declined an instrument, but shimmied her shoulders when the music moved her.

    Their walkers stood ready and their voices were wispy with age, but the eight group members sang with purpose, remembering every word of the Doris Day classic without prompting.

    “We were sailing along, on Moonlight Bay. We could hear the voices ringing . . .,” they sang.

    When they had finished “love’s old sweet song” and given themselves a round of applause, Clara proclaimed the group “ready for Symphony Hall.”

    Read More →

    Community Partners Day at Museum of Science

    Posted Wednesday December 05 2012 at 06:53 am in Cultural Inclusion

    Join the Museum of Science Saturday December 8 for a Community Partners Day.  See the new traveling exhibit "Mammoths & Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age", and "Shipwreck! Pirates & Treasure".  Registered guests will receive free exhibit hall admission for up to 4 people in total per reservation to view the exhibits up to 5PM when the Museum closes.  ASL interpreters will be available to visit exhibits with guests from 10AM to 2PM.

    Guests can pick up tickets at the Community Relations registration table in the Museum lobby on the morning of December 8 between 10am and 1pm.

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

    Please be sure to register in advance.

    Arts Activities, Holiday Shopping, Refreshments at Handmade Holiday Opening Reception

    Posted Tuesday December 04 2012 at 12:06 am in Open Door Gallery

    Wreath Hanging on Door

    Join us for an evening of arts activities, holiday shopping, and refreshments at the Handmade Holiday Opening Reception, Thursday December 6 2012 4-7pm, Open Door Gallery, 89 South Street #101, Boston MA.

    Read More →

    Free Webcast of Niv Ashkenazi Performing Live at Kennedy Center

    Posted Friday November 30 2012 at 12:58 am in News

    Niv Ashkenazi

    Watch a live webcast of violinist Niv Ashkenazi on the Kennedy Center Millennium stage December 3 2012 at 6pm.  Ashkenazi is a 2007 VSA International Young Soloist Award recipient.

    Learn more about Niv Ashkenazi by visiting his website.

    MRC Artists Beyond Challenges Holiday Reception and Exhibit

    Posted Thursday November 29 2012 at 06:07 am in Cultural Inclusion

    Artists Beyond Challenges

    Looking for holiday gift ideas?  Help welcome the Artists Beyond Challenges exhibit to the West Suburban YMCA.  Come meet the artists and learn about this Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission group.  Many kinds of artwork will be for sale.  Refreshments will be provided.

    Saturday, December 1 2012, 2-4pm
    West Suburban YMCA
    276 Church Street
    Newton Center, MA 02458

    Silent Rhythms Offers ASL-Interpreted Latin Dance Workshops

    Posted Tuesday November 27 2012 at 9:46 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Silent Rhythm - Salsa

    Silent Rhythms has partnered with MetaMovements and Kerry Thompson (pictured above) to provide two ASL-interpreted workshops on Latin dancing.  The workshops will be held December 1 and 8, 2012 at Blackstone Community Center, which is the building next to where Salsa in the Park Summer was held.  After the workshops there will be a dance social so you can practice what you've learned or watch other folks dance.

    Read More →

    Black Friday . . . Cyber Monday . . . Giving Tuesday

    Posted Tuesday November 27 2012 at 01:07 am in News

    The giving starts November 27 on Giving Tuesday

    We have a day for giving thanks.  We have a day for retail bargains.  We have a day for cyber deals.  Wouldn’t it be great to have a day for giving back?

    Now we do.  Giving Tuesday is a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season.  It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations.

    Please help us continue our great work by giving to VSA Massachusetts this holiday season.

    Thank you.

    Free Screening of Closed Captioned "Bonjour Monsieur Shlomi"

    Posted Monday November 26 2012 at 06:39 am in Cultural Inclusion

    Bonjour Monsieur Shlomi

    Watch a screening of "Bonjour Monsieur Shlomi", a coming-of-age movie that explores the life of an exceptional teenager and his hilariously complex and neurotic family, at Temple Emeth in Chestnut Hill MA, December 1, 2012 at 7:30 pm.

    Read More →

    ASL-Interpreted Events at The Museum of Fine Arts Boston

    Posted Saturday November 24 2012 at 6:50 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012      6:00 pm
    American Sign Language Tour with no spoken English for students of ASL and Deaf Studies

    To participate, ask for a ticket from any cashier at any entrance.  The MFA is free after 4:00 pm on Wednesdays.  Meet the ASL Guide at 5:50 pm at the Sharf Visitor Center.  Participation will be limited to comply with the Museum’s guidelines for the size of groups in galleries.  This tour will be repeated on Wednesday, January 16, at 6:00 pm.

    Sunday, December 9, 2012      Noon – 3:00 pm
    ASL Interpreted Artist Demonstration – John Shulz, Printmaker

    Free with Museum admission.

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013      6:00 pm
    American Sign Language Tour with no spoken English for students of ASL and Deaf Studies

    To participate, ask for a ticket from any cashier at any entrance.  The MFA is free after 4:00 pm on Wednesdays.  Meet the ASL Guide at 5:50 pm at the Sharf Visitor Center.  Participation will be limited to comply with the Museum's guidelines for the size of groups in galleries.

    Monday, January 21, 2013      10:00 am – 4:45 pm
    Events in American Sign Language with no spoken English and ASL interpreted events during the MFA’s Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Open House

    Admission is free for everyone.  Visit www.mfa.org for the complete schedule.

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013      10:00 am – 4:45 pm
    ASL interpreted Family Programs including tours, storytelling and other events during February School Vacation Week

    Free with Museum Admission.  Children 17 and under are admitted free when school is not in session.  Visit www.mfa.org for the complete schedule.

    CANE Workshop - "Making Your Theatre More Welcoming to People with Disabilities"

    Posted Wednesday November 21 2012 at 8:11 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Cultural Access New England will present a free workshop "Making Your Theatre More Welcoming to People with Disabilities" at 9:30 am - noon December 6, 2012 at the Wheelock Family Theatre.

    • During a concert, the conductor complains about a patron's oxygen tank making too much noise.  How does the production manager respond?

    • At a show, a patron is concerned the ASL interpreters will be disruptive to their experience.  What does the box office attendant say?

    • While being seated, a patron is concerned about the service dog that is used by the adjacent patron.  What is the usher to do?

    How do we understand the culture of expectations regarding patronage at a performance venue when making our venues accessible to all members of our society?

    Learn more about this free workshop opportunity at the CANE website.

