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    2014 Archive

    Ten Lessons The Arts Teach

    Posted Monday December 29 2014 at 9:32 pm in Education

    Ten Lessons The Arts Teach

    SOURCE: Eisner, E. (2002).  The Arts and the Creation of Mind, In Chapter 4, What the Arts Teach and How It Shows.  (pp. 70-92).  Yale University Press.  Available from NAEA Publications.

    1. The arts teach children to make good judgments about qualitative relationships.
    Unlike much of the curriculum in which correct answers and rules prevail, in the arts, it is judgment rather than rules that prevail.

    2. The arts teach children that problems can have more than one solution and that questions can have more than one answer.

    3. The arts celebrate multiple perspectives.
    One of their large lessons is that there are many ways to see and interpret the world.

    4. The arts teach children that in complex forms of problem solving purposes are seldom fixed, but change with circumstance and opportunity.  Learning in the arts requires the ability and a willingness to surrender to the unanticipated possibilities of the work as it unfolds.

    5. The arts make vivid the fact that neither words in their literal form nor numbers exhaust what we can know.  The limits of our language do not define the limits of our cognition.

    6. The arts teach students that small differences can have large effects.
    The arts traffic in subtleties.

    7. The arts teach students to think through and within a material.
    All art forms employ some means through which images become real.

    8. The arts help children learn to say what cannot be said.
    When children are invited to disclose what a work of art helps them feel, they must reach into their poetic capacities to find the words that will do the job.

    9. The arts enable us to have experience we can have from no other source and through such experience to discover the range and variety of what we are capable of feeling.

    10. The arts' position in the school curriculum symbolizes to the young what adults believe is important.

    Sensory-Friendly Family Performance of "The Light Princess" at American Repertory Theater

    Posted Sunday December 21 2014 at 9:55 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    The Light Princess is a whimsical new musical based on George MacDonald's fairy tale about a princess who is cursed to not have any gravity.  The king and queen must help the princess find her gravity before her 16th birthday, or else the kingdom will fall into the hands of the witch who cursed her.

    The American Repertory Theater, in partnership with the Accessible Theater, will offer a Sensory-Friendly performance of The Light Princess.  Bring your whole family to enjoy a theater experience where audience members can be themselves!

    Adaptations to this performance include:
    - Reduction of stage lighting and sound
    - Moderate theater lighting for visibility
    - More open seating for non-ambulatory patrons
    - Allowance of electronic use for Assistive Technology
    - Designated quiet areas outside the theater
    - Use of glow sticks to prepare individuals for surprising noises
    - Pre-Visit Social Story and Character Guides available

    Tuesday, December 30, 2014 at 2pm
    Appropriate for all ages!
    Tickets: $15
    Visit the American Repertory Theater website for more information and to purchase tickets, or call 617-547-8300.

    We Are COOL All-Stars: Converse Collaborates with VSA's COOL Schools Program

    Posted Monday December 15 2014 at 10:07 pm in Education

    Converse Sneakers

    This is a guest blog post by Aysha Upchurch, Ed.M. candidate at Harvard's Graduate School of Education, currently interning with VSA Mass.

    On Friday, December 12, 2014, students in VSA's COOL Schools Program at Boston Green Academy and Dorchester Academy got to put their creative skills on display by designing their own Converse classic high-tops.  This opportunity was extended to other students in the school, bringing the total number of participants close to 300.

    Converse Sneakers

    The "We Are All Stars" event is part of Converse's mission to engage youth creatively.  Students wasted no time taking to the canvas.  Converse selected 60 sneakers to display at their flagship store on Newbury Street in Boston and at their new headquarters in North Andover.  Other sneakers will be featured in the January exhibit at VSA's Open Door Gallery.  Be sure to visit the gallery and the Converse store to see some kickin' artwork!

    VSA would like to thank all the students and staff at both schools and the Converse team for this amazing collaborative opportunity to empower youth through art.

    Hanover Theatre in Worcester Presents ASL-Interpreted Shows

    Posted Sunday December 14 2014 at 6:07 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Hanover Theatre - Worcester

    The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts will be presenting several American Sign Language interpreted shows which includes one that will also have enhanced audio description.  In addition, the theatre always offers assistive listening devices available at the box office for any performance.

    The theatre, located in downtown Worcester, is recognized by Pollstar as one of the Top 50 Theatres in the World.  After undergoing many name changes and renovations over the decades since its 1926 birth, The Hanover Theatre reopened in March 2008 following a $32 million historic restoration.  Since then, the theatre has won numerous honors, including The National Trust for Historic Preservation Award.

    ASL-Interpreted shows are:

    A Christmas Carol - December 19, 2014, 7pm.  Plus enhanced audio description shows for the visually impaired: December 27, 2014 at 7pm and December 28, 2014 at 2pm

    Million Dollar Quartet - January 11, 2015, 6:30pm

    Read More →

    Live or Work Near Worcester?  Take the City's Office on Disabilities Survey: How You'd Like to Celebrate 25 Years of the ADA

    Posted Wednesday December 10 2014 at 9:37 pm in News

    City of Worcester

    The City of Worcester's Office on Disabilities contacted us to get the word out that they are seeking your input.  Please take their short, online survey.

    "July 2015 is the 25th Anniversary of the American with Disabilities Act, the civil rights legislation for people with disabilities.  The City of Worcester is working with community partners who work with people with disabilities.  We are gathering information about how the community would like to celebrate this special occasion.  This can be done by completing our Celebrate 25 Years of the ADA Survey."

    Thank you.

    Free Webinar: Using iMovie to Create Video Self-Modeling with Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Posted Tuesday December 09 2014 at 11:06 pm in Education

    Student with iPad

    Video can be used in a number of ways to enhance classroom instruction.  A review will be provided of a creative use of video in the classroom.  A rationale will be offered.  Uses and applications will be discussed.  Step by step instruction will be provided in the use of iMovie to create video projects.  Basic video making techniques will be highlighted for student production and editing of a project.  Technical challenges and potential solutions will be addressed.

    The use of technology to create video supports the principles of universal design.

    1. How to take a good video
    2. How to use iMovie app
    3. How to apply the use of video in classroom context

    Level: Beginner/Intermediate
    December 16, 2014  3-4pm

    Register Here

    ASL Interpreted Critter Day at Boston Children's Museum

    Posted Saturday December 06 2014 at 6:32 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Boy Petting Reptile

    Are snakes really slimy?  How many teeth does an alligator have?  Can a turtle climb out of its shell?  Find out the answers to these and other questions as we celebrate the scaly creatures of the animal kingdom - the reptiles!

    December 20, 2014  11:30 am and 12:30 pm  ASL-Interpreted
    Free with paid Museum admission.

    For more information, visit the Museum website or contact:
    Saki Iwamoto, Health and Wellness Educator

    Handmade Holiday Market - Now Thru Dec. 23, 2014.  Reception - Dec. 5th  4-7pm.

    Posted Tuesday December 02 2014 at 9:40 pm in Open Door Gallery

    Notecards by Atara Schimmel

    Jewelry by Atara Schimmel

    Shop this holiday season at the state's alternative craft and art market.  Handmade Holiday Market features scarves, jewelry, felted ornaments, cards, paintings, and other gifts by local crafters and artists of all abilities!

    Now Through December 23, 2014.

    Artist Reception December 5th 4-7pm at the Open Door Gallery.

    Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday - December 2, 2014

    Posted Monday December 01 2014 at 10:07 pm in News

    Giving Tuesday - December 2, 2014

    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?

    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.

    Boston Conservatory Offers New Programs in Teaching Music to Students on the Autism Spectrum

    Posted Sunday November 30 2014 at 9:04 pm in Education

    Music Teacher with Piano Student on the Autism Spectrum

    Boston Conservatory recently announced two first-of-their-kind programs in teaching music to students on the autism spectrum.  With rigorous hands-on training both in and out of the classroom, these ground-breaking programs expand upon the Conservatory's already robust music education offerings by providing innovative training in the highly specialized area of music and autism.

    Learn more by following these links:
    - Master of Music in Music Education - Autism Concentration
    - Graduate Certificate in Music and Autism

    CapeCodCAN! Flash Mob of October 17, 2014 - John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum

    Posted Sunday November 30 2014 at 8:33 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Managing Director of Cape Cod CAN, Jim Hurley, reports that all who participated were "Dancing in the Street" and mighty "Happy" about it.

    Free Online Professional Development Course about El Sistema

    Posted Wednesday November 26 2014 at 07:10 am in Education

    Power of Music

    A joint project by the Annenberg Institute and WNET was recently released: The Power of Music, a free online professional development course about El Sistema.

    El Sistema is a transformational music education program, begun in 1975 in Venezuela, that has helped hundreds of thousands of children in poverty envision a brighter future for themselves.  Music educators in the United States, inspired by their Venezuelan colleagues, have begun to establish programs with a similar mission — to use music as a means to help young people realize their full potential as citizens.

    Eight half-hour videos and 40+ shorter clips explore a variety of Sistema-inspired programs and practices used by music educators and teaching artists in diverse communities across the U.S.  Accompanying the videos in eight course units are a wealth of online resources, including interactive tools, a facilitator’s guide, and strategies aligned with the national standards.

    Comcast and Sprout Partner to Bring Free Films to On Demand

    Posted Saturday November 22 2014 at 10:09 pm in News

    The Arc and Sprout National Film Festival

    Anthony Di Salvo, Executive Director of Sprout in New York City contacted VSA's Charles Washburn to let us know about the partnership between Comcast and The Arc & Sprout Film Festival bringing free films to On Demand for Comcast customers.

    Sprout is a non-profit organization which sponsors a festival each year of films made by or featuring people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Sprout is dedicated to helping people grow through challenging, creative and fun experiences that enhance socialization, self-confidence, and inclusion.

    Through November 30, 2014 stream films online or to watch on TV, Comcast subscribers can go to On Demand, click into the Specials folder and then click into the folder labeled Disability Awareness.  At the top of that page click on the folder labeled Sprout Film Festival.

    All 12 of the films on Comcast have sub-titles.  For even more Sprout films with subtitles, visit the Sprout Flix website.

    If you are interested in submitting a film for the 2015 festival, the deadline is March 1, 2015.

    Free VSA Webinar: Strategies for Successful Inclusion in Secondary Music Ensembles

    Posted Wednesday November 19 2014 at 10:51 pm in Education

    VSA Webinar Series

    Description: Successful inclusion in secondary performing ensembles like choirs and bands is possible!  Inclusion in ensemble settings may also present a number of challenges for individuals with disabilities because of teaching and performance traditions.  The goal of this session will be to share some strategies that have been effective in providing meaningful opportunities for students with disabilities in secondary ensembles.  We will also share video and audio examples, along with personal stories that will highlight and emphasize best practices within a Universal Design for Learning framework.

    Takeaways: Participants who attend this session will take away many practical strategies that can be used right away in their ensembles.  Main concepts include developing positive student roles, planning for instruction, using tools and technology to create better learning and performing opportunities, and strategies for communicating with school, home, and community partners.

    Intended Audience: Teachers in secondary music education settings as well as secondary administrators who wish to see more students with disabilities participating in performing ensembles in their schools.  Many of these strategies will also be useful for educators in secondary theatre and art programs, secondary administrators, teaching artists, artists-in-residence, community or church-based choral music professionals, and post-secondary educators in music education.

    Read More →

    VSA Massachusetts Affiliates with Seven Hills Foundation

    Posted Tuesday November 18 2014 at 9:12 pm in News

    VSA - Seven Hills Logo

    You may have noticed we recently changed our website logo.  That's because effective November 1, 2014 VSA Massachusetts became the tenth affiliate of Seven Hills Foundation.

    Seven Hills has a 60-year history of caring for people who have the ability to thrive when given the support, respect and dignity that all human beings deserve.  With over 160 locations in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and seven countries abroad, Seven Hills is the premier provider of comprehensive supports for people with significant life challenges.

    Seven Hills President and CEO, Dr. David Jordan, said "VSA Massachusetts is becoming an important part of our Integrated Health and Human Services Network.  This newest affiliation is unique in its ability to transcend all of our various areas of supports and services, and help all people access their communities."

    Charles Washburn, formerly VSA Mass. Executive Director now serving as Seven Hills Vice President of VSA, noted "VSA Massachusetts has found a great deal of common ground with Seven Hills Foundation in recent years.  We are excited by this affiliation and a singular opportunity to engage more people of all abilities in the arts, confront myths about ability, and help build a more inclusive community."

    Please join us December 11, 2014 at noon for our All Access Pass tour in the Open Door Gallery to learn more about our work towards educational and cultural inclusion followed by a reception in celebration of our affiliation with Seven Hills Foundation.  To reserve a spot and request ASL interpretation or other accommodations, contact Charlie Washburn at 617-350-7713 x102 or cjwashburn@vsamass.org.

    Company One Theatre Seeks Wheelchaired Actor for Production of "Colossal"

    Posted Monday November 17 2014 at 10:12 pm in Call For Artists


    The beauty and brutality of football seduce Mike to stray from the path his father had mapped out for him, but when a standard play goes catastrophically wrong, Mike has to 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 not-to-be-missed summer event all the way to the end zone.

    More info about the production can be found at Company One Theatre's website.

    Company One Theatre is committed to having this role played by an actor and/or athlete with a disability similar to the character of Mike.  It is necessary that potential candidates have a very developed upper body like that of an athlete and be able to use a manual wheelchair.

    Mike is about 22 years old, any race.  The level of paralysis will be adjusted, depending on the actor/athlete.  Before the accident, Mike was a dancer, a football player, and an extraordinary physical presence.  He is passionate, loyal, and stubborn.  Experience with theatrical performance is great, but not necessary.

    There will be a one-week workshop during the week of March 23, 2015.  Rehearsals will begin on May 31, 2015.  Colossal will run from July 17-August 16, 2015 at the Roberts Studio Theatre in the Calderwood Pavilion.  The theatre is fully accessible and other specific accommodations will be provided, if necessary.

    For more information, questions, or to get a copy of the play, contact Josh Glenn-Kayden at auditions@companyone.org.

    Kennedy Center Announces Winter 2014/2015 Artist Opportunities

    Posted Thursday November 13 2014 at 9:35 pm in Call For Artists

    VSA Artist Opportunities

    Competition: 16th Annual Great American Song Contest
    Deadline: November 20, 2014
    Are you ready to get your songs heard and reviewed by experienced music-industry pros?  Are you looking for opportunities to win prizes, gain recognition and promote your songs with publishers, producers and the music media?  The Great American Song Contest is uniquely designed to offer these very opportunities - and benefit every songwriter, lyricist and composer who participates.

    Call for Entry: "CORRESPONDENCE" An International Mail Art Exhibition
    Deadline: November 21, 2014
    The Crossing Arts Alliance presents its upcoming exhibition, "CORRESPONDENCE", an international mail art exhibition, and invites artists from all over the world to participate.  This exhibition is open to everyone, all ages and skill levels, and has an open theme, allowing artists to express their creativity and ideas to the fullest extent.  This exhibition will be on display in the Q Gallery, in the Franklin Arts Center.

