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Educator & Teaching Artist of the Year

Each year, VSA Michigan recognizes educators and teaching artists by selecting an Educator of the Year and a Teaching Artist of the Year.  The Awardee is selected on the basis of the contributions he/she has made that forward VSA Michigan’s vision “To create an inclusive society where people with disabilities participate in, learn through, excel in and enjoy the arts.”  Educators, students, parents, families and community members are asked to nominate an individual they feel has forwarded VSA Michigan's vision and has made a significant impact on individuals within the programs they serve or within the community as a whole.

Awardees will be recognized at VSA Michigan’s annual event taking place on the evening of October 13, 2019 at St. John’s Banquet and Conference Center in Southfield, MI. The VSA Michigan Educator of the Year  will also receive the Touchstone Award at the Michigan Youth Arts Festival on Friday, May 10, 2019, at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo.

To nominate a special person in your community download the appropriate form below and submit it to VSA Michigan at Deadline for submissions is Friday, March 8, 2019 at 4 pm.

Educator of the Year Nomination Form

Teaching Artist of the Year Nomination Form


emily hudson vsa educator of the year 2018

Emily Hudson received her Bachelor of Art Education from the University of Michigan-Flint in 2008.  She went on to study Special Education at Oakland University and received her Master of Education in Special Education with an endorsement in Autism Spectrum Disorders in 2012. Since then she has taken numerous courses in the areas of: special education, teaching students with trauma and mental health issues, behavioral support systems, and crisis intervention.

Starting in 2004, Emily was the Art Director for the Valley School in Flint Michigan for 5 years where she taught students from kindergarten through 12th grade. Courses taught at Valley included: darkroom and alternative process photography, ceramics, fiber arts, stained glass, mosaics, drawing, painting, sculpture, mural painting, art history, 2D and 3D design, printmaking, literary magazine, yearbook, and elementary and middle school art fundamentals. During this time, she also taught for the ‘Bridges to the Future’ after school program through the United Way which brought art classes to low income K-8th grade children in the Flint Community schools.

In the City of Flint Emily was an art teacher through the United Way’s LINK ARTWORKS! program for women and children living in homeless shelters, domestic violence safe houses, and young adult halfway houses. From 2006-2008 Emily was an artist at Red Ink studios in Flint where she was given a studio space along with 20 other working artists to create collaborative and solo artwork, organize
exhibitions, and engage the community in local art shows. She has shown her work at several gallery exhibitions.  Her photography and mixed media work has been exhibited at the Greater Flint Arts Council, Buckham Gallery, Red Ink Studios, the University of Michigan- Flint and Mott Community College Student Galleries. Themes that consistently run throughout her work deal with issues of social justice, the City of Flint, family, and nature.

Emily is the Committee Chairperson for VSA (The International Organization on Arts and Disability) Genesee County and a VSA teaching artist. She is on the VSA Michigan board and is the VSA building representative for the Elmer Knopf Learning Center where she currently teaches students with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Emily has been a small business owner since 2008, serves on the board for the Valley School, and teaches art to students in the homeschooling community at her home in Flint.

Congratulations, Emily!