World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

VSA (Kennedy Center)

Article Id: WHEBN0000969283
Reproduction Date:

Title: VSA (Kennedy Center)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: VSA, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

VSA (Kennedy Center)

Founded 1974
Founder Jean Kennedy Smith
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
Slogan The International Organization on Arts and Disability

VSA, is an international organization on arts, education and disability, which was founded in 1974 by former U.S. Ambassador to Ireland

  • National Arts and Disability Center
  • National Institute of Art & Disabilities
  • Mouth and Foot Painting Artists
  • Disabled Artists Network
  • Organizations that Assist Artists with Disabilities on the National Education Association (NEA) website

Similar Organizations

  • Official website
  • "Chronicles of Courage: Very Special Artists" review in Publishers Weekly
  • "VSA Arts Celebrates JFK's Commitment to Social Justice" article & video on Huffington Post
  • "International VSA Festival 2010" on the Kennedy Center website
  • "VSA/Metlife Foundation Award $150,000 to Arts Education programs" on the Charter Oak Center website

External links

  1. ^ "JFK's sister Jean Kennedy Smith reflects". USA Today. 26 September 2010. 
  2. ^ "The Last Kennedy: Jean Kennedy Smith". ABC World News with Diane Sawyer. 26 August 2009. 
  3. ^ White House Office of the Press Secretary (15 February 2011). "President Obama Names Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipients". 
  4. ^ AffiliatesVSA .
  5. ^ a b VSA Arts "Four Principals"
  6. ^ "VSA programs" on the Kennedy Center website
  7. ^ Matlin, Marlee. Nobody's Perfect



Two years later, in 2011, VSA and the Kennedy Center's Office on Accessibility merged, becoming the Department of VSA and Accessibility at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

VSA and its name have evolved since the organization was founded. The organization was and continues to be a pioneer in the field of arts and disability. VSA has played a significant role over the years in changing society’s attitudes toward people with disabilities. With that change, the organization has regularly looked at its own identity to ensure it is consistent with current attitudes and language used by the disability community. The organization began in 1974 as National Committee - Arts for the Handicapped, then in 1985 became Very Special Arts. This changes to VSA arts in 1999, and simply VSA in 2009.

Name changes

Many artists of note have been directly involved with, or supportive of, VSA. Those with disabilities have included painter Chuck Close, sculptor Mark Di Suvero, theatrical director Jack Hofsiss, musician Tony Meléndez, actor and director Howie Seago, glass artist Dale Chihuly, violinist Itzhak Perlman and many others. Academy Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin wrote and published a sequel to her novel Deaf Child Crossing, entitled Nobody's Perfect, which was produced on stage at the Kennedy Center in partnership with VSA arts in October 2007.[7]

Notable artists

VSA founder Chronicles of Courage: Very Special Artists which was published by Random House in April 1993. This 272 page book profiled 16 artists with disabilities who discussed how participation in the arts made a positive difference in their lives.

Each year VSA sponsors many notable programs such as the "International Young Soloists Program," "Playwright Discovery" program, Call for Children's art, internships across the nation for students with disabilities. VSA/VW call for art program offers an exhibition opportunity for emerging visual artists with disabilities in the U.S. ages 16–25, including $60,000 in cash awards (among the largest in the nation) with a $20,000 grand prize.[6]

Notable programs

Inclusion teaches us that all means all. Everybody. No exceptions. The arts invite people to leave familiar territory, explore new questions, and seek answers. The arts offer a means to self-expression, communication, and independence. By learning through the arts, students become lifelong learners, experiencing the joy of discovery and exploration, and the value of each other's ideas. VSA is committed to driving change thru the arts – classroom by classroom, community by community.[5]

Moreover they state that

  • Every young person with a disability deserves access to high quality arts learning experiences.
  • All artists in schools and art educators should be prepared to include students with disabilities in their instruction.
  • All children, youth, and adults with disabilities should have complete access to cultural facilities and activities.
  • All individuals with disabilities who aspire to careers in the arts should have the opportunity to develop appropriate skills.[5]

The four principals which guide VSA are that:

Principles and philosophy


  • Principles and philosophy 1
  • Notable programs 2
  • Notable artists 3
  • Name changes 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

On September 28, 2005 the Board of Trustees of the Kennedy Center and the Board of Directors of VSA arts – as the organization was known at the time – announced their formal


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.