    Handmade Holiday Market at Open Door Gallery

    Posted Friday November 16 2012 at 12:53 am in Open Door Gallery

    Holiday Painting

    Come and do your holiday shopping at the state's alternative craft and art market.  Handmade Holiday features weaving, printmaking, jewelry, felting, cards, painting, and other gifts by local crafters and artists.

    November 16, 2012 - January 4, 2013.

    Opening Reception - December 6, 2012, 4 pm to 7 pm.

    Visit our gallery webpage for more information and photos.

    Third Annual Arts in Health Care Conference

    Posted Monday November 12 2012 at 11:22 am in News

    Arts In Health Care

    Lesley University is teaming with the Boston Arts Consortium for Health, the International Association for Music and Medicine, the Longwood Symphony Orchestra, Harvard Medical School, Berklee College of Music, and the New England Conservatory to put on its 3rd annual conference dedicated to the arts and health.  Friday - Saturday, November 30 - December 1, 2012.

    This year, the conference will focus on how space can be transformed through music, dance, drama and visual art and design to support mental, emotional and physical health.  Leaders in the field, including VSA MA Executive Director Charles Washburn, will share the work they've done both nationally and internationally.

    Further information is available at the Lesley University website.

    Website Resources: Arts Education and Disabilities

    Posted Saturday November 10 2012 at 5:54 pm in Education

    Website Resources

    The Kennedy Center put together an annotated bibliography of websites related to arts and special education.  Anyone is free to view, download, or print the Microsoft Word document from Google Docs.  No account or log-in is required.

    Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - Access to Art

    Posted Tuesday November 06 2012 at 10:53 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Museum of Fine Arts Blind Tour

    Previously we blogged about the Museum of Fine Art's ASL tours held on the 2nd Wednesday of each month.  The MFA has other noteworthy tours that you might be interested in.

    Read More →

    Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards

    Posted Monday November 05 2012 at 10:05 pm in Education

    Teacher's Apple on Book

    Each year, The Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards solicits nominations from the general public and notable public figures, providing the opportunity to submit stories about teachers and professors who made a significant difference in their lives.

    On March 22 2013, Stephen Sondheim's birthday, a select number of these teachers will each receive $10,000 in appreciation for their contributions to the field of teaching.  Awardees will also be showcased, along with the people they inspired, on The Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards web site.

    Application deadline is Sunday, December 16, 2012.  Eligibility requirements and all other details are available on the awards web site.

    "Bob the Show" in Hanover MA, Thursday, November 8 2012

    Posted Friday November 02 2012 at 3:52 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    We blogged about "Bob the Show" previously but wanted to point out a newly scheduled, local performance at the Cardinal Cushing Center in Hanover MA, Thursday, November 8 2012 at 3pm.  Free for Health Care Providers.

    Read More →

    Free Webinars Scheduled

    Posted Tuesday October 30 2012 at 8:36 pm in Education


    Free webinars have been scheduled by the Office of VSA & Accessibility, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  All are welcome.

    The State of Arts and Aging
    Tuesday, November 13 2012, 3-4:30 PM EDT
    Presenter: Dr. Gay Hanna, Executive Director of the National Center for Creative Aging
    Registration: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/989428254

    Strategies for Supporting Visual Artists
    Tuesday, December 11 2012, 3-4:30 PM EDT
    Presenter: Sonja Cendak, Artist Services Assistant Manager, Office of VSA & Accessibility, Kennedy Center
    Registration: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/350028518

    Setting Up Success for Performing Artists
    Tuesday, February 26 2013, 3-4 PM EDT
    Presenter: Liz Miller, arts consultant and former VSA Artist Services Manager at The Kennedy Center
    Registration: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/392131590
    Real-time captioning will be available at http://www.streamtext.net/player?event=JFKCENTER during the Webinar presentation.

    The Life of Bonnie Kaplan - Deaf Community News

    Posted Friday October 26 2012 at 06:26 am in News

    Bonnie Kaplan

    The Massachusetts State Association of the Deaf interviewed VSA's Bonnie Kaplan (BK) for the Autumn 2012 issue of Deaf Community News (DCN).

    DCN:  Hi, glad you could join us for this interview.  Please tell us about who you are, where you went to school all your life, and how did you get to where you are now?

    BK:  I was born to hearing parents and have a younger Deaf brother.  I attended the Boston School for the Deaf from the time I was 4 years old in 1964, and stayed until 1972.  In 6th grade I was mainstreamed at a private school for girls, Brimmer and May, which is located in Chestnut Hill, and was their first Deaf student.  I excelled in sports and went on to graduate in 1979.  After high school I went to the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and majored in Food Service Management.  In 1981, I moved out to LA and worked for Lorimar Productions as a Research Associate for several years.  We studio was known for its TV shows such as "Dallas", "The Waltons", "Falcon Crest", "Perfect Strangers", "Little House on the Prairie", etc., and other TV mini series.

    Read More →

    Learning & the Brain Conference in Boston

    Posted Wednesday October 24 2012 at 11:10 pm in Education

    Learning and the Brain

    "Educating Diverse Minds: Using Individual Brain Differences to Teach and Reach All Learners"
    November 16 - 18, 2012
    Discount Registration Deadline November 2

    Read More →

    Discovery Museums - Evening for Families with Deaf or Hard of Hearing Children

    Posted Monday October 22 2012 at 11:19 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Discovery Museums Logo

    Join a special free evening of fun at the Discovery Museums in Acton, MA for deaf and hard of hearing children between the ages of 2-14, their siblings, parents, grandparents, and other family members.  Saturday November 3, 2012 from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM.  Pizza and beverages will be served.

    Pre-registration is required.

    ASL Interpreters will be available.

    Teaching Artists & the Future of New England

    Posted Friday October 19 2012 at 5:56 pm in Education

    Teaching Artists Dancing and Drumming

    New England Consortium of Artist-Educator Professionals (NECAP) and its local partners, the Rhode Island Foundation and Lesley University are convening gatherings with Nick Rabkin, Principal Investigator, Teaching Artist Research Project, NORC at University of Chicago.  Nick will review and discuss the policy implications of his study, the Teaching Artist Research Project (TARP).  Boston and Providence are two of the twelve TARP study sites.

    Join the dialogue!

