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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.

These children are participating in a VSA Michigan Artists-in-Residence program in one of forty-seven schools in Michigan.

Focus on Arts Education: In 2016 VSAMI residency programs engaged 734 students, 596 of whom have disabilities, 45 classroom teachers and 112 para-educators in 19 Michigan schools. A total of 475 hours was spent learning creative dance, drama, music, storytelling, filmmaking, and/or visual arts. Over 35 adults with disabilities were engaged in creating art in the Copper Country VSA Art Class and Club Create programs in Swartz Greek and Clarkston. A total of 98 artists and educators received 5-20 hours of professional development provided by VSAMI in a series of 6 workshops. During 2017 we are providing residencies in 32 schools, and art classes in Hancock, Swartz Creek and Clarkston. Our professional development workshop is scheduled to take place August 20-22, at the MacMullan Conference Center on Higgins Lake. Contact us, if you’d like participate.

Focus on Access: 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!

VSA Michigan seeks nominations for Educator of the Year. Please see attached the attached EOY nomination form on the Educator of the Year page under Programs and Services. The deadline for submitting a nomination is Monday, February 20, 2017.