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VSA Michigan focuses on Arts Education and Access

People with disabilities have much to contribute. The arts can empower the powerless to express themselves and communicate, tearing down preconceptions. That is what VSA Michigan is about: inclusion, accessibility, arts for all.

We believe

•Every person deserves access to appropriate learning experiences in the arts.
•The arts promote understanding and communication for everyone.
•The arts are more than a product, they are a process – it’s the journey that counts.
•The arts in their many forms enhance a person’ humanity.

We focus on ability, not disability. We focus on creativity and achievement.



2018 community of practice workshop vsa michigan

Our annual Community of Practice Workshop is back and will be taking place August 19-21, at Higgins Lake.  This year, we are focusing on learning strategies for teaching students who are on the autism spectrum and who have behavioral challenges.  We are especially pleased to have Anne Rhodes, a national VSA trainer, joining us to lead us through this learning process.

Please see the attached flyer and descriptions of key workshop presentations, bios of the presenters, and more details about our workshop in our Community of Practice Information Page here.


emily hudson vsa educator of the year 2018

We would like to congratulate Emily Hudson for being this 2018's Educator of the Year Awardee! Emily received her award during the annual Michigan Youth Arts Festival held in Western Michigan University from VSA Executive Director Coleen Downey. For further information, please visit our Educator of The Year information page here.

August 19-21, 2018 – Educators and teaching artists are invited to join us at our annual Community of Practice workshop to take place at the Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center on Higgins Lake in Roscommon, MI. Participants will be engaged in learning inclusive strategies to create a successful environment in the classroom and for teaching the arts to differentiated learners. Further information may be found under the Professional Development page of Programs & Services.


This school year VSAMI is engaging 1,296 students, 898 of whom have disabilities, 101 classroom teachers and 205 paraprofessionals in an average of 12 hours of learning in and through the arts taught by professional dancers, actors, musicians, storytellers, filmmakers and visual artists. Artists-in-Residence programs are taking place in Alma, Baraga, Bloomfield Hills, Cheboygan, Clio, Ferndale, Flint, Flushing, Gaylord, Hancock, Houghton, Marquette, Mt. Pleasant, Onaway, Petoskey, Rochester, St. Louis, West Bloomfield
Over 45 adults with disabilities have been engaged in creating art in the Club Create programs in Swartz Creek and Clarkston. A total of 50 artists and educators received 5-20 hours of training provided by VSAMI in a series of professional development workshops, one of which was a 3-day immersion in the arts. This past spring more than 800 students celebrated the arts at VSA festivals in Dearborn, Detroit, Flint and Flushing.


People with disabilities are a growing segment of the community as patrons, administrators, artists, students, older adults and benefactors. Yet, many people with disabilities who want to participate in the arts cannot, because they encounter barriers to access. VSA Michigan is uniquely qualified to offer tools and strategies to enhance an organization’s ability to engage this vital community and achieve greater ADA compliance. If you are an arts or cultural organization needing assistance in making your facility, programs and communication tools more accessible contact us.
If you are interested in assisting us, contact us. We will train you on how to conduct an access audit. We are preparing to visit cultural arts events, and observe access needs and features of the venues. We need your help! Get involved!