    Call for Entry: Black and White 2014
    Deadline: November 23, 2014
    The New York Center for Photographic Arts (NYC4PA) invites photographers world-wide to submit images using any photographic process (print, image transfer, emulsion transfer, iphoneography, encaustic, black and white, etc.).  Winners will receive $3,000 in cash awards and be featured in a New York Gallery Show and on the NYC4PA Online Gallery.  The Grand Prize winning image will be posted on the NYC4PA home page.

    Residency: Art Omi International Artists Residency
    Deadline: November 30, 2014
    Omi International Artists Residency invites visual artists from every continent, representing a wide diversity of artistic styles, to gather in rural New York State to experiment, collaborate and share ideas.  During four weeks each June-July, concentrated time for creative work is balanced with the stimulation of cultural exchange and critical appraisal.

    Read More →

    Critter Day: ASL Interpreted Animal World Experience at Boston Children's Museum

    Posted Thursday November 06 2014 at 11:49 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Critter Day

    Animal World Experience is back with their wonderful group of furry, feathered and scaly creatures.  Even though it's the same animals at each presentation, each is focused on a different area, so you'll learn something new at every show!

    11:00  Locomotion Commotion:  What's all the commotion?  Animals move in many different ways, and we'll explore how they slither, crawl, hop, climb and swim.

    12:00  Myths are for Monkeys:  You'll have more fun than a barrel of monkeys as you learn the truth about common animal myths.

    Presentations are interpreted in American Sign Language.

    November 15, 2014  11am and 12 pm
    Free with paid Museum admission.

    For more information, visit the Museum website or contact:
    Saki Iwamoto, Health and Wellness Specialist

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

    Posted Wednesday November 05 2014 at 10:09 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Alice - A New Musical

    Wheelock Family Theatre presents the professional premiere of a new musical written and directed by Andrew Barbato.  Based on the books "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Alice through the Looking Glass" by Lewis Carroll.

    ASL/Audio-Description November 14, 2014 7:30pm and November 16, 2014 3pm
    All other performances offer Open Captioning
    Tickets: $20-$35
    Wheelock Family Theatre
    More information

    Boston Jewish Film Festival - "Jon Imber's Left Hand" at Museum of Fine Arts

    Posted Monday November 03 2014 at 9:59 pm in News

    Jon Imber's Left Hand

    Jon Imber's Left Hand by Richard Kane (2014, 62 minutes).  A documentary of the last year in the life of the valiant, renowned Somerville-based artist Jon Imber, who suffers from ALS, reinvents his style and continues making dark jokes – Jewish humor! – even as his body is failing him.  A haunting film about a painter who cared to the end about his wife, accomplished artist Jill Hoy, family, friends, and artistic legacy.

    What: Jon Imber's Left Hand - Boston Jewish Film Festival
    Where: Boston Museum of Fine Arts - Harry and Mildred Remis Auditorium
    When: November 9, 2014 3:00pm - 4:15pm
    Tickets: Regular - $14, Member/Student/Senior - $12, Group 10+ - $10

    Massachusetts Cultural Council Launches Inclusive Design Initiative

    Posted Monday October 27 2014 at 10:10 pm 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 announcement of its new initiative called UP.

    The goal of UP is to support the growth and development of organizations that recognize the power of inclusive design to grow audiences and enhance cultural experiences for all, and that embrace inclusivity as core to their mission.  The intent is to generate transformational experiences for participants that will not only build capacity, but fuel insight and action.  UP will also reward innovation in order to recognize the great work being done in Massachusetts and to inspire organizations to do more.  UP recognizes that accessibility is and should be a work in progress.  UP is a direction, not a destination. UP is about process, not perfection.

    Learn more about UP at the MCC website.

    Assistive Technology Regional Center Announces Winter 2014/2015 Demonstrations

    Posted Sunday October 26 2014 at 9:53 pm in News

    All Demonstrations are Free and held at Easter Seals Technology Center, 89 South Street, Boston.

    Thursday, October 30, 2014  11:00-12:00 PM - Apple's iOS 8.0: An Introduction.  Demonstration of some of the new features that make Apple iOS 8 different from iOS 7.  This is interactive so bring your iPhone, iPad or iPod if you want hands-on practice with your device.  (Device not a requirement.)

    Thursday, November 20, 2014  12:00-1:00 PM - Wearable Technology for Better Living  Learn about these two new "watches" The Pebble Watch and the Devine Connect2Mobile Bracelet which can remind/notify/alarm, give you the news and weather, control music, and view your calendar from your wrist.  These are available for both Apple and Android devices.

    Thursday, December 11, 2014  12:00-1:00 PM - Accoutrements for Tablets and Laptops  Come see styluses, switches, joysticks, mounts and other accessible solutions for your tablet and laptop.

    Read More →

    VSA Teaching Artist & Sculpturist, Nora Valdez - Open Studio

    Posted Thursday October 23 2014 at 9:16 pm in Education

    Nora Valdez Sculpts

    VSA teaching artist and noted sculpturist will be holding an open studio October 25 and 26, 2014 from noon to 5pm.  Come see her wonderful sculptures and drawings.

    11 Humphreys Street, Dorchester (end of the driveway, back studio).  Wine, cider, refreshments.

    Meet the Teaching Artist: Rhianon E. Gutierrez, Media Arts

    Posted Tuesday October 21 2014 at 10:16 pm in Education

    Rhianon E. Gutierrez

    Mission Statement:
    As a media arts educator, I explore flexible and dynamic ways to utilize the multimodal possibilities of media to record, examine, and express our understanding of the world around us.

    Media is a critical part of our culture, but not everyone knows how to use and critically examine the application of various media tools.  I approach media from an inclusive perspective to discover the potential of one or many tools to create inclusive learning spaces.  Through media, students can develop lifelong, transferable skills in media literacy, collaboration, and executive functioning.

    My experience has been working with high school students and young adults in transition in Los Angeles and South Boston.  I've worked in classroom, after-school, and nonprofit contexts teaching film and media arts.  Media arts serve a powerful purpose in literacy and, at present, I am working with students in English Language Arts and Visual Arts classes at Dorchester Academy.  I draw from constructivism, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and sociocritical literacies in my teaching and curriculum development.  I have high expectations of all students and seek to create spaces in which students feel comfortable to learn and share via multiple modalities.  My lessons combine discussion with project-based learning so that students can build socio-emotional and cognitive skills as they work independently and in collaboration with one another.

    Read More →

    Free Community Partners Day at the Museum of Science

    Posted Tuesday October 21 2014 at 9:31 pm in News

    Museum of Science Theater of Electricity

    Join Boston Museum of Science Saturday, November 1, 2014 for a free Community Partners Day.  Enjoy the main exhibit halls, including live presentations like the Theater of Electricity.  We will also have a limited number of tickets for the new traveling exhibit, MAYA, available on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Plus guests can enjoy a performance from La Pinata, celebrating Día de Muertos/The Day of the Dead at 10:30am.

      •  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.
      •  ASL interpreters and sighted guides will be available. Please contact Maria Cabrera or James Boyd to let us know that you would like an interpreter or a guide.
      •  Guests can pick up their reserved tickets at the Community Relations registration table in the Museum lobby on November 1 between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM.

    Visit http://tiny.cc/moscommunitynov1 to register for attendance.  Prior Community Partners Days have sold out quickly so register ASAP.

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

    Brandeis University Distinguished Lecture: "The Future of Disability Rights"

    Posted Monday October 20 2014 at 5:16 pm in News

    The Lurie Institute
    For Disability Policy

    Annual Distinguished Lecture

    Featured Speaker

    "The Future of Disability Rights"

    Wednesday, November 5, 2014
    6:00 pm.
    Reception to follow

    Brandeis University
    The Heller School for Social Policy and Management
    Zinner Forum
    415 South Street
    Waltham. MA

    RSVP by October 22 2014, to
    or by telephone at 781-736-3799

    If you need disability accommodations to participate,
    please inform us With your RSVP.

    The mission of the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy is to lead research
    and training initiatives that promote effective. efficient policies
    to improve the well-being of children and adults with disabilities
    and their caregiving families across the lifespan.

    Brandeis University

    ASL-Interpreted: Read for the Record at Boston Children's Museum

    Posted Monday October 20 2014 at 4:31 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Bunny Cakes Book Cover

    Join Jumpstart for Read for the Record, a campaign which mobilizes millions of children and adults to celebrate literacy by participating in the largest shared reading experience.  There will be readings of bestselling author and illustrator Rosemary Wells' children's book, Bunny Cakes, a comical story of sibling bonding and birthday shenanigans, as well as activities based on the book.

    October 21, 2014  10:00 am and 12:00 pm  ASL-Interpreted
    Free with paid Museum admission.

    For more information, visit the Museum website or contact:
    Saki Iwamoto, Health and Wellness Educator

    CapeCodCAN! Flash Mob and Musical Revue

    Posted Monday October 13 2014 at 10:31 pm in News

    Waiting for Oscar Sampler

    Waiting for Oscar sampler at the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum, 397 Main Street.

    One Night Only!  Friday, October 17, 2014 at 6:30pm

    Arrive early to catch a Flash Mob Performance in front of the museum at 5:30pm.

    $10 per person at the JFK Museum website and bookstore, and at the door.

    Expect. Employ. Empower. Assistive Technology in the Workplace

    Posted Monday October 13 2014 at 9:35 pm in News

    Assistive Technology Workplace

    Celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month

    Assistive Technology in the Workplace

    FREE EVENT; please RSVP by October 18, 2014

    6 - 8 PM, Wednesday, October 29, 2014
    Reception: 6 PM (Light refreshments will be served.)
    Assistive Technology Info & Panel Discussion with Moderator Dr. Cheri Blauwet: 6:30-8 PM

    Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Cambridge
    1575 Cambridge Street Cambridge, MA 02138

    (Free parking available)

    Open to all employers, managers, job seekers and any interested parties.  Gain a greater understanding of incentives for hiring employees with disabilities, as well as a variety of assistive technology that enhance productivity and makes good business sense.

    Read More →

    True Story Theater Presents "Visible and Invisible: Stories of Disabilities"

    Posted Monday October 13 2014 at 8:06 pm in News

    Visible and Invisible

    Within ourselves, how do we face our limitations . . . and discover new strengths?  When we deal with people's reactions to disability, how do we handle painful ignorance (including our own) . . . or welcome kindness?  Let’s learn from each others' stories.

    What: Visible and Invisible: Stories of Disabilities
    Presented By: True Story Theater
    Where: Arlington Senior Center, 27 Maple Street, Arlington, MA
    When: Friday, October 17, 2014, 7:30pm - 9:15pm
    Suggested donation: $15 (general); $10 (senior, student, low-income); $20 (supporter of the arts).

    (Although the venue is wheelchair accessible, neither ASL interpretation or audio description will be available.)

    Articulate Ability - Blind Dancers from India at Regis College

    Posted Tuesday October 07 2014 at 10:47 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Articulate Ability - Blind Dancers from India

    Buse Gowda, Guruprasad, Taraka Ramudu, Satish Rao, and Shivaswamy all hail from the rural districts of Karnataka, India.  What they share in common brought them together: they are all blind.

    At a time when no methodology existed to train the blind in the art of dancing, these men taught a teacher how to teach!  The awkward postures became graceful, the gestures more meaningful.  They are now at par with any accomplished dancers.

    Through more than 1500 international performances, Articulate Ability has inspired many people with disabilities to take on challenges and overcome what they may initially deem impossible.  Awards and accolades do not move them as much as the applause they hear at every curtain call.

    On October 11th, 2014 these 5 mesmerizing dancers will perform at the Regis College Fine Arts Center, accompanied by their dance teachers, Mr. Mysore B Nagaraj, and Dr. Suparna Venkatesh.

    Who: Articulate Ability
    When: Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 5pm
    Where: Regis College, 235 Wellesley St., Weston MA 02493, Free Venue Parking
    Tickets: $40, $30, $20
    More Info: aidboston.org

    Dylan Tighe Performs at Regent Theater in Arlington

    Posted Tuesday October 07 2014 at 10:01 pm in News

    Dylan Tighe

    Dylan Tighe, actor, writer, and theatre producer from Ireland, also wrote and recorded a series of heartfelt and tumultuous songs over a period of four years as a personal account of his experiences with mental health issues.  He performs at the Regent Theater in Arlington Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 9:00pm.

    Tickets: $15 in advance, $17.50 at the door
    For accommodations: Contact the box office at 781-646-4849
    More info: Regent Theatre Website

    Assistive Technology Clothing Design at Boston Museum of Science

    Posted Tuesday October 07 2014 at 9:36 pm in News

    Assistive Technology Clothing Design

    Join Boston Museum of Science for a sneak peek at prototype designs for assistive clothing.  Celebrate the collaborative work between engineers, occupational therapists, and designers who participated in an innovative summer program at MIT called Open Style Lab.  After ten weeks of working closely with each other and a client with disabilities, teams will share their experiences, processes, and designs.  Check out creations that are both fashionable and functional!

    Each Saturday in October, two groups will showcase their designs (with designs set up by noon and remaining until 2:30 pm).  At 12:30 pm, a representative from each group will speak on the stage and answer any questions.

    When: Saturdays in October, 2014 - Design showcase noon to 2:30pm and presentations 12:30pm to 1:00pm
    Where: Boston Museum of Science - Gordon Current Science & Technology Center
    Cost: Free with Exhibit Halls admission
    More Info: Museum of Science Website

    Autism-Friendly performance of The Lion King

    Posted Tuesday October 07 2014 at 06:44 am in Cultural Inclusion

    The Lion King

    Autism Speaks has partnered with Broadway In Boston and Disney Theatrical Productions to provide a unique theatre experience for individuals and families impacted by autism.  This autism-friendly performance of Disney's The Lion King will happen in a supportive, judgment-free environment and will include slight adjustments to the production to suit the needs of the audience—such as the reduction of any jarring sounds or strobe lights focused on the audience.  In addition, there will be other accommodations of support, including a quiet area if individuals and families need a break from the experience and trained staff and volunteers to assist with patrons' needs.

    Autism-Friendly Performance of The Lion King
    Boston Opera House
    October 11, 2014  2PM
    Purchase Tickets - Use Discount Code: AUTISMSPEAKS

    Arts in Special Education Consortium Launches Resources Section

    Posted Saturday October 04 2014 at 7:56 pm in Education

    Arts in Special Education Consortium Logo

    The Arts in Special Education Consortium recently announced their launch of a Resources Section.

    Browse through seven different categories, ranging from Specific Disabilities, to a Partial Glossary of Important Terms, to Classroom Resources and, of course, Art & Art-Specific Resources.  You'll find publications, advocacy groups and important information listed throughout.

    Mad in America's International Film Festival

    Posted Saturday October 04 2014 at 7:09 pm in News

    Mad in America International Film Festival

    Cambridge-based organization Mad in America, Inc. will be hosting an International Film Festival from October 9-12, 2014 at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, MA with the mission of rethinking psychiatry and the mental health system.  The four-day program of films, speakers, panels, live performances, visual art, and more will bring together an international collective of leading voices in creating mental health alternatives and new paradigms of care.  Find more information at Mad in America’s International Film Festival website.