  • November 8 2012, 4-6pm, Rhode Island Foundation, Providence RI
  • November 9 2012, 2-4pm, Lesley University, Cambridge MA
  • Read More →

    2012 Disability Job Fair

    Posted Tuesday October 16 2012 at 10:27 pm in News

    2012 Disability Job Fair

    The Disability Job Fair is a free one-day event that connects employers with outstanding, qualified candidates who are blind or visually impaired.  The event is sponsored by Perkins, Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, Massachusetts Department of Development Services, MAB Community Services, National Braille Press, and the Carroll Center for the Blind.

    The Job fair will be held November 8, 2012 from 10am to 1pm at MassChallenge, Inc. in Boston.  Visit the Carroll Center's website for more details and to register.

    Creative Valor: Recent Work by American Veterans

    Posted Monday October 15 2012 at 06:39 am in Open Door Gallery

    Creative Valor

    VSA MA Open Door Gallery is proud to present "Creative Valor: Recent Work by American Veterans".  The exhibit is a representative group of artworks gleaned from the National Veteran's art exhibit and competition that was juried at the VA Medical Center in Brockton, MA.  The juried work was exhibited at the Massachusetts State House before going to the Open Door Gallery of VSA Massachusetts.  The exhibit is curated by Jeff Melzack and runs from October 16 through November 9, 2012.

    Read More →

    AAPD Now Accepting Applications for 2013 Hearne Leadership Award

    Posted Thursday October 11 2012 at 8:00 pm in News

    American Association of People with Disabilities Logo

    The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is now accepting applications for the 2013 Hearne Leadership Award.

    Each year, AAPD recognizes those outstanding emerging leaders with disabilities who exemplify leadership, advocacy, and commitment to the broader disability community.  Two emerging as leaders in the cross-disability civil rights movement will each receive $10,000 to help them continue their progress and further connect their work with AAPD’s national outreach.  The recipients of the 2012 Hearne Leadership Awards will also star in a short documentary film about their work and have an opportunity to join national disability leaders at the AAPD Leadership Gala in Washington, DC.

    Application deadline is November 5, 2012 at 5pm.

    Giving Common 36-Hour Challenge Now Live

    Posted Wednesday October 10 2012 at 08:26 am in News


    Your gift of $25 or more could help us win $25,000.

    Please contribute now.

    Thank you for your support.

    "ILL Abilities" Breakdance Crew - Live Webcast

    Posted Tuesday October 09 2012 at 07:06 am in News

    Ill Abilities Breakdance Group

    Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage Performances will host a live webcast of ILL-Abilities, Friday, October 26 at 6pm.

    The international breakdance crew performs in a program created to inspire and entertain audiences in a positive environment while working to shatter any misconceptions society may have about people with disabilities.

    Help us win $25,000 with your Facebook Cover Photo

    Posted Monday October 08 2012 at 1:28 pm in News

    Become a part of the Giving Common Challenge and make us your Facebook cover photo on Oct 10th and 11th

  • Download the VSA MA Facebook Cover Photo, right click the image and choose Save As and save the file to your computer.
  • Login to your Facebook account and access your profile page.
  • Hover over your cover photo and click Change Cover.
  • Choose Upload Photo from the pop-up menu, select the saved file and click Save Changes.

  • Inclusive by Design Concert of 8/22/2012 - Video Now Available

    Posted Sunday October 07 2012 at 12:12 am in Cultural Inclusion

    War Horse: Open-Captioned, ASL, and Audio Described Performances

    Posted Friday October 05 2012 at 11:23 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    War Horse

    Broadway in Boston presents "War Horse" at the Boston Opera House:
    - Open-Captioned and ASL Interpreted Saturday, October 20 at 2pm
    - Audio Described Sunday, October 21 at 1pm

    Get tickets in person: Box Office, 539 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02111
    Box Office Hours: Monday-Friday 10am-5pm
    By Phone: 617-880-2419 or TTY: 617-426-3444
    By email: ADABoston@BroadwayInBoston.com

    Read More →

    Help VSA MA Win $25,000 Just By Giving $25

    Posted Wednesday October 03 2012 at 11:05 pm in News

    VSA MA Images

    VSA MA will compete online with hundreds of local nonprofits during the first-ever Giving Common Challenge — a 36-hour online giving event starting at 8:00 am Wednesday, October 10th and running through 8:00 pm Thursday, October 11th.

    By giving just $25 online you could help VSA MA win $25,000 or more.  That's enough to:
    - inspire 500 students to sing, draw, dance and act their way into learning in inclusive classrooms
    - showcase the work of 5 artists and performers with disabilities
    - connect 200 people with disabilities to accessible performances and art shows in Massachusetts

    How can you help?
    - Spread the word: tell your friends that you are giving to VSA MA during the Giving Common Challenge on October 10th &11th and that you need their help
    - Post to your wall on Facebook and reach out to your followers on Twitter and let them know about the impact you are making with your gift to VSA MA
    - Share stories of how our work has influenced you

    What is the Giving Common?
    The Giving Common is an online database that provides comprehensive and current information about nonprofit organizations across Massachusetts to help you make informed giving decisions.  We invite you to learn more about VSA MA by visiting our Giving Common Profile.

    For questions about the Giving Common Challenge, please contact Kati Blair Kotrc, 617-350-7713 x101 or kati@vsamass.org

    Free ASL Tours of Boston's Museum of Fine Arts

    Posted Wednesday October 03 2012 at 06:45 am in Cultural Inclusion

    Museum of Fine Arts ASL Tour

    The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston offers a free American Sign Language tour with no spoken English for adult visitors who are fluent in American Sign Language the second Wednesday of every month at 6:00 p.m.  The next American Sign Language Tour will be held on Wednesday, October 10, at 6:00 p.m.

    To participate, pick up a free admission ticket from any cashier (the MFA, Boston is free after 4:00 p.m. on Wednesdays) and meet MFA ASL Guide Leon Jerfita at the Sharf Visitor Center a little before 6:00 p.m.  Latecomers should check with the staff at the Visitor Desk about the location of the tour.

    Sensory Friendly Performances - Webinar Thurday, October 4

    Posted Monday October 01 2012 at 11:27 pm in News

    Empowering theatre for young audiences

    TYA/USA, the US chapter for professional theatre for young people around the globe, will be holding a webinar on sensory-friendly performances.  The hope is to reveal what other groups around the country have done for students who are sensory-sensitive, and where performances for such students might be headed.  Panelists will include the Kennedy Center/VSA's Betty Siegel.  The webinar will be interactive, so feel free to sign in, and ask your own questions!

    Registration is $5 for TYA/USA members and $15 for non-members.  For full details and to register visit the TYA/USA website, then click "fall webinars".

