VSA – the International Organization on Arts and Disability

Program support
For the 2010 International VSA Festival.  The Festival will take place in Washington, D.C. in June 2010 and will bring together artists (visual, performing, literary, and media), educators, researchers, and policy makers from around the world for a multicultural celebration of the arts and arts education.  Festival participants will include both the disabled and people without disabilities.  

VSA, an affiliate of the premier arts institution the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, was founded in 1974 by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith to ensure that people with disabilities learn through, participate in, and enjoy the arts.  VSA believes that 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 does not subscribe to the philosophy and practice of “separate but equal.”  It promotes the inclusive and integrated participation in all art forms of those who are disabled (spanning all ages and disabilities) with those who are not disabled.  The organization provides educators, parents, and artists with resources and tools to support arts programming in schools.  It also showcases the accomplishments of artists with disabilities and promotes increased access to the arts for people with disabilities.  Each year, seven million people participate in VSA arts programs through a network of affiliates in 42 states and in 55 countries around the world.