    Meet the Intern: Hannah Hanssens-Reed

    Posted Monday September 29 2014 at 9:46 pm in Education

    Meet the Intern: Hannah Hanssens-Reed

    I am from Philadelphia and I'm working on my Ed.M. in Arts in Education (at Harvard's Graduate School of Education).

    What are your favorite pastimes?
          "I love to draw, paint, read, and experiment in the kitchen.  I am also an avid hiker and love to be outdoors."

    If you could be a cartoon character, who would you be?
          "I would love to be Matilda, the illustrated version, from the book by Roald Dahl."

    You are trapped on an island.  What three items do you want to have with you?
          "A set of paints & brush, a machete, and a hammock."

    Read More →

    Me2/Orchestra Launches New Ensemble in Boston

    Posted Monday September 29 2014 at 9:33 pm in News

    Me2/Orchestra rehearsing

    Me2/Orchestra is the world’s only classical music ensemble created for individuals with mental illnesses and people who support them.  The orchestra was launched in Burlington, Vermont in 2011 and now, in its fourth season, the organization has expanded its reach with the launch of a new orchestra serving the greater Boston area.

    "Me2/Orchestra–Boston" held its first rehearsal September 22, 2014 and will continue to rehearse weekly on Mondays from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at Hope Central Church, 85 Seaverns Ave, in Jamaica Plain, MA.  Participation is free and there is no audition required.  Musicians ages 13 and older are encouraged to join now.  New members will be accepted continuously during the coming weeks.  Interested musicians can join the orchestra simply by emailing Me2/ at Me2orchestra@gmail.com or calling 802-238-8369.

    The Boston-based branch of Me2/Orchestra shares the mission of the greater organization, which is to provide exhilarating performances that encourage conversations about mental health and erase the stigma surrounding mental illnesses.  It is not necessary to have a mental illness in order to join the orchestra.  While many musicians participate because they appreciate the opportunity to make music with a social mission, others may have a diagnosis such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or anxiety.  The orchestra welcomes everyone, including patients, family members, friends, physicians, counselors, people recovering from addiction, and caregivers.  Me2/Orchestra–Boston is a multi-generational, inclusive group.

    Read More →

    Read All About it!  COOL Schools Report 13/14 Now Available!

    Posted Wednesday September 24 2014 at 10:09 pm in Education

    COOL - Creative Outlook On Learning

    COOL highlights from last year:
      - COOL grew from 2,023 to 2,445 students, 12 to 17 schools and 106 to 170 teachers.
      - We started Embodying Literacy, our first yearlong professional learning community with 12 BPS arts teachers integrating literacy, drama and dance.
      - Parkolation built the 1st student designed Parklet in Boston.
      - Media Arts joined the COOL repertoire.

    This year, we're looking forward to:
      - Taking Embodying Literacy to the next level, adding PD for 200 BPS K2 teachers.
      - Working on exploring our role to support STEAM learning.
      - Growth of Parkolation, prospect locations for new parklets.

    Download, print, read the full report.

    Meet the Intern: Aysha Upchurch

    Posted Tuesday September 23 2014 at 06:50 am in Education

    Aysha Upchurch

    I was born and raised in St. Louis, MO and spent the past 17 years in the Washington, DC area (the DMV).  I'm in the Arts in Education cohort at Harvard's Graduate School of Education for the Ed.M. 2015 class.

    What are your favorite pastimes?
          "Dancing – I even tap dance while grocery shopping.  I also like organizing for others and I am an HGTV junkie. "

    If you could be a cartoon character, who would you be?
          "I'd be Uniqua from the Backyardigans - she's sassy, sweet, and smart."

    You are trapped on an island.  What three items do you want to have with you?
          "Well, if I'm trapped, I'm going to accept that I get to live out my last days on a nice island.  It can be a nice and tropical island right?  Just give me a Sweetarts, Cherry Coke and satellite radio . . . gonna have a sugar rush and dance it out until time's up."

    Read More →

    Missed VSA's Parkolation Project on WCVB's Chronicle? Watch Here.

    Posted Sunday September 21 2014 at 6:51 pm in Education

    WCVB's September 5, 2014 airing of Chronicle featuring ArtWeek Boston's Parkolation event.

    Park(ing) Day 2014

    Posted Wednesday September 17 2014 at 06:27 am in Education

    Parking Day 2014

    Join VSA MA Parkolation student designers from Boston Green Academy in re-envisioning how we use our street space.  Come visit our Park(ing) Day parklet, hang out and learn more!

    WHERE? In front of VSA Massachusetts - The Non Profit Center - 89 South St. in Boston (near South Station)

    WHEN? Any time, 10am-3pm September 19, 2014

    WHAT? Park(ing) Day is an international day where people all over the planet build temporary parklets (mini parks) for just one day in an effort to help the public think creatively about public space.  As part of their Environmental Science curriculum, this year’s installation is linked with the Rising Tides art project and themed around sea level rise and global climate change.  Come meet our student designers and learn more!  Bring your lunch!

    Cultural Access New England's "Round Tables Around the Town"

    Posted Friday September 12 2014 at 07:00 am in Cultural Inclusion

    Cultural Access New England (CANE) invites cultural institutions to follow-up the discussions of the last CANE workshop, "Creating a Welcoming Space for Visitors Who Are on the Autism Spectrum".  Continue the small group conversation by asking questions, sharing program ideas, and exploring resources that make your cultural institution more accessible for visitors who are on the autism spectrum.

    September 18, 2014, 4-5pm - Museum/Exhibition based discussion at Museum of Fine Arts, East Seminar Room G-39.  Email access@mfa.org with further questions.  There is no charge but please register below:

    September 22, 2014, 4-5pm - Performance/Theater based discussion at Wheelock Family Theatre.  Email cbaldwin@wheelock.edu with further questions.  Also no charge but please register:

    Embodying Literacy: Professional Learning Community

    Posted Sunday September 07 2014 at 6:15 pm in Education

    Embodying Literacy

    A professional learning community tailored to your needs as an arts educator . . .

    - Learn effective inclusive strategies using the arts.
    - Collaborate with peer arts educators.
    - Examine literacy through drama and dance.


    The Embodying Literacy professional development program will enable 12 Boston Public Schools (BPS) 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 will develop inclusive, arts-integrated literacy curricula based on Dance, Drama and English Language Arts Common Core standards.  The program is open to arts teachers in any discipline, but will focus on drama and dance techniques and processes.  It will be led by two VSA MA master teaching artists; dance instructor Priscilla Harmel, M.Ed, BC-DMT and drama instructor Marianne Adams, M.Ed.; both faculty members at Lesley University.  Each participant will receive a $400 stipend and up to 23 PDPs after completing the program between November 2014 - June 2015.

    First Meeting: Saturday, November 15, 2014 9:30am - 3:30pm
    Location: The NonProfit Center, 89 South Street #101, Boston, MA 02111
    *Five additional meeting dates and locations will be decided by each cohort of teachers.  A classroom visit by one of the instructors will also be scheduled in February.

    Register by Friday, October 10, 2014 on BPS My Learning Plan.
    Contact education@vsamass.org
    or 617-350-7713 for more information.

    This program is made possible through a generous award granted by the BPS Arts Expansion Initiative.

    2014 Boston Theatre Expo - Accessible, ASL-Interpretors Available

    Posted Sunday September 07 2014 at 5:34 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Greater Boston Theatre Expo 2014

    Greater Boston theatre companies of all styles and sizes will unite on Tuesday, September 9, 2014 in the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts (539 Tremont Street, Boston) for the second annual Greater Boston Theatre Expo.  The public is invited to attend the free event held from 5:30pm to 8:30pm to meet representatives and artists from the region's fringe, small, mid-sized, and large theatre companies, to get information about upcoming productions, and to take advantage of Expo-only ticket offers and giveaways.

    RSVPs are not required, but are encouraged.  To see who's attending and for more information visit Greater Boston Theatre Expo.

    Watch VSA MA Parkolation Project on WCVB-TV's Chronicle Friday Sept. 5, 2014, 7:30pm

    Posted Thursday September 04 2014 at 11:46 pm in News

    Chronicle Show Logo

    Don't miss it!  That's right, WCVB-TV's Chronicle show will spotlight VSA's Parkolation Project Friday night, September 5, 2014 at 7:30pm in their ArtWeek Boston preview.

    And hoping you don't mind us bragging a bit, here's some other great press the Parkolation Project has received: Boston Globe, USA Today, City of Boston, and WBUR to name a few.

    VSA MA ArtWeek Boston Events

    Posted Thursday September 04 2014 at 06:16 am in News

    ArtWeek Boston Logo

    ArtWeek Boston is an initiative of the Citi Performing Arts Center, whose mission is to be a champion for nonprofit innovation in Boston and provide arts and entertainment to the greater community.  ArtWeek Boston is a biannual celebration of the arts and allows arts patrons of all kinds to have a unique curated experience.  Fall ArtWeek will be held September 26 – October 5, 2014 and VSA MA is sponsoring two events that you are invited to attend.

    September 30, 2014 - Parkolation LEGO Iteration Party  Come hang out, learn and create in the first Boston parklet (mini park) designed and built by young people!  What will you get to do?
      * Explore the same essential design question that sparked this project: How can we make public street space more human-centered, green, beautiful and community-oriented?
      * Collaborate with the students, artists and community partners who built the parklet, and coaches from the MIT Media Lab’s Lifelong Kindergarten Group to create your own LEGO model parklet designs and photos.
      * Snack while you play!  Light fare and refreshments will be provided by our Parklet Partner, Mei Mei RestaurantPlease Register:

    October 2, 2014 - Drawing In the Community.  Add to an art exhibit with some artwork of your own.  Celebrating the show "Out My Window: Drawings and Paintings by Sidewalk Sam" the community is welcome to respond to Sidewalk's artwork with drawings of their own which will be displayed at the NonProfit Center.  Participants May also attend a conversation about the show and their own drawings with Sidewalk Sam during a reception from 4pm to 7pm (Conversation at 6pm).  Please Register:

    On the Wall at Boston City Hall

    Posted Monday September 01 2014 at 8:38 pm in News

    Art on the walls at Boston City Hall

    Raine Newman of Waltham, MA is curating an art exhibit to be held on the second floor of Boston City Hall.  The public is welcome to visit Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm, September 15 - 30, 2014.  The exhibit features works of various and diverse artists who have disabilities.

    Newman says: "We do not call ourselves 'disabled artists' but rather artists who happen to have disabilities."

    The exhibiting artists include:
    Neri Avraham
    Tom Abruzese
    Kristi Beisecker
    Dew Jareanvai
    Sebouh Kandilian
    Juan Lucero
    Bethany Murray
    David Mynott II
    Aaron Needle
    Roxanne Hope Randle
    Kristen Smith
    Raine Newman

    An artist reception will be held Tuesday, September 30, 2014 from 4-5pm.  For more information contact Raine Newman at rainevangogh@hotmail.com.

    ASL-Interpreted: Author Brenda Sturgis Book Reading and Activity at Boston Children's Museum

    Posted Monday September 01 2014 at 8:21 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    The Land Where Loon Lives

    Meet children's book author, Brenda Sturgis.  Enjoy story time with her new book, The Lake Where Loon Lives.  Use your imagination to decorate your own loon and learn about the loon and its habit!

    September 13, 2014  2:00 pm and 2:45 pm  ASL-Interpreted
    Free with paid Museum admission.

    For more information, visit the Museum website or contact:
    Saki Iwamoto, Health and Wellness Educator

    Kennedy Center Announces Fall 2014 Artist Opportunities

    Posted Monday August 25 2014 at 10:38 pm in Call For Artists

    VSA Artist Opportunities

    Call for Entry: THE SEED
    Deadline: September 1, 2014
    THE SEED is for artists working in a variety of mediums.  Each artist will be given one dream, the same dream, to read and use as a inspiration in creating one piece of art.  The dream, THE SEED, is simply a unified launching pad that will serve as an underlying theme for the show.  Artist can interpret/incorporate THE SEED as they see fit in the creation of their work.  All the works will be exhibited together, in one space.  This is an opportunity for artists to work along side other talented individuals, your work standing alone and as part of the whole - creating a venue for cross exposure as well as collaboration.

    Call for Entry: Lore Degenstein Gallery Sixth Annual Figurative Drawing and Painting Exhibition
    Deadline: September 2, 2014
    Lore Degenstein Gallery hosts a juried visual art competition and exhibition open to two-dimensional figurative artists (referencing the human figure), working in painting, drawing, or printmaking, who are over the age of 18.  This year's juror is Pamela Wilson, a figurative artist and art educator living and working in Santa Barbara, California.  Wilson will select the works in the exhibition and announce the awards ($5,000) at the exhibition opening reception.

    Read More →

    VSA MA Sponsors Abilities Expo Artist Market

    Posted Saturday August 23 2014 at 4:54 pm in News

    Abilities Expo Logo

    For the second straight year, VSA MA is proud sponsor of the Artist Market at Boston Abilities Expo September 5-7, 2014 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (Hall C).

    Artists exhibiting at the Artist Market this year include:
    Kimball Anderson - Graphic Novelist
    Carole Dearborn - Author
    Mark Flanagan - Author of Children's Book
    Millicent Holder – Textiles
    Sandra Jackson – Jewelry
    Dew Jareanvia – Painting
    Remon Jourdan – Author
    Sebouh Kandilian – Photography
    Juan Lucero – Graphic Design and Painting
    Adriana Mallozzi – Wheelchair Accessories
    Raine Newman – Glassworks
    Cristina Powell – Painting
    Catherine Thatcher – Jewelry
    Mihoko Wakabayashi – Weaving Demonstration/Textile Art
    Mario Zirpolo – Painting

    There is no charge for admission.  We hope to see you there!

    Thank You from The Parkolation Team

    Posted Tuesday August 12 2014 at 10:18 pm in Education

    Thank you for helping students re-envision and build a healthier city!

    Michelle Chung, our extraordinarily patient and talented volunteer videographer, created this Thank You video.

    Enjoy and, if you're in the area, please come visit the parklet at 506 Park Drive, Boston.

    Best wishes,
    The Parkolation Team

    Access to Theatre Youth Perform at Boston Center for the Arts

    Posted Sunday August 10 2014 at 3:40 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Access to Theatre Youth Performing

    The Access to Theatre Program (ATT) of Partners for Youth with Disabilities, in partnership with the Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) and VSA Massachusetts, has taken up residence at the Boston Center for the Arts this summer.  During a two-week residency, ATT works with an inclusive group of youth with and without disabilities to create an original production that includes improvisation, stories, dance/movement, visual art, and music to share with the public on Friday, August 15, 2014.

    Created by, with and for young people ages 13 to 24 with and without disabilities, ATT provides fully accessible participatory theater arts experiences, enabling youth to develop creative expression, self-esteem, friendship and leadership skills.  Participants work with professional artists to stage and create original theater productions and interactive audience experiences.

    What: Access to Theatre Summer Institute Performances
    When: Friday, August 15th, 2014 at 1:00 pm and 6:00 pm
    Where: Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont Street, Boston, MA
    Cost: Free and open to the public

    ASL-Interpreted Japanese House Tours at Boston Children's Museum

    Posted Sunday August 10 2014 at 3:06 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Japanese House

    Take off your shoes, and step into an authentic silk merchant's home from Kyoto, Japan.  Visitors can experience Japanese family life, customs, ceremonies, art, architecture, and seasonal events in this 100-year-old house.