    VSA Mass All Access Pass Tours - New Dates Scheduled

    Posted Saturday September 29 2012 at 12:32 pm in News

    All Access Pass Tour

    Please join us at an All Access Pass tour to learn more about our work towards educational and cultural inclusion in the arts.  We are hosting tours of VSA Massachusetts as a way to bring our mission to a wider audience.  The tour takes no more than one hour.  You'll hear a welcome from board and staff members and then take a guided tour of our work.  We'll share some inspiring stories about how the arts transform our communities and create opportunities for inclusion.

    Upcoming tour dates:

    Thursday October 18, 5:45pm
    Tuesday October 23, 5:45pm
    Wednesday November 7, 12:00pm
    Thursday November 29, 5:45pm
    Tuesday December 11, 12:00pm
    Wednesday January 16, 5:45pm

    People have told us they are inspired by our stories and are impressed by our Open Door Gallery.  Daytime and evening hours are available.  We can also host a tour if you have a group interested in visiting on a different date.

    To reserve a spot and request ASL interpretation or other accommodations, contact Kati Blair Kotrc at 617-350-7713 x101 or kati@vsamass.org.

    Worcester's Hanover Theatre Offers ASL Interpretations of Broadway Series

    Posted Friday September 28 2012 at 11:10 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Hanover Theatre - Worcester

    The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts announced its commitment to provide American Sign Language interpreters as one of its many new initiatives.  The theatre already offers assistive listening devices which are available at the box office for any performance.  In addition, the theatre will also provide two ASL interpreters during each Sunday evening performance in its Broadway Series, starting Sunday, September 30.

    A limited number of seats will be available for the following ASL interpreted performances, each at 6:30pm:

    Read More →

    New Hampshire Arts Education Partnership Conference

    Posted Thursday September 27 2012 at 10:09 pm in Education

    Opening Minds to the Arts

    Opening Minds to the Arts: Investing in Arts Education for a New Generation.

    October 19 and 20, 2012.

    The conference, presented by the NH State Council on the Arts and partners around the state, brings big thinkers to New Hampshire for an exchange of ideas among school administrators, arts educators, teaching artists, arts advocates, scientists, parents and community arts supporters. 

    Click for more information and to register.

    Staff Benda Bilili Perform at the Institute of Contemporary Art

    Posted Tuesday September 25 2012 at 10:52 pm in News

    Staff Benda Bilili, a band from the Congo composed entirely of disabled musicians, will perform a live concert at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Wednesday October 17 2012, 7:30pm.

    Tickets are $35 each or $31.50 for ICA members.

    Websites, Multimedia, and Social Media - Accessible to All

    Posted Sunday September 23 2012 at 5:32 pm in News

    Keyboard with the word access on the enter key

    Cultural Access New England (CANE) is sponsoring a training session October 4, 2012 from 9:30am - noon with a focus on web accessibility.

    More than ever, cultural institutions are relying on their web sites, online and social media and multimedia tour guides to welcome their visitors.  Learn how your digital assets and outreach can be fully inclusive to all, including people with disabilities.  Two of the country's top experts in the field will be sharing their knowledge, insights and tips, and will take your questions and challenges.

    Read More →

    tSOfi Inbar Photography Exhibit

    Posted Saturday September 22 2012 at 09:41 am in News

    tSOfi Inbar Photo - In, Out, Up and Above the Flame Doors

    An exhibit of tSOfi Inbar's photography, Discovering the Extraordinary in the Ordinary, will take place October 2 - 30, 2012 in Newton Free Library's Main Hall, 330 Homer Street.  Opening reception is Wednesday, October 3 from 7-8:30pm.

    tSOfi's photography explores and rediscovers the world and life around us.  By experimenting with unusual perspectives and special angles, changing relative proportions, and capturing reflections, shadows and overlooked details, her images give these visions lives of their own.

    Read More →

    A.R.T. Announces 2012-13 ASL and Audio Described Performances

    Posted Wednesday September 19 2012 at 11:33 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    American Repertory Theater

    American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) has scheduled American Sign Language (ASL) interpreted performances and Audio Described performances for productions during the 2012-13 season at the Loeb Drama Center.  The schedule is as follows:

    Read More →

    Liz Doles Featured in Huffington Post Article

    Posted Tuesday September 18 2012 at 11:30 pm in Open Door Gallery

    Liz Doles Pinhole Photography

    Liz Doles, who exhibited at the Open Door Gallery early 2011, is featured in a Huffington Post article written by Jim Luce.  The article discusses Liz's life and her pinhole photography exhibit of Sri Lanka's architectural heritage.

    Meet the Intern: Wilhelmina Peragine

    Posted Monday September 17 2012 at 3:05 pm in News

    Wilhelmina Peragine

    Masters in Education Candidate at The Harvard Graduate School of Education in the Arts in Education Program

    What are your favorite pastimes?
          "Singing, drawing, painting, reading, dancing and spending time in nature."

    If you could be a cartoon character, who would you be?
          "Hmm . . . I didn't have a TV growing up so I'm not qualified to answer this question."

    Read More →

    COOL Schools 2011-2012 Report Released

    Posted Sunday September 16 2012 at 10:42 am in Education

    COOL Report 2011-2012

    The VSA MA 2011-2012 COOL Schools Education Report has been released and is available for all to review and download.

    Jon Sarkin Paints Live Accompanied by Guitarist David Patterson

    Posted Saturday September 15 2012 at 12:29 pm in Open Door Gallery

    Jon Sarkin and David Patterson

    Jon Sarkin, who exhibited at the Open Door Gallery earlier this year, will create a painting on the spot accompanied by classical guitarist David Patterson Sunday, September 23 2012, 2pm at Singh Performance Center, Alternatives' Whitin Mill, 60 Douglas Road, Whitinsville, MA.

    Jon is exhibiting now through November 16 at Spaulding R. Aldrich Heritage Gallery, Alternatives' Whitin Mill, 50 Douglas Road, Whitinsville MA.  Visit Alternatives' website for more information.

    Sheep to Shawl – Llama to Pajama

    Posted Friday September 14 2012 at 06:49 am in News


    VSA MA is a proud sponsor of the 3rd annual Sheep to Shawl – Llama to Pajama event taking place Saturday October 6 2012, noon – 4pm (rain or shine) at Green Hill Park Farm in Worcester.  Live animal shearing at 2pm.  Learn to knit, weave, card, spin, felt, and dye using animal fiber! 