    Guided tours of the Japanese House are given to 20 visitors at a time and last approximately 15 minutes.  Free tickets are distributed at the entrance to the Japanese House on a first-come first-served basis.

    August 15, 2014  6:30pm - 8pm  ASL-Interpreted
    Free with paid Museum admission.

    For more information, visit the Museum website or contact:
    Saki Iwamoto, Health and Wellness Specialist

    Volunteer at the Abilities Expo Artist Market

    Posted Friday August 08 2014 at 6:07 pm in Volunteer Opportunities

    Abilities Expo Items for Sale

    Join us and volunteer at the upcoming Abilities Expo!  We'll have an Artist Market, and we'll be selling unique handmade crafts and artwork.  The Expo will be at the Seaport Convention Center, Friday, September 5, 2014; Saturday, September 6, 2014; & Sunday, September 7, 2014.  If you'd like to help, please contact Adrienne at amwetmore@vsamass.org

    Missed the Gallery's Brush Works Exhibit?  Audio Description, Transcript Available

    Posted Tuesday August 05 2014 at 7:40 pm in Open Door Gallery

    Geraghty Painting -

    Malin Painting -

    If you missed the Open Door Gallery's "Brush Works" exhibit of paintings by Lauren Geraghty and Emily Malin, you can still experience the show by listening to the audio description and/or reading the transcript!

    VSA MA Seeks Teaching Artists for 2014-15 School Year

    Posted Friday August 01 2014 at 11:03 pm in Education

    Students in Classroom

    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 2014-15 school year.

    High school - Teaching artists in Visual Arts, Drama or Media Arts with the following qualifications:

    • Experience and joy teaching high school students (ages 14-22)
    • Experience and joy teaching students with cognitive, learning, autism spectrum and other developmental disabilities in ways that offer multiple options for participation and success and build on student strengths
    • Demonstrated ability to develop and implement a quality arts-integrated curriculum
    • Excellent collaboration and communication skills; comfortable interacting with school teachers and administrators
    • Ability to lead a residency-related teacher workshop
    • Committed to on-going professional development as an arts practitioner and educator

    Elementary (2nd Grade) - Teaching artists in music or visual arts

    • Demonstrated ability to develop and implement an arts-integrated curriculum that supports English Language Arts content and skills
    • Experience or demonstrated ability to teach students with cognitive, developmental and emotional/behavioral disabilities in ways that offer multiple options for participation and success and build on student strengths
    • Demonstrated ability to collaborate and communicate effectively with teachers; knowledge of school structures and culture desired
    • Demonstrated knowledge and ability to offer culturally responsive content that celebrates the diversity of BPS students
    • Committed to on-going professional development as an arts practitioner and educator
    Read More →

    The Open Door Gallery Presents Sidewalk Sam - "Out My Window"

    Posted Friday August 01 2014 at 06:15 am in Open Door Gallery

    Sidewalk Sam - April 19, 2012

    Sidewalk Sam, the popular artist dedicated to creating art at the feet of pedestrians to inspire, promote spirit, enrich daily life, and address social issues.  Sidewalk Sam has been called the "Johnny Appleseed of Art" and a "Pavement Picasso".  He has been featured on the "Today Show", "Good Morning America", "Evening Magazine" and "Real People" and in hundreds of newspaper articles from coast to coast.  He takes arts to the streets with charm and expertise that has thrilled millions of people for nearly forty years.

    But this exhibit is a very different view of Sidewalk Sam's work - the personal side as seen through his sketches drawn at home while peering "Out My Window".

    Artist's Statement

    Glimpses and insights appear at moments that seem of little importance to anyone.  Nonetheless, they impart a logic of their own, hidden truths that may (to quote Wordsworth) "teach you more of man, of moral evil and of good, than all the sages can."

    What: Sidewalk Sam - "Out My Window"
    Open Door Gallery
    When: Now Through November 3, 2014
    Reception: October 2, 2014 at 4pm

    VSA MA staffers Nicole and Willa Win Best Presentation Award

    Posted Sunday July 27 2014 at 3:38 pm in News

    Willa and Nicole win best of intersections award

    VSA MA staff members Nicole Agois and Wilhelmina Peragine recently presented at the 2014 VSA Intersections: Arts and Special Education Conference in Alexandria, Virginia and they won the Best of Intersections Award for their presentation.

    Let's hear it for Nicole and Willa!

    How Playing Music Affects the Developing Brain

    Posted Sunday July 27 2014 at 1:34 pm in News

    Children playing string instruments

    This is a guest blog post by Bryce Becker and Jenny Zuk of Boston Children's Hospital, Division of Developmental Medicine, Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience, Gaab Laboratory.

    VSA has long advocated for inclusion of the arts and arts for inclusion and, while it's been an ongoing national struggle to maintain arts programing in schools, there is actually research going on right here in Boston to look at the impacts of music education on kids and their developing brains.

    In the Gaab Laboratory at Boston Children’s Hospital, we investigate how music affects the brain through cognitive neuroscience research.  Through our research, we aim to support music programs by providing scientific evidence of how musical training relates to brain development, language abilities and academic achievement.  One of the ways in which we work to support music education through our research is by utilizing an imaging technique called functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).  Specifically, we measure brain activity in children with musical training as compared to children with no previous musical training in order to identify whether brain differences may be found.

    Our lab was recently featured in an installment of WBUR 90.9 FM's Brain Matters series.  This piece advocates strongly for the significance of music education programs in the schools and highlights the latest research on music and the brain being conducted in the Boston area.  Newly released findings from our lab that are highlighted in the story reveal that children and adults with musical training show better executive function skills than those with no musical training.  Our results suggest that musical training may directly train executive function skills (like problem solving and task-switching), which then support academic success.  We believe this work holds important implications for the significance of music education in our schools and how research can support the future of such programs.

    Check out the story (including full audio and transcript) for more about this and other compelling research.

    Sensory-Friendly Performances at Barrington Stage Company

    Posted Sunday July 27 2014 at 09:04 am in Cultural Inclusion

    Hairspray Jr. Logo

    Dancing Lessons Logo

    Barrington Stage Company of Pittsfield, MA is presenting two sensory-friendly performances this season.

    Hairspray Jr. - August 2, 2014 at 12:30pm
    Dancing Lessons
    - August 16, 2014 at 2pm

    Sensory-friendly performances are designed to be more accessible to those individuals on the autism spectrum or with sensory sensitivities and are also great for families who are looking for a more relaxed, informal environment.

    For more details about sensor-friendly performances and to purchase tickets, visit the Barrington Stage Company website.

    Join in the Creative Explosion

    Posted Sunday July 20 2014 at 4:53 pm in News

    Creative Explosion

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

    Creative Explosion 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: July 29, 2014 6-8pm and July 30, 2014 12-2pm
    Where: Massachusetts College of Art, The Pozen Center, 621 Huntington Ave., Boston
    RSVP:617-426-4737 or 617-290-1947
    E-mail: mystical@RCN.com

    All learning styles will be accommodated.  Be sure to wear comfortable clothing.

    Presented through a collaboration of Center for Art and Community Partnerships/Mass Art, Until Tomorrow Productions, and VSA Massachusetts.

    You Shop, Amazon Gives to VSA MA

    Posted Sunday July 20 2014 at 4:10 pm in News

    Shop at AmazonSmile and Amazon will make a donation to VSA

    Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to VSA Massachusetts whenever you shop on AmazonSmile.

    AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know.  Same products, same prices, same service.

    Support VSA Massachusetts by starting your shopping at smile.amazon.com.

    Celebrate National Dance Day With Live Webcast of AXIS Dance Company

    Posted Sunday July 20 2014 at 2:52 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    AXIS Dance Company

    The Kennedy Center and Dizzy Feet Foundation in conjunction with Eleanor Holmes Norton, present performances in honor of National Dance DayAXIS Dance Company offers a program of "physically integrated dance" evolving from collaboration between dancers with and without disabilities in celebration of the 24th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and National Council on Independent Living Conference.  Actress Jenna Elfman and hip-hop dancer Fik-Shun will lead patrons in dance routines and demonstrations.

    When: July 26, 2014 6pm
    Where: Live webcast from Kennedy Center Millennium stage
    on your computer.

    I Am A Part of Art - CATA Art Show & Poetry Reading

    Posted Sunday July 20 2014 at 11:03 am in News

    CATA Artwork

    The Berkshire Museum is hosting Community Access to the Arts' "I Am a Part of Art" Annual Art Show & Poetry Reading.

    When: July 24 – August 23, 2014 with an opening reception Thursday, July 24 from 5-7pm
    Where: The Berkshire Museum, Crane Room, 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA

    NOTE: Admission to the opening reception is FREE, however, standard museum admission is required for the duration of the exhibit.

    This exhibit features over 100 works of art created by artists with disabilities from Berkshire County.  A poetry reading on opening night includes selected works from CATA's Writers Workshop, read by guest reader Joe Cacaci, Founding Co-Artistic Director of Berkshire Playwrights Lab and a writer himself as well as producer, director and teacher.

    City of Boston - ADA Celebration Day

    Posted Sunday July 20 2014 at 07:40 am in News

    ADA Celebration Day Speakers

    Mayor Martin J. Walsh
    & the Mayor's Commission for Persons with Disabilities

    Welcome's All to Attend

    A.D.A. Celebration day

    A FREE event for children, families, & individuals of all abilities.

    Thursday, July 24, 2014 12 noon – 3 p.m. Boston City Hall Plaza


    New This Year – A Disability Pride Parade

    Join the Commission Advisory Board before the A.D.A. Day Event! Gather at 11 a.m. near the flag pole on City Hall Plaza to march around Government Center. Email felicity.lingle@gmail.com for details.

    No Registration Required to Attend

    ** Wheelchair Accessible * ASL * CART * Scent-free **
    To request accommodations, call 617-635-3682, or email disability@boston.gov
    For more information & updates, visit www.cityofboston.gov/disability

    24th Anniversary of The ADA - Poetry Slam & Art Exhibition

    Posted Thursday July 17 2014 at 7:57 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Come celebrate the 24th anniversary of the ADA.
    July 23, 2014
    Institute for Human Centered Design
    200 Portland St. Boston, MA 02114
    6:30-7:00 PM Refreshments and Art Exhibition
    7:00-8:00 PM Poetry Slam
    RSVP to Stacy Hart: shart@IHCDesign.org

    Read about the featured poets at the New England ADA website.

    Meet the Intern: Grace Allen

    Posted Tuesday July 15 2014 at 06:17 am in News

    Grace Allen

    Sophomore at The Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University.  Concentrating in human rights, studio art, and mental health.

    What are your favorite pastimes?
          "I love to eat, paint, and hang out with friends."

    If you could be a cartoon character, who would you be?
          "Most people already think of me as the old man from Up, so I would be him."

    Read More →

    Boston Landmarks Orchestra ASL-Interpreted Concerts at the Hatch Shell

    Posted Wednesday July 09 2014 at 06:02 am in Cultural Inclusion

    Adrian Anantawan Directs Conservatory Lab Charter School's Dudamel Orchestra

    July 23, 2014 - Fiesta sinfónica - Adrian Anantawan directs the Conservatory Lab Charter School's Dudamel Orchestra.  Also presented will be student-composed ASL poetry, Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

    August 13, 2014 - Legacy of the Spirituals

    August 27, 2014 - Bicentennial of The Star-Spangled Banner

    Visit Boston Landmarks Orchestra for more information.

    Parkolation Project Is Built!

    Posted Tuesday July 01 2014 at 11:12 pm in News

    This is a guest blog post by Wilhelmina Peragine, VSA Teaching Artist and Parkolation Visionary.

    Parkolation Sign

    Dear VSA Community,

    Thank you for your tremendous support of the Parkolation Project this year.  Because of you and our many partners, we just finished the first student-designed, fully accessible, sustainable parklet in Boston!

    Parklet Being Built

    Parklet Ribbon Cutting

    Parklet Completed

    The late educator and philosopher, Maxine Green, encouraged us to imagine the world as if it were otherwise.  This project set out to do just that by giving young people of all abilities opportunities to dream, design and build creative solutions to real world problems.

    Come check out what you helped make possible at 506 Park Drive, Boston where you can:

    - buy lunch at our parklet partner restaurant, Mei Mei and eat outside
    - roll some moveable seats into any configuration
    - stand and eat or read at the study bar while you charge your phone with the sun
    - enjoy our little garden, fed by student-made compost
    - park your bike, upright
    - join us in re-imagining and building a greener and more artful future for all

    Follow us on Twitter @parkolation and please keep in touch!

    Gratefully yours,
    Wilhelmina Peragine
    VSA MA Teaching Artist

    2014 VSA Intersections: Arts and Special Education Conference

    Posted Sunday June 29 2014 at 4:41 pm in Education

    The Intersection of Arts Education and Special Education

    Through innovative and thought-provoking, dynamic and interactive sessions, participants of the 2014 VSA Intersections: Arts and Special Education Conference will explore the intersection of arts education and special education.  This conference brings together educators, administrators, researchers, teaching artists, and more interested in improving the arts learning experience for students with disabilities.

    July 23-25, 2014  Conference
    July 22-23, 2014  Pre-Conference Workshops
    The Westin Alexandria
    400 Courthouse Square
    Alexandria, VA

    More information


    Mary Pat Finnegan Writes About Broad Meadow Brook Festival

    Posted Friday June 27 2014 at 4:34 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    This is a guest blog post by Mary Pat Finnegan who attended the June 21, 2014 Broad Meadow Brook Festival with her son Sean and daughter Marion.

    Broad Meadow Brook - Bird Wing

    I had the pleasure of celebrating the 1st day of Summer by joining the kindest people from VSA, Seven Hills, and Broad Meadow Brook for a fabulous Broad Meadow Brook Festival – It was an interactive, experiential Nature Learning Adventure!  Right away arriving at Broad Meadow Brook grounds was like entering a piece of heaven!  We were warmly greeted by Charlie who helped us find the group which was ahead of us.  The cool fresh air, the sound of bird calls on every breeze, the beautiful boardwalks, and nature overflowing everywhere you looked!  From hugging trees, digging for bugs, looking for birds in the bird blind, searching for eyes at the frog pond, touching feathers of various birds, it was a Wow! Of a day.

    Read More →

    Teaching Artists Training

    Posted Monday June 23 2014 at 11:31 pm in Education

    Successful Inclusion - A Day for Teaching Artists

    For teaching artists in all disciplines and at all stages of their careers.  Join us for a gathering of New England teaching artists that will provide you with information, hands-on experiences and a variety of resources you can draw on throughout the year.

    Successful Inclusion: A Day for Teaching Artists
    Tuesday, July 1, 2014 9:30am - 4:30pm
    Institute for Human Centered Design
    200 Portland Street, Boston, MA 02114
    Cost: $10
    Professional development credits are offered.

    More information and registration

    Red Yarn & Family ASL-Interpreted at Boston Children's Museum

    Posted Monday June 23 2014 at 11:06 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Red Yarn and Family

    Red Yarn is a dynamic family performer who weaves folksongs and puppetry into engaging shows for all ages.  Performing alongside his wife Jessie on their summer 2014 tour, Red Yarn is spreading positive values while reinvigorating American folklore for younger generations.

    In this energetic musical puppet show, Red Yarn & Family will lead audiences into the Deep Woods, a magical forest where all the animals of American folksongs live together.  Families will sing, dance, laugh, and experience the joy of community as they celebrate our shared cultural heritage.

    ASL Interpreted
    Date: Tuesday, July 1, 2014
    Time: 11am and 12pm
    Where: Boston Children's Museum
    Free with paid museum admission

    For more information contact:
    Saki Iwamoto, Health and Wellness Specialist

    Downloads for All!

    Posted Monday June 23 2014 at 9:47 pm in News

    Green Download Button

    Some great document downloads provided to us by various sources:

    VSA International's Playwright Discovery Guide and Teacher Resource Guide - Visual Art

    EdVestors' The Arts Advantage from the Youth Perspective

    Vermont Studio Center's Funding Resources for Artists & Writers

    My Recent Experience With Deaf-Blind Theater

    Posted Tuesday June 17 2014 at 10:37 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    This is a guest blog post by Matthew Harrington, Front of House Operations Coordinator, ArtsEmerson: The World On Stage.

    Not By Bread Alone

    This past April, ArtsEmerson: The World On Stage (presenting organization I work for at Emerson College in Boston) showcased a performance called "Not By Bread Alone".  The acting troupe, consisting of eleven deaf-blind actors hails from Israel's Nalaga'at Theater Ensemble.

    Nalaga'at brought to us an adventure that was challenging and certainly uncommon for us.  Not only were we preparing for the eleven actors and their companions but also the audiences from the deaf-blind communities that were going to be attending the performances.  There were so many T’s to cross and I’s to dot along the way to make sure we as a staff were ready and aware of what we were going to experience.

    A week before the run of the show we brought in Judy Berk from Cultural Access Consortium to do some training with the staff who would be working hands-on with the company and audience.  Needless to say the training was fantastic.  It opened our eyes to a new awareness that tends to be forgotten by most who do not have a disability or do not come in contact with a person with a disability on a daily basis.  The training brought our organization closer together and really gave me that feeling that I was part of something special.  One thing Judy said that touched me was to treat the audience and company members with disabilities as I would any other patron that enters our theaters.  Now this may sound so easy and obvious but when I'm in the moment of interacting with someone with a disability, I tend to overcompensate or try to do too much when all I really need to do is relate to the person in a normal manner.  I remember a prime example of this happening during the first few days the company was here.

    Read More →

    Alternatives and Stepping Stone Community Theatre Present Godspell, Junior

    Posted Monday June 16 2014 at 11:03 pm in Cultural Inclusion


    Godspell Junior features the international hit "Day by Day" and many other well known songs.

    Showtimes: June 20 and 21, 2014 at 7:30 PM and June 22, 2014 at 2:00 PM
    Reception: June 22, 2014 from 12:30 – 1:45 PM
    Tickets: $10, $8/seniors and children under 12
    For reservations call: 508-842-1065

    The GB & Lexi Singh Performance Center
    Alternatives' Whitin Mill
    60 Douglas Road, Whitinsville, MA

    Broad Meadow Brook Festival

    Posted Tuesday June 10 2014 at 10:17 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Explore Massachusetts Audubon Society's Broad Meadow Brook Conservation Center and Wildlife Sanctuary.  Enjoy nature walks, ponding at the Frog pond, and play "Bird Bingo".  You will learn bird calls and participate in a related craft activity, all guided by professional naturalists.

    Participants must meet the following criteria for enrollment:
      1.  Meet the eligibility requirements for the Department of Developmental Services.
      2.  Reside in Worcester, Auburn, Shrewsbury, Leicester, Boylston, West Boylston, Holden, or Paxton.
      3.  Be between 10 and 22 years of age.  Siblings and families are also welcome.
      4.  Able to arrange for transportation to and from Broad Meadow Brook.

    Please plan to bring your lunch.

    Sign up for the Broad Meadow Brook Festival at no cost:
    Sanctuary, 414 Massasoit Rd, Worcester, MA 01604
    June 21, 2014  10am - 2pm
    Contact Bob Raslavsky for further information or to register
    rraslavsky@sevenhills.org 508-661-9759
    or Robin Foley rfoley@sevenhills.org 774-285-9113

    LotuSIGN Seeks Performance and Live Music Interpreters

    Posted Sunday June 08 2014 at 7:17 pm in News

    LotuSIGN is a full service access management agency for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, growing from the Alive Performance Interpreting agency founded in 2006.  Frequently cited as a world-class provider of American Sign Language (ASL) services, LotuSIGN organized and led interpreting at the 2013 Presidential Inauguration in Washington, DC.  LotuSIGN is also a major contributor to the professional interpretation of music and other performing arts.

    Steady growth and an increase in shows means it's time to recruit PERFORMANCE and LIVE MUSIC INTERPRETERS to continue to meet the needs of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community!  Interpreters are needed nationwide.  Apply online.

    All applications will be considered through July 31, 2014.  Priority consideration will be given those received before June 13, 2014.

    Mike the Bubble Man ASL-Interpreted at Boston Children's Museum

    Posted Sunday June 08 2014 at 10:08 am in Cultural Inclusion

    Mike the Bubble Man

    Mike the Bubble Man brings magic and science to the stage with this interactive 45-minute indoor show about BUBBLES!  Through music, choreography, and comedy, bubbles—in all different shapes and sizes—come alive, sparking imagination and wonder.  Exploring science through bubbles creates an entertaining learning environment that introduces shapes, color, and chemistry.  A love for bubbles is never outgrown—especially when there's a chance to see the world from inside of one!

    June 13, 2014  6pm and 7pm 
    Free with paid Museum admission
    (Target $1 Friday Night after 5 pm)

    For more information, visit the Museum website or contact:
    Saki Iwamoto, Health and Wellness Specialist

    ASL-Interpreted Shows: Museum of Science Free Community Partners' Day

    Posted Tuesday June 03 2014 at 11:04 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Join the Museum of Science Saturday, June 7, 2014 for a Community Partners' Day.  Experience two new travelling exhibits; 2theXtreme: MathAlive!, a highly interactive exhibit on math and its application to sports, space, music, videogames and more, and Grossology, an interactive science-in-disguise exhibition that answer all the slimy, oozy, crusty, and stinky questions about the human body.

    - Registered guests will receive up to 4 free exhibit hall passes per reservation

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

    - ASL interpreters will be available from 10am to 2pm.  Please indicate if you need an interpreter.

    - Guests can pick up their reserved entry to the exhibit halls at the Community Relations registration table in the Museum lobby on June 7, 2014 between 10am and 1pm.

    Additionally, there will be interpreters at the following live shows June 7, 2014:

    Read More →

    Staying Sane as an Artist: Keeping Your Creative Spirit Alive

    Posted Friday May 30 2014 at 3:01 pm in News

    The Goodnow Library in Sudbury MA is holding a panel discussion titled "Staying Sane as an Artist: Keeping Your Creative Spirit Alive" Wednesday June 4, 2014.

    Nadine Kenney Johnstone wrote Nine Babies on Ice, a memoir about facing death while trying to conceive through In Vitro Fertilization.  Both baby and book are realities.

    Luke Bittel made a horrible movie called "Help Wanted".  Undaunted, he made Some Assembly Required: They Don't Teach You Failure in Film School, a documentary about the making of "Help Wanted".  It's doing very well.

    RISD professor Clara Lieu explores the themes of isolation and mental illness through drawing, painting, and sculpture.  Her book Learn, Create and Teach: A Guide to Building a Creative Life, has led countless artists through their dark nights of the soul.

    This is the kind of spirit that will be celebrated during the panel discussion.  Other artists include award-winning animator Steve Gentile and actor/director Donna Folan.

    Goodnow Library
    21 Concord Road
    Sudbury, MA
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 7pm
    Moderated by author Erica Ferencik

    Help Parkolation Come to Life - Back Our Kickstarter Project

    Posted Wednesday May 28 2014 at 10:58 pm in Education

    Help our students bring their ideas for a greener Boston to life by supporting the construction of a parklet in downtown Boston.

    Learn more about the Kickstarter project and please pledge.

    Thank you.

    Embodying Literacy: Teaching Reading, Writing, and Public Speaking Through Movement and Drama

    Posted Monday May 26 2014 at 10:42 am in Education

    This is a guest blog post by Jennifer Dines, M.Ed., CAS, who is a National Board Certified Teacher in English as a New Language.  She works as a reading specialist, special education teacher and an ESL Learning Coach at the Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School in the Boston Public Schools.  Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @literacychange.

    Hello!  My name is Jennifer Dines, and I teach at the Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School, a Boston Public School in Dorchester.

    This school year, I had the honor of participating in a course offered by VSA Massachusetts and the Boston Public Schools titled "Embodying Literacy".  Through this course, I learned to engage students' whole bodies in language and literacy learning with a group of creative and talented BPS colleagues.  The course was facilitated by two VSA MA teaching artists; drama expert Marianne Adams and dance therapist Priscilla Harmel.

    The curricula that I developed as a result of this course increased my middle school students’ engagement in the classroom as well as boosted their reading and writing achievement as students began to use their whole beings to connect with text.

    I encourage you to learn more about my experiences in the "Embodying Literacy" program by visiting the blog post I wrote on my website: literacychange.org.

    CANE Workshop: Creating a Welcoming Space for Visitors who are on the Autism Spectrum

    Posted Tuesday May 20 2014 at 11:08 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Cultural Access New England (CANE) invites cultural institutions to attend a conversation about welcoming visitors on the autism spectrum and their friends and family.  The session will include a keynote address by Lisa Jo Rudy, writer, consultant and parent of a child on the autism spectrum.  Lisa Jo has worked with cultural institutions in New England to create quality experiences for visitors who are on the autism spectrum.

    Friday, June 13, 2014 9:30 am - 12pm
    Museum of Science, Boston

    Following the keynote, representatives from area institutions will share their experiences developing programming for visitors.  The panel will include Boston Children's Museum, Wheelock Family Theatre, Open Door Theater, Museum of Fine Arts - Boston, and Museum of Science - Boston.

    Contact info@cane.org regarding any accommodation requests or access questions.  Please request accommodations at least two weeks prior to the event.

    Disability Reframed: Community Film Series - "Lars and the Real Girl"

    Posted Tuesday May 20 2014 at 10:57 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Lars and the Real Girl

    Part of the on-going FREE film series sponsored by the City of Boston Commission for Persons with Disabilities, "Lars and the Real Girl" will be screened Saturday, May 31, 2014, 2-5pm.

    The screening will be held at Northeastern University, Curry Student Center, Room 342, 360 Huntington Ave, Boston 02115.

    A lively audience discussion will follow.

    MA Dept. of Conservation & Recreation Accessible Recreation Fair

    Posted Tuesday May 20 2014 at 10:33 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) is holding it's annual Accessible Recreation Fair Saturday, May 31, 2014 from 10am to 3pm at Artesani Park/Herter Park in Brighton.  There will be hiking, cycling, kite decorating demonstrations, face painting, sport connections, a D.J. and more.

    Come join DCR's Universal Access Program and a host of other regional adaptive recreation organizations for a fun-filled day.  Enjoy scenic views of the Charles River and social connections!

    Sign up for summer programs such as sailing, kayaking, and hiking.  For more information, directions, waiver forms, schedules, and many other resources visit DCR's website.

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

    Posted Friday May 16 2014 at 06:48 am in Cultural Inclusion

    Boston Children's Museum

    ASL Interpreted Programs
    11:00 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 plus years of his career!
    12:30 pm & 1:30 pm: KidStage shows
    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.

    Date: Saturday, May 31, 2014
    Admission: You must pre-register to receive discount admission.
    Non-members: $7 per person (Half off regular admission price)
    Members: Free
    Registration: Please register here.

    For more information contact:
    Saki Iwamoto, Health and Wellness Specialist

    City of Boston Community Forum on Disability Issues

    Posted Sunday May 11 2014 at 9:36 pm in News

    Official Seal of the City of Boston

    City of Boston
    Mayor's Commission for Persons with Disabilities
    Community Forum on Disability Issues
    Boston City Hall – 5th Floor, Piemonte Room
    Wednesday, May 14th, 2014
    2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
    Do you have concerns, questions, or comments on a disability issue?

    - Hear from Boston Disability Commissioner Kristen McCosh
    - Meet members of Boston’s Disability Commission Advisory Board
    - Make your concerns about accessibility known to City Officials

    *** Wheelchair accessible      ASL Interpreters      CART ***

    For more information, visit www.cityofboston.gov/disability
    To request an accommodation contact disability@cityofboston.gov
    or call 617-635-3682 or 617-635-2541 TTY

    Meet the Teaching Artist: Kristine Biegel

    Posted Monday May 05 2014 at 9:57 pm in Education

    For the past seven Mondays, with only 5 more to go, I have traveled from Maine to Mattapan's Ellison Parks Elementary School to work with K0-K1 students as a Teaching Artist for VSA MA.  Leaving the house at 5:00 am, heading South, as the colors lighten into a still cool New England morning, I review what I will be teaching that day.  Hot colors and cool colors for sure; shapes and how to use them to create pictures, definitely; and most recently symmetry and composition.  No matter what art foundation we are working on, I always need to be sure that I am tying the project back to the academic learnings taking place in the classrooms.  Things that grow, shadows and reflections, creepy crawlies, bugs and butterflies are just a few of the projects we have worked on so far.

    Once I walk in the classroom the energy is contagious.  I love hearing young voices excited that Ms. Kristine is here today.  I love the hugs and the sharing, the chaos of artists asking me to, "Look Ms. Kristine, am I doing a good job?"  "Do you like it?"  I love seeing the pride of each artist, of hearing them use new words, of having them ask, "Can I take this home?" and "I want to show this to my mommy."  To be that engaged and proud of something is such an empowering thing for any student.  To be excited to learn is the greatest gift I can give as a teacher.

    Read More →

    Cape Cod C.A.N! Presents Hollywood Musical Revue "Waiting for Oscar"

    Posted Sunday May 04 2014 at 10:42 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    The promise of Oscar Night in Mayfield turns the small town upside down as performers prepare for the big event.  The show features performances by people representing ten different organizations on the Cape, with each performing selections from some of the most famous and beloved Hollywood movie and song productions.

    This show is produced by The Cape Cod Collaborative Arts Network (CapeCodCAN!) which is sponsored by VSA Massachusetts and dedicated to inclusive arts, music, and theater for people with disabilities on Cape Cod.

    Cotuit Center for the Arts
    4404 Route 28 (Falmouth Road), Cotuit MA 02635
    Phone 5O8-428-O669
    Tickets are $20

    May 16, 2014 6pm
    May 17, 2014 6pm
    May 18, 2014 2pm

    Call for Submissions - Artists and Poets with Disabilities

    Posted Saturday May 03 2014 at 11:11 pm in Call For Artists

    The New England ADA Center, a project of the Institute for Human Centered Design, seeks artists with disabilities for a June 26, 2014 through July 28, 2014 art exhibition and poets with disabilities to participate in a poetry slam taking place July 23, 2014.