    Help support Sheep to Shawl by attending a New Orleans Jazz Benefit Concert with Nat Needle & Friends Friday September 28 2012, 7pm - 9pm, First Unitarian Church, Worcester.

    Meet the Intern: Elizabeth Abowd

    Posted Monday September 10 2012 at 9:37 pm in News

    Elizabeth Abowd

    Senior at Lesley University, studying expressive arts therapy
    Hometown: Rock Hill, SC

    What are your favorite pastimes?
          "I love to watch documentaries!  I also enjoy spontaneous trips to IKEA and reading books in one sitting."

    If you could be a cartoon character, who would you be?
          "I would be Larry the Cucumber from VeggieTales.  He gets to do all the ridiculous fun songs and be a superhero.  He's also one of the taller vegetables and I've always wanted to be tall."

    Read More →

    The ARTZ & Dementia Conference

    Posted Sunday September 09 2012 at 9:23 pm in News

    Artists for Alzheimer

    A conference co-sponsored by Hearthstone Alzheimer Care and Hebrew SeniorLife

    The ARTZ and Dementia Conference:
    Innovation, Inclusion & Creative Expression

    The opportunity for creative expression through the arts provides people living with dementia an alternative means to communication in a strength-based, process-oriented model. This conference highlights best practices for creative arts programming through experiential workshops with expert leaders in the field.

    Read More →

    Exhibit at Webster House Gallery

    Posted Tuesday September 04 2012 at 10:28 pm in News

    Webster House Gallery

    "Top Shelf", works on paper and canvas, will be exhibited at Webster House Gallery, 20 Webster Place, Brookline Village September 20 through November 15, 2012.  Opening reception will take place Tuesday, October 2, 2012 from 4 - 6:30 pm.

    Webster House provides wellness and recovery support to adults with disabilities through education, work, and social enrichment.  Webster House is a program of Vinfen.

    For more information, call 617-739-5461 or email Info-websterhouse@vinfen.org.

    Celebrate the Publication of Dr. Lisa Wong's Book

    Posted Thursday August 30 2012 at 11:59 pm in News

    Scales to Scalpels

    Pucker Gallery invites you to join them in celebrating the publication of Dr. Lisa Wong's book

    "Scales to Scalpels: Doctors Who Practice the Healing Arts of Music & Medicine"

    September 20, 2012 5:30 – 7:30 pm

    Read More →

    Cantor Art Gallery at Holy Cross Showcases "Create"

    Posted Tuesday August 28 2012 at 11:54 pm in News


    The Cantor Art Gallery at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester will exhibit 135 works of art produced over the last 20 years at the leading centers for artists with disabilities in the U.S.  The exhibition, titled "Create," honors the history of three pioneering arts programs in California and celebrates the talent of the remarkable individuals whose work is featured.  The exhibit will be presented in two installments: Aug. 29 - Oct. 6 and Oct. 22 - Dec. 8, 2012.

    Read More →

    Live Webcast - James Durbin, American Idol Season 10 Finalist

    Posted Friday August 24 2012 at 2:54 pm in News

    James Durbin

    The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts presents James Durbin Monday, August 27th at 6pm.  Watch a live webcast of this Millennium Stage performance.

    The singer and guitarist, widely known for his fourth place finish on the 10th season of American Idol, rocks the stage with his heavy rock sound and powerhouse vocals.  Since then, James Durbin, 22, released his Wind-Up Records debut album, Memories of a Beautiful Disaster, which is an intricate lattice of all factions and facets of rock.  Mr. Durbin, who lives with Asperger's Syndrome and Tourette's Syndrome, co-wrote five of the 11 songs.  He has been afforded opportunities to work with his favorite band, Swedish cult heroes Hardcore Superstar, and with legendary Mötley Crüe guitarist Mick Mars on his album’s song, "Outcast".  Mr. Durbin recently toured at several venues across California and Arizona.

    Who Cares About Kelsey?

    Posted Wednesday August 22 2012 at 07:09 am in News

    Kelsey Carroll lived with homelessness, self-mutilation and ADHD.  She was a poster child for high school dropouts - until she encountered an education revolution that's about empowering, not overpowering, teens with emotional/behavioral disabilities.

    Free screening of "Who Cares About Kelsey?"
    Dan Habib’s Documentary
    Thursday, November 1 at 6 pm
    Free Popcorn!

    The NonProfit Center
    89 South Street
    Boston, MA

    Please RSVP.

    We’re Celebrating Charles J. Washburn’s 25th Year with VSA MA!

    Posted Monday August 20 2012 at 12:59 pm in News

    Thank you Charlie for your commitment, energy, enthusiasm and innovation!  We can’t wait to see what you’ll do next!

    We gathered quotes, anecdotes, and notes of thanks from a variety of people who know of Charlie's great work.  Please add yours by leaving a blog comment.

    "Charlie, You are even artistic and inclusive when kayaking. Thanks for your leadership in impacting our school so creatively." - Bill Henderson

    Read More →

    "Start with the Arts" PDFs Now Available!

    Posted Saturday August 18 2012 at 05:33 am in Education

    "Start with the Arts" and "Start with the Arts at Home" are instructional programs created by VSA for pre-school and early elementary school learners that uses the arts to assist young children, including those with disabilities, in exploring themes commonly taught in early childhood classrooms.  Originally published 2003 and 2004, the books have been out-of-print for a few years but are now available as free PDFs, thanks to The Kennedy Center.

    To learn more and download the PDFs, visit the Kennedy Center website:
    Start with the Arts (English version only)
    Start with the Arts at Home (English and Spanish versions available)

    VSA Mass Is Looking For Interns

    Posted Wednesday August 15 2012 at 8:53 pm in News

    VSA Massachusetts is seeking college and graduate students who are interested in interning with our COOL Schools program or in our development department.  We currently have opportunities in Boston for the 2012-13 school year.

    Read More →

    VSA MA Named "Giving Common" Partner

    Posted Tuesday August 14 2012 at 9:23 pm in News

    VSA MA recently completed the process required to have our profile published with Giving Common, an initiative of the Boston Foundation.  The Giving Common is a free online resource to inform data-driven, strategic philanthropic activities.  In-depth information is provided about nonprofit organizations working to enhance communities across Massachusetts.

    Visit the VSA MA Giving Common profile for detailed information about our programs, financials, governance, and more.

    Job Opportunities for Teaching Artists

    Posted Monday August 13 2012 at 11:33 pm in Education

    VSA Massachusetts is seeking teaching artists who are interested in creating arts-integrated learning experiences for students of all abilities.

    We currently have opportunities in Boston for the 2012-13 school year.

    Read More →

    Fractured Atlas and Living History Programs Present:

    Posted Sunday August 12 2012 at 6:31 pm in News

    When mental illness comes home, the entire family has special needs.

    New York Writer/Actress Anne Pasquale, originally from Rhode Island, has written a play to capture her experience living with her brother Bob and his mental illness.  The one woman show "promises to shed light on the lives of folks with disabilities and those who love them."

    In "BOB: Blessed Be the Dysfunction That Binds" Anne invites you to meet her special needs brother, Bob, and her family.  Share in the craziness, laughter, tears and triumphs that highlight this coming of age journey.

    Read More →

    Back to School Special Open House - Academic Tools

    Posted Saturday August 11 2012 at 08:08 am in News

    The Assistive Technology Regional Center (ATRC) will host a free Open House with hands-on opportunities to see and try out various academic tools such as Kurzweill 3000, Livescribe Pulse Pen, WordQ, text to speech software, various eBook readers including the iPad 2 and Kindle, talking calculators, digital recorders, and Acrobat.  This is a drop-in event for anyone who would like to learn more about how they might better aid a student's learning with assistive technology.  Staff members will be available for questions and assistance.

    • Where:  Easter Seals ATRC, 89 South Street, Boston (Across the lobby from the Open Door Gallery)
    • Time:  Wednesday, September 5 from 10:00-12:00 pm and 2:00-4:00 pm
    • Cost:  Free
    • RSVP:  atrc@eastersealsma.org or 617-226-2634

    Learn more about Easter Seals' Assistive Technology Regional Center.

    Elly Rubin's Book Acquired by Boston Athenæum

    Posted Friday August 10 2012 at 08:12 am in News

    Elly Rubin, Museum of Fine Arts Coordinator of Access from 1978 - 2002, recently had an artists' book she created acquired by the Boston Athenæum.  "Blind: Seeking Refuge 1937" is about Elly's uncle Joseph Levi, a blind pianist and composer who immigrated to America from Germany in 1937.

    The Boston Athenæum is a membership library that first opened its doors in 1807.  It has more than 600,000 titles in its collection which includes maps, manuscripts, rare books, and archival materials.  Elly's book will reside in the Athenæum's collection of one-of-a kind books by contemporary artists.

    Read more about Elly Rubin and "Blind: Seeking Refuge 1937" by visiting her online journal.

    Help the Museum of Science Improve Exhibits!

    Posted Tuesday August 07 2012 at 5:37 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    A message from the Museum of Science:

    The Museum of Science needs your help in accessibility-related exhibit evaluation!  We are currently gathering feedback about several of our new exhibits in order to improve the museum experience for visitors with disabilities.  Scheduled for this testing are exhibits about energy conservation, the science of Pixar, and health & human biology.

    Read More →

    Live Webcast - Blessing Offor, VSA Young Soloists Award Recipient

    Posted Monday August 06 2012 at 11:22 pm in News

    The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts presents Blessing Offor Saturday, August 11th at 6pm.

    The soul/R&B singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist was a participant on Bravo's Platinum Hit and is a 2010 VSA International Young Soloists Award recipient whose diverse mix of sounds draws on influences from across the music spectrum.  All are welcome to watch a live webcast of the Millennium Stage Performance.

    Kati Blair Contributes to New UDL Book

    Posted Sunday August 05 2012 at 09:04 am in Education

    VSA MA Education Program Manager Kati Blair contributed to the newly published book "Universal Design for Learning in the Classroom - Practical Applications" from Guilford Press.  Kati contributed to chapter 8, "Universal Design for Learning and the Arts Option".

    Part of the "What Works for Special-Needs Learners" series, the book shows how to apply the principles of universal design for learning (UDL) across all subject areas and grade levels.

    ASL Performance of Shakespeare's "Coriolanus"

    Posted Friday August 03 2012 at 2:25 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Commonwealth Shakespeare Company presents an ASL performance of "Coriolanus" at the Boston Common, Saturday August 11, 2012 at 8pm.  The play charts the rise and fall of a powerful general as he battles enemies abroad, and a tide of popularity at home in Rome.  While the war hero triumphs in the field, it's his struggle with politics, responsibility and government that threatens to undo him.

    For more information, visit Commonwealth Shakespeare Company's website.

    Billy Elliot - Open Captioned and ASL Interpreted Performance!

    Posted Thursday August 02 2012 at 06:57 am in Cultural Inclusion

    Sunday, August 5 at 1pm

    Get tickets in person: Boston Opera House Box Office, 539 Washington St., Boston Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm

    By phone: 617-880-2419 or TTY: 617-426-3444

    By email: ADABoston@BroadwayInBoston.com

    Running time: 2 hours, 50 minutes with one 15 minute intermission

    Join Us for a Reception in the Cyclorama

    Posted Tuesday July 31 2012 at 11:07 pm in News

    Be our guest at a reception with drinks and appetizers for friends of VSA MA.  Friday, August 10, 2012 at 5:30pm in the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont Street, Boston.

    Then stay for the 7pm performance by Access to Theatre and enjoy original songs, dance, and stories performed by young adults from Partners for Youth with Disabilities.

    Please RSVP to rsvp@vsamass.org

    Workshops for ASL Coaches

    Posted Tuesday July 31 2012 at 9:34 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Saturday August 4, 2012 - Boston University Center for Interpreter Education presents: Translating Shakespearean Text into Sign.

    Sunday August 5, 2012 - Boston University Center for Interpreter Education presents: Director of Artistic Sign Language/Sign Coach/Sign Master - What is their role in theatre?

    Monday August 6, 2012 - StageSource presents Bridging the Gap: Incorporating Deaf Artists and ASL into your Work.

    Access to Theatre Youth Perform at the Boston Center for the Arts

    Posted Sunday July 29 2012 at 10:06 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Access to Theatre (ATT), a program of Partners for Youth with Disabilities, in partnership with the Boston Center for the Arts (BCA), Until Tomorrow Productions, and VSA Massachusetts, will again take up residence at the Boston Center for the Arts this summer.  During a three-week residency, ATT will work with an inclusive group of youth with and without disabilities to create an original production that will include improvisation, stories, dance/movement and music to share with the public on Friday, August 10th at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm, in the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont Street in Boston’s South End.