    Seeking poets who can captivate, connect, and energize an audience.  Good presentation skills a must!  The call is open to poets of all ages living in New England who have a disability.  Deadline for submission is May 15, 2014.  The Poetry Slam will take place in Boston on July 23rd from 7pm - 8pm at the Institute for Human Centered Design, 200 Portland St. Boston.

    All works must be original creations by the poet.  Please insert two poems, a short bio, contact information, a sample of you reading poetry, and signature in the application form.  Submit a completed application form to: David West, New England ADA Center, dwest@IHCDesign.org by May 15, 2014.  Write "Poetry Submission" in the subject line of the email.

    Seeking artists to exhibit at a show celebrating the ADA by showcasing the works of artists with various disabilities.  The call is open to all artists ages 14 and above living in New England who have a disability.  Emerging and experienced artists are encouraged to apply.  This is a juried competition.  All works must be original creations signed by the artist and available for purchase.  Insert one to four digital images of your art, a short bio, contact information and signature in the application.

    Submissions are due by May 15, 2014.  The exhibition will take place at the Institute for Human Centered Design, 200 Portland St. Boston from June 26th through July 28th.  All artwork will be juried.  Email your completed application to: Ana Julian, New England ADA Center, ajulian@IHCDesign.org by May 15, 2014.  Write "Artist Submission" in the subject line of the email.  For more information, call 1-800-949-4232.

    Dance for PD Movement Class, Panel Discussion at Beth Israel Deaconess

    Posted Saturday May 03 2014 at 9:51 pm in News

    The Mark Morris Dance Group/Brooklyn Parkinson Group and the Celebrity Series of Boston in association with the Parkinson Disease Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center present Dance for PD, a free movement class for persons with Parkinson’s Disease and their partners, caregivers and friends.

    Class taught by Mark Morris Dance Group dancer David Leventhal, with live musical accompaniment
    Tuesday, May 13, 2014 9:45 –11:15 am
    Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Carl J. Shapiro Clinical Center, Leventhal Conference Room
    Panel discussion 11:45 am - 1:00 pm

    Come for the dance class, the panel discussion or both.  Class size is limited.  For location information and registration, please contact Colin Pierce at 617-667-9890 or cjpierce@bidmc.harvard.edu.  To join the on-going Dance for Parkinson’s class at the JF&CS in Waltham, contact Nancy Mazonson at 781-693-5069 or nmazonson@jfcsboston.org.

    Read More →

    Boston Conservatory Hosts Conference - Teaching Music to Students on the Autism Spectrum

    Posted Thursday May 01 2014 at 08:31 am in Cultural Inclusion

    The Boston Conservatory will host its second annual Teaching Music to Students on the Autism Spectrum conference May 9 - 10, 2014.  The conference is designed for both public and private educators interested in learning how to work effectively with students on the autism spectrum and sharing ideas with others.

    The two-day conference will include sessions on: an introduction to autism spectrum disorder; how to apply behavioral teaching strategies to individual and group music instruction; how people on the autism spectrum learn and perceive music; and how to work effectively with students on the autism spectrum and their families.

    More information and registration.

    Wheelock Family Theatre Presents ASL-Interpreted & Relaxed "Where the Mountain Meets the Moon"

    Posted Tuesday April 29 2014 at 11:07 am in Cultural Inclusion

    Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

    Wheelock Family Theatre presents ASL-Interpreted and Relaxed for Patrons with Sensory Sensitivities performances of "Where the Mountain Meets the Moon".

    Inspired by her father's stories of the Jade Dragon and the Old Man of the Moon, young Minli sets off on an extraordinary journey to change her family's fortune.  She encounters magical creatures along the way, including a dragon that accompanies her on her quest, and finds her questions answered in unexpected ways.  Wheelock Family Theatre presents the East Coast premiere of Grace Lin's Newbery honored novel.

    For Patrons with Sensory Sensitivities Saturday, May 3, 2014 10:00AM $10 - $15
    ASL Interpreted and Audio-Described Friday, May 9, 2014 7:30PM and Sunday, May 11, 2014 3:00PM $20 - $35

    Assistive Technology Regional Center Free Presentation

    Posted Sunday April 27 2014 at 10:50 am in News

    Learn about Windows 8.1 Ease of Access! (built-in accessibility settings)

    Herman Learmond-Criqui and Lisa Casillo from Microsoft will discuss the "Ease of Access" settings offered on Microsoft Windows 8.1.  Microsoft has teamed up with Dan Bacher, the Founder & Executive Director of SpeakYourMind Foundation, to demonstrate his technology for those with motor impairments using the Surface Pro 2.  Participants will gain an understanding of the many options in the operating system that are available for people with disabilities to support the community in need of assistive technology for various impairments.

    April 30, 2014 10am - 12pm
    To register or for more information, contact:
    Assistive Technology Regional Center (ATRC)
    89 South Street
    Boston, MA 02111

    VSA MA is located in the same building directly across the lobby from ATRC so feel free to also stop by and visit us at the Open Door Gallery.

    Henderson K-12 Inclusion School Annual Benefit Gala

    Posted Tuesday April 22 2014 at 10:05 pm in Education

    Henderson Gala Logo - We are better together

    In 2014, Henderson Inclusion School commemorates their 25th year as an inclusion school and celebrates their expansion to the first ever fully inclusive K12 public school in Boston.  To reflect on these achievments and to look toward to the next chapter, the school is hosting "Up, Up & Away", their annual benefit gala.

    Held on Thursday, May 1, 2014 from 6:30 - 9:30 pm at University of Massachusetts Campus Center Ballroom, this event will raise much-needed funds to support the building of a universally accessible playground on our Upper Campus and various other inclusion improvements at both the Upper and Lower schools.

    Food and drink will be plentiful and there will be auctions galore!

    Purchase Tickets and Donate Here.

    Arts|Learning & Lesley University Conference "Artful STEM: Transforming Curriculum & Instruction"

    Posted Monday April 21 2014 at 7:19 pm in Education

    Arts|Learning and Lesley University

    Arts|Learning and Lesley University present a conference on the role that the arts can play in support of learning in the STEM subject areas.  The conference is Friday, May 2, 2014.

    There is a pre-conference opportunity Thursday afternoon of May 1, 2014 to visit VSA Massachusetts' flagship partner school, The Henderson Inclusion School or the Boston Arts Academy, a national leader in the STEAM movement to put the "A" in STEM.  Some will remember the site visits to the Henderson School that figured so prominently in the VSA International Education Conference: The Contours of Inclusive Arts Teaching & Learning in 2011.  If you missed that conference here's another chance.

    One of VSA Massachusetts' COOL Schools teaching artists, Wilhelmina Peragine, is a panelist.  She will discuss how arts integration supports science learning at both the High School and Elementary School levels.

    Other Featured Guests Include:

    - David Edwards and Carrie Fitzsimmons of Cloud Place, ArtScience Prize
    - Steve Seidel, Harvard University
    - Joyce Kressler and Joe Cox, Art of Science Learning—Worcester Incubator

    There are many options for 1 day and 1/2 day participation.  Full details here.  (Note some dates incorrectly listed as Monday, Tuesday.)  Register here.

    ASL-Interpreted Kamishibai Story Time at Boston Children's Museum

    Posted Saturday April 19 2014 at 7:34 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Kamishibai Story Time

    Kamishibai is a traditional style of storytelling in Japan.  Sit in a circle and enjoy a story in a format that's a little different from typical picture books.

    Also, join the ASL interpreted guided tour of the Japanese House in between the story times.

    April 22, 2014  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 Specialist

    FensFund Awards Lisa Fay 2nd Place in Literary Contest, Poetry Category

    Posted Saturday April 19 2014 at 3:23 pm in News

    The Fenway

    Fenway Education & Neighborhood Support Fund recently awarded longtime VSA friend and artist Lisa Fay 2nd place in the Poetry Category of it's Literary Contest.  The judges were: Charles Coe, published poet; Bennie DiNardo, Boston Globe Deputy Manager; and Cathy Jacobowitz, novelist and author.  Lisa submitted four poems which together were chosen as the 2nd place winner.  Here are the poems:

    Read More →

    R.U.L.E. Wins 2nd Place at 2014 Anime Convention

    Posted Saturday April 19 2014 at 12:52 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    R.U.L.E. (Re-Uniting Losers Everyday)

    This is a guest blog post by Minh Nguyen who is one of the founding members of R.U.L.E. which is supported by VSA Massachusetts' fiscal agency Until Tomorrow Productions.  UTP's mission is to support emerging young artists/groups that include people of all abilities.  Minh also performed last year at Open Door Gallery's theatrical presentation of Kimball Anderson's "I don't get it", directed by Until Tomorrow Productions.

    R.U.L.E. (Re-Uniting Losers Everyday) received the coveted prize of best overall performance at the 2013 Anime Convention.  In 2014 they won 2nd Place in the Intermediate Division R.U.L.E. is always a crowd favorite!  R.U.L.E. also performs and presents demonstrations and workshops.

    About R.U.L.E.

    We are R.U.L.E. (Re-Uniting Losers Everyday) an inclusive, independent stunt/cinematic team founded by Tien Dao and Minh Nguyen (May 24, 2009) that specializes in martial arts, fantasy choreography, and stage combat with a mixture of video games and anime references.  Our goal is to entertain the audience and inspire them to follow their dreams while gaining recognition for the group.

    Our rehearsal includes times of seriousness, stressfulness, but at the same time having fun.  The good thing about R.U.L.E. is whether we are practicing or hanging out or maybe doing film projects, we want to have this opportunity to get together and show our love and respect as part of the family.  We want to make sure everybody is learning and having a good time.

    Read More →

    Exhibit Captures Pain, Survival of Child Abuse Victims

    Posted Saturday April 19 2014 at 11:27 am in News

    Now you see - A celebration of courageous kids

    Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F Conley,
    Children’s Advocacy Center of Suffolk County,
    Third Sector New England,
    and VSA Massachusetts present
    "Now You See"
    A Celebration of Courageous Kids

    Exhibit April 18 - June 6, 2014 in The NonProfit Center Lobby, 89 South Street, Boston 02111.  Reception and Bravery Ceremony Monday April 28, 2014 at 4pm, 89 South Street, Boston.  In attendance will be Dan Conley, Suffolk County District Attorney.

    Look into the eyes and read the words of some of Suffolk County's bravest children who are featured in this exhibit.  You will be moved by their experiences and inspired by their resilience.

    In 2013, the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office and Children's Advocacy Center received 1,598 reports of child abuse.  These cases included sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect and more.

    Some of those referrals were the result of babies being brought to emergency rooms with broken bones, burns and bruises.

    Some of those referrals were the result of kids going to school with signs of abuse ranging from bruises to behaviors.

    Read More →

    ArtWeek Event - Mary Poppins Comes to Henderson Inclusion School

    Posted Wednesday April 16 2014 at 2:27 pm in News

    ArtWeek Boston Logo

    The children of the Henderson Inclusion School put their own spin on the Broadway Classic Mary Poppins under the able guidance of VSA Massachusetts teaching artists and school faculty.  Enjoy the music and dance numbers at this ArtWeek Boston event and get a look at the city's highest performing elementary school in action.  Be ready to have conventional notions of ability and disability shattered.  Get there early because these shows are typically standing room only.

    Price: Free
    Location: Henderson Inclusion School, 1669 Dorchester Avenue, Boston MA 02124
    Date: May 2, 2014 2pm - 3pm

    Mary Poppins

    Please Register:

    ArtWeek Boston Event with Lauren Geraghty and Emily Malin at Open Door Gallery

    Posted Wednesday April 16 2014 at 06:12 am in Open Door Gallery

    ArtWeek Boston Logo

    In association with Third Sector New England, VSA's Open Door Gallery presents an ArtWeek Boston event Friday, April 25, 2014 at 6pm.  Try your hand at a form of artistic human expression that is over 2,000 years old while enjoying the artistic efforts of two young women who create art as naturally, and deliberately, as they live and breathe.  We will demonstrate the fearless release of the brush, a stroke paralleling a Samurai swordsman's composure on the brink of battle.  As a backdrop for your creative effort you will see a gallery full of work in watercolor and Sumi-e ink drawing produced by Lauren Geraghty and Emily Malin, two emerging contemporary artists.

    Sumi-e Ink Drawing by Lauren Geraghty

    Please Register:

    Kennedy Center Announces Spring 2014 Artist Opportunities

    Posted Wednesday April 09 2014 at 10:38 pm in Call For Artists

    VSA Artist Opportunities

    Call For Entries: Rochester Contemporary Art Center "6x6x2014" Show
    Deadline: April 20, 2014
    Rochester Contemporary Art Center’s (RoCo) international small art phenomenon returns for the 7th year!  Help us once again to build an incredible exhibition of thousands of artworks made and donated by celebrities, international and local artists, designers, college students, youths, and YOU.  Each artwork must be 6x6 square inches (15cm) or mounted to a 6x6 board, signed only on the back, and exhibited anonymously.  Artists may enter up to 6 artworks of any medium (2D or 3D) and there is no fee to enter.  All entries will be accepted and exhibited in the gallery and online.  All artworks will be offered for sale to the public for $20 each to benefit RoCo.  Artist names will be revealed to the buyer upon purchase, and all artworks will remain on display through July 13, 2014

    Call For Entries: FIGMENT NYC 2014
    Deadline: April 25, 2014
    FIGMENT NYC 2014 is a two-day participatory arts event held on Governors Island, showcasing art that encourages participants to play, dance, sing, create, engage, experiment, and explore their environment.  The event accepts submissions from artists of all ages and experience.  Theatre, dance, music, performance art, games, creative costuming, workshops and activities are all common genres found at FIGMENT.

    Competition: VSA Playwright Discovery Competition
    Deadline: April 28, 2014
    The VSA Playwright Discovery Competition invites middle and high school students to take a closer look at the world around them, examine how disability affects their lives and the lives of others, and express their views through the art of script writing.  Writers may write from their own experience and observations, or create fictional characters and settings.  Scripts can be comedies, dramas, or even musicals --be creative!  Young writers with and without disabilities are encouraged to submit a script.  Entries may be the work of an individual student or a collaboration by a group of students.

    Read More →

    Boston Conservatory Presents Free "Relaxed" Performance of Dance Extravaganza "Limitless"

    Posted Sunday April 06 2014 at 9:11 pm in Cultural Inclusion


    The Boston Conservatory is offering a "relaxed" presentation of its upcoming spring dance concert, Limitless, on Friday, April 18, 2014 at 11 am.

    This unique presentation is designed to create a comfortable, "relaxed" environment for those with special cognitive needs and their families.  In particular, the performance will provide a safe environment that allows individuals on the autism spectrum or with sensory issues and learning disabilities to enjoy a dance concert in a sensory-friendly and judgment-free space.

    This performance is recommended for those families bringing a loved one with developmental disabilities and their teachers and advocates.  All tickets are free but must be reserved online (access code is "LSN").

    For more detailed information visit the Limitless relaxed performance web page.