    Read More →

    COOL Schools Workshops Announced

    Posted Friday July 27 2012 at 11:36 am in Education

    COOL Schools

    The Education Department of VSA Massachusetts has scheduled a series of four professional development workshops taking place October 10 - 25, 2012.  They include:

    • The Play’s the Thing!  Expanding Literacy and Critical Thinking Skills Though Drama
    • Making Literacy Visible: An Artist’s Approach to Reading Comprehension
    • MOVING the Standard: A Kinesthetic Approach to Learning for Students of All Abilities
    • Traditional Songs, Stories and Singing Games: The Music Advantage to Language Learning

    PDPs are available.  Visit our COOL Schools Professional Development webpage for more details.

    CATA's - "I Am A Part of Art" Annual Art Show

    Posted Tuesday July 24 2012 at 10:23 pm in News

    CATA - Eyes Hands

    I Am a Part of Art, Community Access to the Arts' annual art show opening reception and poetry reading takes place in the CATA Studio Gallery Sunday, July 29th from 2 to 4 pm.  A poetry reading, featuring work from writing classes led by Sonia Pilcer & Carol Stroll, begins at 2:30 by guest readers Diane Prusha & Barby Cardillo.  The exhibit is FREE to the public.

    Read More →

    A.D.A. Celebration Day

    Posted Monday July 23 2012 at 11:51 pm in News

    ADA Celebration

    Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the Mayor's Commission for Persons with Disabilities invite you to a free event for children, families, and individuals of all abilities featuring a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new accessible path on City Hall Plaza.  There will also be advocacy opportunities to meet your elected officials.  Thursday, July 26 2012, 12 noon – 3 p.m., Boston City Hall Plaza.

    Read More →

    Live Webcast of Theater Breaking Through Barriers

    Posted Friday July 20 2012 at 12:11 am in Cultural Inclusion

    Theater Breaking Through Barriers

    Watch a Live Webcast of Theater Breaking Through Barriers Tuesday July 24, 6:00pm ET.

    VSA & Accessibility Department of The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts presents "More of Our Parts", six new plays about disability in 70 minutes, in celebration of the 22nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    Read More →

    Invitation: All Access Pass to VSA Massachusetts

    Posted Wednesday July 11 2012 at 10:09 pm in News

    All Access Pass

    Please join VSA Massachusetts at our next All Access Pass tour to learn more about our work towards educational and cultural inclusion in the arts.  We are now hosting tours of VSA Massachusetts as a way to bring our mission to a wider audience. The tour takes no more than one hour. Guests hear a welcome from a board and staff member and then take a guided tour of our work. We will share some inspiring stories about how the arts transform our communities and create opportunities for inclusion.

    People have told us they are inspired by our stories and are impressed by our Open Door Gallery. Daytime and evening hours are available. We can also host a tour if you have a group interested in visiting on a different date

    To reserve a spot and request ASL interpretation or other accommodations, contact Kati Blair Kotrc at 617-350-7713 x101 or kati@vsamass.org.

    VSA MA is located at the NonProfit Center at 89 South St, Boston, MA 02111, just past the corner of Essex St.  We are one block from South Station on the MBTA Red Line.

    Keep Schools COOL As The Summer Heats Up!

    Posted Wednesday July 11 2012 at 10:14 am in Education

    Painting by Sheila

    Dear Blog Reader,

    As the summer starts to heat up I am happy to reflect on the successful introduction of our COOL Schools program!  The name comes from our belief that inclusion happens best when schools have a Creative Outlook On Learning.  Through the unique power of the arts, student abilities are revealed and school communities transform.

    Read More →

    Talk and Potluck with Eliot School

    Posted Thursday July 05 2012 at 10:37 am in Education

    Visiting teacher Doug Stowe will discuss "Wisdom of the Hands: Why We Still Need a Wood Shop" Friday, July 6, 7pm at the Eliot School, 24 Eliot St, Jamaica Plain.  Admission is free.

    Doug will pull together aspects of the Arts & Crafts, Do-it-Yourself and Manual Training movements, and argue for why we still need all three to provide direction in education.

    Then come to a potluck on Saturday, July 7, 7pm at Sprout, 339-R Summer St, Davis Sq, Somerville for informal mingling and conversation.

    Please RSVP to anorman@eliotschool.org

    Free Fun Fridays

    Posted Monday June 25 2012 at 11:32 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Free Fun Fridays

    The Highland Street Foundation is sponsoring "Free Fun Fridays" throughout Massachusetts, June 29 through August 31.

    Read More →

    Call for Artists

    Posted Friday June 22 2012 at 12:39 pm in Call For Artists

    The Arts & Business Council's Art Lending Program seeks to forge greater connections between the business and arts communities by bringing original artwork by local artists into Boston’s workplaces.

    Disability Reframed - A FREE Community Film

    Posted Friday June 22 2012 at 12:23 pm in News

    disability rights march

    Lives Worth Living, The Great Fight for Disability Rights, a film by Eric Neudel.  This fascinating documentary about the disability rights movement in the U.S. will be followed by an open audience discussion led by the Director, Eric Neudel and Co-Producer, Alison Gilkey.  ASL interpreted, audio described and close captioned.

    Saturday, June 30, 2012 from 2 PM - 4:30 PM
    Cambridge Citywide Senior Center
    806 Massachusetts Avenue
    Central Square

    CVS Caremark and VSA Announce 2012 All Kids Can CREATE Exhibition

    Posted Thursday June 21 2012 at 10:25 pm in Education

    Ethan, age 8, Gloucester MA

    Darius, Age 12, Dorchester MA

    Read More →

    Student of the Month

    Posted Friday June 15 2012 at 3:42 pm in Education

    The VSA MA Student of the Month award celebrates the accomplishments of students who have exhibited significant artistic, social or academic growth throughout their participation in the VSA MA teaching artist program.  Alex received his Student of the Month certificate and a book, The Dot, by Peter Reynolds at an awards ceremony at Adams Elementary today.

    Student of the month Alex Cuthbertson

    Read More →

    Marian Brown: Fabrics of Meaning June 18, 2012 - August 31, 2012

    Posted Friday June 15 2012 at 10:47 am in Open Door Gallery

    Marian Brown - Fabrics of Meaning
    The Open Door Gallery presents Marian Brown: Fabrics of Meaning June 18, 2012 - August 31, 2012

    Opening reception takes place Tuesday June 19, 2012 4 - 7 pm.  At 6 pm, Edward Clapp, founder & editor of 20UNDER40: Re-Inventing the Arts and Arts Education for the 21st Century, will moderate a conversation with the artist on the genesis of the project, her use of studio art as a cathartic healing mechanism and her current work.

    The Artistic Process

    In the spring of 2009 Marian sent out a letter to family and friends asking for everyone to contribute to an upcoming "family tree" project by sending in a "fiber of meaning."  This entailed every family member sending in a piece of cotton clothing, which they deemed as emotionally significant.
    Read More →

    5 Steps to Getting an iPad Covered by Insurance

    Posted Wednesday June 13 2012 at 12:28 am in News

    iTaalk Autism Foundation

    The iTaalk Autism Foundation website has helpful information on how parents can get medical insurance to cover the cost of an iPad for their child with a disability.

    Open Door Gallery In the News

    Posted Monday June 11 2012 at 10:51 pm in Open Door Gallery

    Snow On the Brain artist and poet with Sidewalk Sam

    The Boston Globe published this photo of VSA MA board member Sidewalk Sam with artist Marguerite McDonald and poet Marylou DiPietro who collaborated to create "Snow on the Brain: Living with Multiple Sclerosis" which exhibited at the Open Door Gallery from March 19 - June 8, 2012.

    American Sign Language Multimedia Museum Guide

    Posted Thursday June 07 2012 at 08:18 am in Cultural Inclusion

    The MFA, Boston, has added ASL to its languages on the Multimedia highlights tour.  This tour, on an iPod touch platform, looks at over 125 pieces of artwork from all parts of the Museum.  Visitors who are Deaf may borrow the guide for free to tour the Museum any time the Museum is open.

    Read More →

    ASL Community Event Featuring LOVE PERSON Playwright

    Posted Monday June 04 2012 at 8:09 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Company One will host an ASL Community Event featuring LOVE PERSON playwright Aditi Brennan Kapil and production team members.  The conversation, followed by discussion with the audience, will be live-streamed on Howlround.com’s NewPlayTV channel, and will be interpreted in American Sign Language.

    Read More →

    Salsa in the Park Returns!

    Posted Sunday June 03 2012 at 8:52 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Learn how to dance bachata, cha-cha, rueda, salsa, and merengue this summer!  There are two lessons between 6 and 7pm - one of which is taught in ASL.

    Read More →

    Mass. Dept. of Recreation & Conservation Accessible Recreation Fair

    Posted Sunday June 03 2012 at 6:14 pm in News

    The Department of Conservation and Recreation's (DCR) Universal Access Program (UAP) will offer a free fun-filled day of celebrating Accessible Outdoor Recreation available for individuals, families and friends of people with disabilities.

    Read More →

    "Love Person"

    Posted Saturday June 02 2012 at 4:37 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Love Person is a transcendent four-part love story told in Sanskrit, American Sign Language, English and email.  Two couples are rocked to their cores when love unexpectedly transcends sexual orientation, physical attraction, and social structures.

    Read More →

    Thank You Jean Kennedy Smith

    Posted Monday May 28 2012 at 09:44 am in News

    This video was produced and shown to Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith at the May 7, 2012 Board of Trustees Meeting, David Rubenstein, Chairman. It includes tributes from Executive Director Charles Washburn and the Henderson Inclusion School.

    An audio described version of the video is available on our YouTube channel.

    Inclusive by Design Concert

    Posted Saturday May 26 2012 at 12:30 am in Cultural Inclusion

    Cahner's Theater at the Museum of Science, Boston
    August 22, 2012 at 6:15 p.m.
    FREE but tickets are required
    Contact RSVP@vsamass.org to reserve your seat.

    Adrian Anantawan, a celebrated violin soloist has assembled a duet to perform a concert by composers with disabilities in the style known as  Inclusive by Design.  The performance will include each composer’s story and music will be interpreted in American Sign Language as well as captioned.  Additionally, the performance will include an interpretive mural painted live on stage by painting performance artist  Nancy Ostrovsky.  All of the performance elements will be audio described by renowned describer  Celia Hughes.

    Read More →

    Happy Teaching Artist Appreciation Week!

    Posted Friday May 18 2012 at 9:14 pm in Education

    Thanks to all of our teaching artists for bringing a Creative Outlook On Learning to schools across Massachusetts!

    Read More →

    Charles Washburn interviewed on MCB Radio

    Posted Sunday May 06 2012 at 5:53 pm in News

    MCB's (Massachusetts Commission for the Blind) Horizons Radio affiliate Vince Lombardi interviewed VSA Massachusetts Executive Director Charles Washburn May 4, 2012.  Click below to listen.

    Download MCB_Horizons_5-4-2012.mp3.

    Playing "MCB Horizons 5-4-2012".

    First Night Worcester Issues Call for Artists

    Posted Saturday May 05 2012 at 6:14 pm in Call For Artists

    First Night Worcester issued a "Call for Artists" for the 2013 New Year's Eve celebration.  Information and application form are available as a PDF download.  The deadline is June 10, 2012.

    VSA now accepting entries for its 2012 visual art programs

    Posted Saturday May 05 2012 at 08:28 am in Call For Artists

    Sustaining Creating Call for Art
    Read More →

    VSA MA Partners With The Kennedy Center For 2012 LEAD Conference

    Posted Wednesday May 02 2012 at 6:36 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    VSA MA has partnered with The Kennedy Center to bring the 2012 "Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability" Conference (LEAD) to Boston August 21 - 24, 2012.  Events will take place at The Museum of Science, Museum of Fine Arts, and other locations throughout Boston.  Complete details are available at The Kennedy Center's website.

    Congratulations to Abebe Ticktin from the Henderson Inclusion Elementary School for being named VSA Massachusetts Student of the Month!

    Posted Tuesday May 01 2012 at 08:40 am in Education

    4 images of emotions through facial expresions

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    Harvard Educational Review Now Accepting Stories

    Posted Monday April 30 2012 at 7:05 pm in Education

    The Harvard Educational Review is now accepting stories through June 1, 2012 from children, youth, and adult arts learners for its upcoming special issue "Expanding Our Vision for the Arts in Education".

    "A Closer Look At Learning" Updated

    Posted Friday April 27 2012 at 7:16 pm in Education

    "A Closer Look At Learning" has been updated to include three new case studies of students with autism in a music residency. Everyone may read/print/save/download the PDF from Google Docs.

    PBS Features VSA Mass Teaching Artists In Video

    Posted Tuesday April 03 2012 at 7:57 pm in Education, News

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