    Circus Artist Defies Multiple Sclerosis in New Puppetry Performance

    Posted Saturday April 05 2014 at 6:13 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Reverse Cascade Puppetry Performance

    Puppet Showplace Theatre's "Puppets at Night" series presents the Boston premiere of "Reverse Cascade," a powerful theatrical tribute to circus artist Judy Finelli, who remakes her performance career after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  Created by Finelli's former student Anna Fitzgerald (UCONN Puppet Arts Program), "Reverse Cascade" features virtuosic manipulation, found-object puppetry, and original music.

    Three nights only: Thursday through Saturday, April 10, 11, and 12, 2014 at 8pm
    Puppet Showplace Theatre, 32 Station Street, Brookline, MA
    $15 - General Admission, $13 - Members

    $10 - Community Partners (1 or 2 tickets)
    Recommended for all ages, 13+.

    Additional Events: Following the Thursday April 10th performance, Boston opera star Barbara Quintiliani, also diagnosed with MS, will lead a post-show discussion on "Opportunities and Obstacles for Artists with Disabilities."  Throughout the run, paintings from "Snow on the Brain," Marguerite McDonald's visual exploration of her own experience living with MS, will also be on display.  This discussion and exhibit are co-presented with VSA Massachusetts, the state organization on arts and disability.

    About the Show: After building a career as a circus performer and juggler with remarkable physical control, Judy's body began to fail her.  For years she searched for an answer and was eventually given a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis.  Slowly Judy lost control of her body, her spirit, and the juggler that was inside of her.  But the circus called her back, and Judy found new ways to challenge herself, pushing her body to the limits once again.  Through the simple magic of found object puppetry and original music, this production takes audiences on Judy Finelli's amazing journey from legs, to wheels, to newfound heights.

    Concert & Symposium: Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum & Joyful Noise

    Posted Wednesday April 02 2014 at 10:18 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Boundless Realm of Joy

    Boundless Realms of Joy
    A Concert and Symposium at Harvard University

    presented by
    The Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum
    Joseph Fort, Conductor
    Alice Parker
    Joyful Noise
    Allison Fromm, Conductor

    Friday, April 11, 2014
    8:00 PM

    Sanders Theatre
    Tickets $20 General / $10 Students
    Available at the Harvard Box Office

    Symposium: Beyond the Concert Hall
    Saturday, April 12, 2014
    9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

    Lowell Lecture Hall
    Exploring the Intersections of
    Music and Disability, Neuroscience,
    Wellness and Community with
    Musicians, Researchers, and
    Disability Advocates.

    No Tickets Required - Free and Open to All
    More Details

    Come and Join the Yes You Chorus

    Posted Sunday March 30 2014 at 9:14 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Musical Notes

    Yes You Chorus is a Cultural Inclusion Project of VSA Massachusetts and is sponsored by The Seven Hills Foundation.

    The Yes You Chorus:
    - Welcomes you if you can't "carry a tune" or make "pretty sounds"
    - Welcomes you if you work too hard and want to relax with friends
    - Welcomes you a little late if you're coming from work, etc.
    - Welcomes you if you have a physical or developmental challenge
    - Asks no one to read music or even words
    - Is Easy but also Fun, Interesting, Creative, & Emotionally Moving
    - Sings songs from 1830-1930 that should never be forgotten
    - Also sings newer songs, and songs we make up ourselves
    - Performs for people who need their spirits lifted
    - Is one heck of a good musical time!

    Are you interested Yet?

    Who, Me? YES YOU!

    Read More →

    Henderson Inclusion School Chosen as EdVestors 12th Annual Urban Education Showcase Finalist

    Posted Wednesday March 26 2014 at 11:39 pm in Education

    EdVestors Logo

    EdVestors recently announced the finalists presenting at their 12th Annual Urban Education Investment Showcase.  The Showcase is an opportunity for donors – whether individuals, giving circles, or foundations – to select their own grantees from a pool of pre-vetted, high-quality education initiatives.  At the Showcase, project leaders present their cases for support directly before likely and potential donors.

    At this year's showcase, one of the finalists presenting their ideas for improving schools and outcomes for students is VSA MA COOL Schools partner Henderson K-12 Inclusion Innovation School.  The new Henderson K-12 school is a merger of the very popular, full-inclusion Henderson Elementary School and the Harbor Middle and High Schools to create the only seamless pathway in Boston for students with significant special needs from kindergarten through high school graduation.  The Henderson Elementary is widely recognized as one of the most successful inclusion schools where students with significant special needs - of all disability types - learn side-by-side with their general education peers, and where all students have demonstrated high achievement.  If selected at the EdVestors showcase, the funding will provide the professional development and support needed to prepare all teachers to effectively implement this model of instruction.  In turn, the Henderson will become a best practice site for other schools in the district.

    When: Tuesday, April 8, 2014
    Where: City Year Headquarters, 287 Columbus Avenue, Boston
    Cost: Free
    RSVP: Eventbrite
    Registration opens: 3:45pm
    Program: 4:00 - 6:00pm
    Reception: 6:00 - 7:00pm

    Call for Music Therapist/Music Teaching Artist

    Posted Saturday March 22 2014 at 6:11 pm in Education

    Student playing with guitar

    VSA Massachusetts' COOL Schools seeks a music teaching artist/music therapist to lead a music program for students with significant disabilities ages 5 - 21.  The program will run on Fridays from 11:30 am - 2:30 pm for 20 weeks from September 2014 - April 2015.

    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 working towards 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 in two 10-week cycles, one in the Fall semester and one in the Spring.

    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 VSA Massachusetts community events.

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

    Learn more about the VSA MA COOL Schools Program.

    Wheelock Family Theatre to Receive Deaf and Hard of Hearing Outstanding Organization Award

    Posted Friday March 21 2014 at 8:44 pm in News

    Wheelock Family Theatre Logo

    Wheelock Family Theatre will receive an Outstanding Organization Award during Deaf and Hard of Hearing Constituents' Day at the State House.  This award is undoubtedly due to Wheelock's firm commitment to complete accessibility for all.  Examples of this commitment include:
    - The entire theatre facility is fully wheelchair accessible.
    - All performances are open captioned.
    - Select performances of every production are ASL interpreted.
    - Select performances are audio-described.

    What: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Annual Constituents' Day
    When: Monday, March 24, 2014, 10 am - noon
    Where: State House
    Hosted by: the Statewide Advisory Council
    Featuring: greetings from legislative and state agency leaders, presentation on legislation process.
    Special Awards Presentation:
    - Outstanding Advocate: Judy Freedman Fask
    - Outstanding Service Provider: Decibels Foundation, Cat Dvar
    - Outstanding Organizations: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Massachusetts State Association of the Deaf, Wheelock Family Theatre
    For more information: Ami.Hanigan@MassMail.State.MA.US

    "Sustaining/Creating", National Juried Exhibition, At Open Door Gallery Through April 16, 2014

    Posted Saturday March 15 2014 at 11:56 pm in Open Door Gallery

    The Open Door Gallery presents "Sustaining/Creating" which is the 11th exhibition by VSA and Volkswagen Group of America as part of the Kennedy Center's annual Emerging Artists Program.  This longtime collaboration is an opportunity for visual artists with disabilities, ages 16 - 25, to receive national recognition at the start of their careers.  Culminating in a 2012 exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution and cash awards totaling $60,000 sponsored by Volkswagen, the Emerging Artists Program validates young artists at a critical time when many are deciding whether or not to pursue the arts as their livelihood.

    Prior to exhibiting at VSA Massachusetts' Open Door Gallery, Sustaining/Creating exhibited in Washington DC, Virginia, Kentucky, Colorado, New York, and Saint Petersburg Russia.  Our opening reception of March 28, 2014 at 4-7pm will include a conversation with four of the award winning artists at 6pm.

    Arts Connect International Seeks Artists-in-Residence

    Posted Thursday March 13 2014 at 10:48 pm in Call For Artists

    Arts Connect International Logo

    - Are you a leader in the arts field?
    - Are you committed to cultural inclusion and social equity on a global scale?
    - Do you have a vision for social change?

    Arts Connect International (ACI) is a non-profit organization founded by Marian Brown that cultivates & connects leaders in the arts field committed to cultural inclusion and social equity on a global scale.  In the one-year residency artists address cultural inclusion through their medium in an international environment.  The program will educate, inform, and grow the artistic and personal skills of participating artists while stimulating and enhancing the arts communities in which they work and live.

    ACI Artists-in-Residence:
    - Are leaders in the arts field with a demonstrated commitment to cultural inclusion and social equity.
    - Have a strong portfolio that ilustrates a thoughtful investigation of his or her art form in a community context.
    - Demonstrate proven leadership skills in community-based social justice work.

    Learn more about ACI artist residencies and apply if you are interested.  The application for 2014-2015 residencies will remain open through March 31, 2014.

    VSA Florida and Division of Cultural Affairs Present "Successfully Accessible" Webinar Series

    Posted Tuesday March 11 2014 at 8:43 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Accessibility symbols

    This series of webinars will help arts and cultural organizations to successfully design, create and implement accessible programming, events and environments for their patrons.

    March 26, 2014 - Make Your Online Marketing Accessible

    April 23, 2014 - Thinking Outside the Box: Partnering & Funding for Accessibility Efforts

    May 28, 2014 - Inclusive Tourism and Tourism Marketing of Accessibility

    June 25, 2014 - Accessibility and New Audiences: Marketing Locally

    Each webinar starts at 12 noon and lasts for one hour.  Email Maureen Murphy at Maureen.Murphy@dos.myflorida.com prior to the session if you need any additional accommodations or have any specific questions you would like answered during the webinars.

    Temple Grandin: All Kinds of Minds Help the World - Harvard Graduate School of Education Forum

    Posted Monday March 10 2014 at 10:25 pm in News

    Temple Grandin with 5 Cows

    World famous animal scientist Temple Grandin has enriched the lives of people around the world within the autism community.  Diagnosed with autism, Grandin used her personal insights to lead dramatic improvements in the livestock industry.  In particular, she believes that the world needs all kinds of thinkers – visual thinkers, mathematical thinkers, and language-based thinkers – to solve problems and complete projects successfully.  Join Grandin as she discusses how autism and visual thinking has revolutionized farm-animal welfare, as well as countless others with autism.

    Where: Longfellow Hall, 13 Appian Way, Cambridge, MA 02138
    When: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 5:30 – 7pm
    Type of Event: Forum, Lecture, Question & Answer Session
    Building/Room: Askwith Hall
    Contact Name: Amber DiNatale
    Contact Email: askwith_forums@gse.harvard.edu
    Contact Phone: 617-384-9968
    Sponsoring Organization: Harvard Graduate School of Education
    Registration Required: No
    Admission Fee: This event is free and open to the public.

    Critter Day: ASL-Interpreted Rainforest Reptile Shows at Boston Children's Museum

    Posted Friday March 07 2014 at 3:43 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Critter Day: Reptiles

    Do you love animals?  Join Boston Children's Museum the third Saturday of every month for Critter Day, fun live animal programming.  Learning about animals helps children understand their connection to all living things.

    Are snakes really slimy?  How many teeth does an alligator have?  Can a turtle climb out of its shell?  Find out the answers to these and other questions as we celebrate the scaly creatures of the animal kingdom - the reptiles!

    March 15, 2014  10:30 pm and 11:30 pm  ASL-Interpreted
    Free with paid Museum admission.

    For more information, visit the Museum website or contact:
    Saki Iwamoto, Health and Wellness Specialist

    Lunch & Learn Lecture with David Leventhal of Dance for PD (Parkinson's Disease)

    Posted Sunday March 02 2014 at 10:48 pm in News

    David Leventhal of Dance for PD

    The Institute for Human Centered Design invites you to attend a Lunch & Learn Lecture with David Leventhal of Dance for PD (Parkinson's Disease).  David, a founding teacher and Program Director of Dance for PD, will discuss the internationally-acclaimed program's background and methods, providing insight into a model for how the arts can positively impact the lives of people living with a chronic neurological condition.  Highlighting aspects of the program's design that have made it widely accepted, David will discuss ways in which dance training and practice exemplify the transformative benefits of artistic engagement.  Dance for PD, developed and sustained through a 13-year collaboration between Mark Morris Dance Group and Brooklyn Parkinson Group, empowers people with Parkinson's to explore movement in ways that are refreshing, enjoyable, stimulating, and creative.  The program fosters a network of affiliated classes in 34 states and 10 countries around the world.

    Where: Institute for Human Centered Design, 200 Portland St. Boston MA 02114
    When: March 5, 2014 12-2pm
    Cost: This event is free and open to the public.  Light lunch will be served.
    For special accommodations and to RSVP: wcrolius@ihcdesign.org or 617-259-1655

    VSA Board Member Carl Richardson Advocates in Boston Sunday Globe

    Posted Thursday February 27 2014 at 11:23 pm in News

    Blind and hearing-impaired, Carl Richardson stood at a crosswalk in front of the State House that has no ramp.

    Boston Globe, 2/23/2014
    Written by David Abel
    Photo by Suzanne Kreiter

    Beacon Hill resisting ramps, aids for disabled.

    For years, Carl Richardson has shuffled gingerly across the uneven sidewalks and poorly cut curbs of Beacon Hill, guided by a dog and the hope that a loose brick or an unexpected slope doesn’t trip him up.

    His journey would be made far easier by a city proposal to install 259 pedestrian ramps with tactile warning strips throughout the historic neighborhood, as part of a decades-long effort to bring the city’s curbs into compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

    But the plan was rejected in December by officials of the Beacon Hill Architectural Commission. Why? Because they believed, among other things, that the bumpy plastic strips would mar the neighborhood’s Colonial-era character.

    Long after other parts of the city, including other designated historic districts, have come into compliance with the disabilities act or have reached agreements to do so, Beacon Hill remains the lone holdout. It holds that stance despite the fact that the city stands to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal funds if a plan is not approved within the next month.

    Read More →

    Harmony and Healing - Berklee College of Music

    Posted Sunday February 23 2014 at 9:31 pm in Education

    Young boys playing with musical instrumentsclass=

    A student-driven event hosted by the Berklee Music Therapy Department on the evening of February 27, 2014 to bring students from different schools together to share their varied approaches to music and healing

    An opportunity to learn from each other - and fueled by pizza!

    Thursday evening, February 27, 2014
    6:30 - 8:00 pm
    The Steve Heck Room
    1140 Boylston Street, Boston
    Berklee College of Music
    RSVP to musictherapy@berklee.edu

    Alive Inside: How the Magic of Music Proves Therapeutic for Patients with Alzheimer's and Dementia

    Posted Friday February 21 2014 at 08:21 am in News

    Article and video by Democracy Now.

    Could a pair of headphones change the lives of millions of Americans suffering from Alzheimer's and dementia?  "Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory," a new documentary at the Sundance Film Festival, follows a social worker named Dan Cohen who has launched a campaign to bring iPods and music therapy to nursing homes.  One of the central characters he works with is a 90-something Alzheimer's patient named Henry Dryer, who was featured in a video posted online that went viral in 2012, with over 1 million views.  The above clip begins with video of Dryer looking largely unresponsive to the outside world.  Then he was given a pair of headphones to listen to Cab Calloway, his favorite artist.  The music energizes him, awakens him and helps bring back old memories.  We play clips from the film and speak with Cohen about his project, "Music & Memory", which he hopes to expand around the world.  We are also joined by Michael Rossato-Bennett, the film's director and producer.

    NEA Webinar on the Psychology of Creativity

    Posted Sunday February 16 2014 at 12:51 pm in News

    An illustration of Dr. James Kaufman by Chris Brandt

    What can the latest psychological research teach us about creativity, how it's expressed, and how it can be measured?  Join this discussion with Dr. James C. Kaufman, president of the American Psychological Association's Division 10: The Society for the Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts.  Kaufman is Professor of Educational Psychology at the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut.  The author of more than 25 books, Kaufman is internationally known for his research on such areas as everyday creativity, creativity assessment, and creativity and mental health.

    Read More →

    Critters 'n' Creatures, ASL-Interpreted at Boston Children's Museum

    Posted Tuesday February 11 2014 at 11:18 pm in Cultural Inclusion


    It’s National Engineering Week!  At this Critter Day presentation, we’ll be celebrating the Diggers and Builders of the animal world.  They may not have hammers, nails or shovels, but animals do have claws, helmets and other adaptations to help them design their homes.  After the presentation, you may have a chance to touch one of the animals, too!

    February 15, 2014  2:15 pm and 3:15 pm  ASL-Interpreted
    Free with paid Museum admission.

    For more information, visit the Museum website or contact:
    Saki Iwamoto, Health and Wellness Specialist

    Meet the Teaching Artist: Liz Buchanan

    Posted Sunday February 09 2014 at 4:13 pm in Education

    Liz Buchanan with kids

    My aim is to provide students with an exciting, meaningful and memorable learning experience through singing, movement and other musical activities.

    I believe that music is the best way to teach certain pre-reading skills such as phonological awareness.  Songs also can deepen students' understanding of almost any subject, especially stories and narrative.  Music and movement engage multiple parts of the brain and the emotions.  To paraphrase educator Bev Bos, "If it hasn't been in the hand, the body and the heart, it can't be in the brain."

    What I do

    My primary art form is music and songwriting, but I also incorporate drama, storytelling and movement.  I mostly work with children aged 3 through first grade, with a focus on reading/language arts, though I also love using music to enrich learning in social studies, math and science.  I am very excited to work in inclusion settings.

    On any given day in the classroom, you might find me demonstrating a new finger play, singing the days of the week with a focus on the starting letter sounds, playing a rhyming game with a monster puppet, or having the children romp around the classroom as they act out "The Three Little Pigs."  I seek to model techniques and offer tools that classroom teachers can use after I'm gone.

    I hope my residencies provide an exceptional experience for students that will be one of the highlights of their school life.

    Read More →

    Boston Globe Subscribers - Did You Receive a Silver Envelope? Consider Giving to VSA Massachusetts!

    Posted Saturday February 08 2014 at 3:55 pm in News

    Globe Readers and Non-profits Together

    The Boston Globe just launched Globe Readers and Nonprofits Together (GRANT).  Subscribers received silver envelopes containing gift vouchers to name their favorite Massachusetts nonprofit.  With the vouchers, the Globe will give the top nonprofits free ad space at no cost to the nonprofit or to the subscriber.  We'd be thrilled if you chose VSA Massachusetts!  The more checks submitted with our name on them, the bigger the ad space we'll receive!

    To spread our message and support VSA Massachusetts through GRANT, simply write "VSA Massachusetts" in the line of the "gift check" and return it to the Globe in the provided envelope by March 1, 2014.  If you are a digital subscriber and have not received your envelope, you can request it here.

    This is a wonderful opportunity to promote our work to support inclusion through the arts, and it's free!  Please help us spread the word to friends and family who are Globe subscribers.

    Free VSA Webinar - Drama & Universal Design for Learning

    Posted Monday February 03 2014 at 10:14 pm in News

    VSA Webinar Series

    Description: A practical, real-world, and highly interactive look at drama and Universal Design for Learning (UDL), the natural connection between them, and how to make your drama work more UDL.  This session is for teaching artists, drama specialists, classroom teachers, and anyone interested in the subject.

    Presenter: Stephen Yaffe is an arts and education consultant, evaluator and designer of professional development programs who has coached teaching artists and teachers working with special learners across the country.  A former TA and graduate of the Yale School of Drama, he is Chair of The Arts in Special Education Consortium in NYC.

    Intended Audience: Teaching Artists, Teachers, Drama Specialists, School & Arts Administrators, etc.

    Read More →

    Meet the Intern: Claudine Fernandez

    Posted Thursday January 30 2014 at 10:39 pm in News

    Meet the Intern: Claudine Fernandez

    What are your favorite pastimes?
          "I love reading for leisure, playing the keyboards and jamming with my band and friends."

    If you could be a cartoon character, who would you be?
          "Maggie Simpson. She is witty and a bit of a rebel with a cause."

    You are trapped on an island.  What three items do you want to have with you?
          "My passport, my necklace with a cross and my cell phone!"

    Do you have any uncommon talents or quirks?
          "I can rap!"

    What brings you to VSA?
          "I admire the work that the organization is doing and I believe in its mission of arts for all.  I have also heard tons of good things about the people who work for VSA and I'm inspired by the teaching artists' work."

    What are you doing during your internship?
          "I will be handling the social media activity as well as documenting work of the teaching artists.  I hope to be learning about the workings of a non-profit organization."

    ReelAbilities - Boston Disabilities Film Festival

    Posted Wednesday January 29 2014 at 10:17 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Reel Abilities Festival Logo

    The third annual ReelAbilities - Boston Disabilities Film Festival takes place this year January 30 - February 6, 2014.  Highlights include:

    Anita: Anita, a young woman with Down syndrome, gets separated from her mother after a bomb explodes at their Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires.  As she wanders the city searching for her mom – alone for the first time ever – she discovers an inner strength few could have expected.  Feb. 5, 2014 7:00 p.m., Leventhal-Sidman Jewish Community Center, Newton.

    Read More →

    Meet the Teaching Artist: Kathleen McNamara

    Posted Saturday January 25 2014 at 4:38 pm in Education


    My creative endeavors as an art teacher provide a visual arts based approach to general education that helps students build connections to academics and explore materials to encourage their uninhibited imaginations.

    I believe students should feel inspiration, passion and discovery in making their art.  In the visual arts, students engage in project based learning which involves the acquisition of problem solving skills, which I think is an integral part of student ownership and engagement.  As students create projects and share them with a classroom community they gain communication skills, vocabulary and social skills.  The result of student projects is art that reflects ideas and concepts as well as technical art abilities.

    Read More →

    Kennedy Center Announces Winter 2014 Artist Opportunities

    Posted Friday January 24 2014 at 10:12 pm in Call For Artists

    VSA Artist Opportunities

    The VSA and Accessibility Office at the Kennedy Center put together this list of performing and visual arts opportunities.

    The Mitchell Gallery
    Deadline: January 31, 2014
    The Mitchell Gallery in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, presents a national juried exhibition, Less is More.  It is open to all artists over the age of 18 residing in the United States and Puerto Rico.  Selected artists will receive cash prizes, and all artists will be invited to a reception with Mitchell Gallery Board of advisors, gallery owners, press, and sponsors.  Artist work will be exhibited online and on-site.  Domenic Iacono, director of Syracuse University Art Galleries, is the exhibit juror.

    WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival
    Deadline: January 31, 2014
    WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival (now it's 47th year!) continues with its totally dedicated Independent Film screening format for the upcoming unspooling at the flagship AMC Studio 30 Dunvale Theaters.  WorldFest will screen just 55-60 feature film and 100 Short Film Premieres, with a complete and absolute emphasis on the American and International Independent feature films and with a continuing annual spotlight on an individual country and its films.  WorldFest also offers competition in TV Production, Documentary, Corporate & Business Films, Student & Experimental, TV Commercials, Film & Video Production, Music Videos, New Media (Interactive & Web Sites) and unproduced Screenplays.

    Read More →

    Meet the Teaching Artist: Sarah Sharp

    Posted Wednesday January 22 2014 at 5:53 pm in Education


    My work as a teaching visual artist in a school setting is influential to all students.  I aim to teach students the basics of art in the world around them as well as teaching students problem solving skills and creative thinking to help them navigate the world as a whole.

    I believe my students can do anything.  It is my job as their teacher to give students the tools they need to explore the art world and world around them.  Visual Art education is essential in schools as it allows for students of a wide variety of abilities to succeed in their own way, allows for individual expression, and allows students to delve into creative problem solving.  I design visual art lessons meant for expression and no one “right answer” or outcome; making the work my students create as diverse as they are.

    Read More →

    Official ASL Translation of Martin Luther King Jr's Speech "I have a Dream"

    Posted Monday January 20 2014 at 02:00 am in News

    Portions reprinted from BU Today 8/28/2013.  Written by Leslie Friday.

    Commissioned by Boston Landmarks Orchestra for their "I Have a Dream" 50th Anniversary Concert of 2013, this official ASL translation of King's speech fills a critical void in the education of deaf children.  "There's not a lot of ASL translations of historical speeches, especially as an educational tool," interpreter Richard Bailey says.  "I don't remember seeing anything like this growing up.  I had access to subtitled or interpreted versions, sure, but you just feel like something's missing or it's uninspired."  Thus, incorporated into Bailey's translation are the proper ASL facial expression and body positioning to convey King's sermonic tone and grammar.

    The goal was for the video to live forever as a resource to the deaf community.  "The people who were hearing the speech at that time, understood the code messages in the speech that told people to mobilize.  This is an opportunity for deaf kids to get access to the speech, appreciate it in their language, and generate a conversation about mobilizing as a minority population."

    The video of Bailey's ASL translation of the speech is digitally archived at the Martin Luther King, Jr., Center for Nonviolent Social Change, in Atlanta.

    Meet the Teaching Artist: Donna Folan

    Posted Saturday January 18 2014 at 1:49 pm in Education

    My work is about providing students a way to use creativity to enhance their learning.

    I believe that every student has an individual learning style.  I use theater, movement, improvisation and whatever other art form is necessary to ensure that each student can make connections to arts learning in the classroom curriculum.  Improvisation provides students with many choices and opportunities, as it offers innumerable ways for students to make sense of learning.

    As a teaching artist, my role is to provide new perspectives using the arts that support student learning and engagement, and that help teachers enhance their curriculum without adding additional work.

    I use improvisation, specifically in theater and movement, to connect to the needs of the students in their classroom curriculum.  Prior to beginning of COOL programs, I meet with the partner teacher to find out their goals and how they would like to collaborate with me as an artist and with the art forms I will be presenting.  I also like to observe their classroom beforehand so that I may present my work in a way that is mindful of how each classroom functions.

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

    Posted Wednesday January 15 2014 at 06:19 am in Cultural Inclusion

    Critter Day

    You never know what to expect when Rick and the Creature Teachers come to town.  Learn about exotic animals like toucans and coatimundis.  Get to know familiar creatures like groundhogs and flying squirrels.

    January 18, 2014  11:15 am and 12:15 pm  ASL-Interpreted
    Free with paid Museum admission.  Free tickets distributed first-come, first-served one hour before each program.  Ages 5 and up.

    For more information, visit the Museum website or contact:
    Saki Iwamoto, Health and Wellness Specialist

    Broadway in Boston Presents Audio Described Performances

    Posted Sunday January 12 2014 at 3:50 pm in Cultural Inclusion

    Broadway in Boston Logo

    Sunday January 19, 2014
    Tickets $33

    Flash Dance
    Sunday March 23, 2014
    Citi Performing Arts Wang Center
    Tickets starting at $33

    The Book of Mormon
    Sunday April 13, 2014
    Tickets starting at $53

    The Phantom of the Opera
    Sunday June 29, 2014
    Tickets $33

    All Shows: 1pm
    Audio Description: Laura Willis
    Online ticket purchase password: AUDIO
    Get tickets in person: Boston Opera House Box Office, 539 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02111
    Box Office Hours: Monday-Friday 10am-5pm
    Get tickets by phone: 617-880-2419 or TTY: 617-426-3444
    Get tickets by email: ADABoston@BroadwayInBoston.com

    Meet the Teaching Artist: Tim Van Egmond

    Posted Friday January 10 2014 at 10:29 pm in Education

    My work as a teaching artist involves lighting up students' imaginations, and bringing out their unique expressions of creativity in whatever area of learning we're exploring.

    Like other arts, singing, playing instruments, movement and storytelling engage the students' multiple intelligences to support their learning.  There are both direct and indirect connections.  For instance: learning numbers through fingerplays; colors, shapes, letter sounds, and positional concepts through songs; learning language skills, vocabulary, sequencing and narrative form through singing games and storytelling activities; problem-solving and motor skills through instrument-making.  Concepts such as rhythm, pitch, dynamics and associated patterns are important in creating pathways in each student's cognitive development that form the underpinning for their learning and memory skills.

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    Parkolation Portfolio Show

    Posted Friday January 10 2014 at 12:40 am in Open Door Gallery

    Student Making Parklet Model

    Come meet Student Designers as they share their work from the Fall Semester with VSA MA Teaching Artist Wilhelmina Peragine at Boston Green Academy.

    Student made models of Parklets will be on display in the Open Door Gallery and the students will be available to talk about their ideas for Boston's streets.

    January 10, 2014 6:00pm
    Refreshments will be served.

    contact: wilhelmina@vsamass.org

    Parkolation is a special project of VSA MA's COOL Schools Program and will be on display at the Open Door Gallery from January 10 - February 14.

    A.R.T. Announces 2014 ASL and Audio Described Performances

    Posted Sunday January 05 2014 at 6:09 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 the 2014 season at the Loeb Drama Center.  The schedule is as follows:

    The Heart of Robin Hood
    ASL Interpreted: January 7, 2014 7:30pm and Jan. 12, 2014 2:00pm
    Audio Described: January 8, 2014 7:30pm and Jan. 11, 2014 2:00pm

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    Meet the Teaching Artist: Wilhelmina Peragine

    Posted Friday January 03 2014 at 8:38 pm in Education

    Wilhelmina Peragine in the Classroom

    As a teaching artist, I aim to help young people develop a greater sense of their own agency, an increased ability to think from multiple perspectives and a flourishing love of learning.

    I believe that integrating visual arts learning into curricula helps all students thrive by:
    - making learning visible through the construction of artifacts that evince understanding
    - providing a voice or entry point for all learners through multiple media and methods of expression
    - breaking down our artificial barriers between subjects, concepts and intelligences
    - giving students access to the infinite and sublime

    Ages: pre-k-12
    Settings: inclusive classrooms
    Subjects: all, I have experience with 1st grade Social Studies, 2nd grade Reading, 3rd grade Writing and Social Studies, 10th and 12th grade Environmental Science and Food Justice, 5th grade History and Reading
    Collaboration with teachers: After our initial planning meeting, I continually check in with teachers to ensure that our arts integrated work supports all students and enriches the areas of study on which they are focused.  This often requires adaptation and flexibility.
    Classroom Management: I believe that authentic engagement solves most management issues.  I expect students to be present, respectful and kind.

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