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Kennedy Center Office of Access & VSA

Kennedy Center Office of Access & VSA Serving the international disability and arts community since 1974, the Kennedy Center Office of Access & VSA provides opportunities for people with disabilities, of all ages, across the globe to learn through, participate in, and enjoy the arts.

Serving the international disability and arts community, VSA provides opportunities for people with disabilities, of all ages, across the globe to learn through, participate in, and enjoy the arts. Founded 40 years ago by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith, the VSA international network supports and offers a wide array of accessible cultural, arts and education programs, and experiences. The Accessibil

Serving the international disability and arts community, VSA provides opportunities for people with disabilities, of all ages, across the globe to learn through, participate in, and enjoy the arts. Founded 40 years ago by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith, the VSA international network supports and offers a wide array of accessible cultural, arts and education programs, and experiences. The Accessibil

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Nominate yourself or another amazing Arts Administrator for the Kennedy Center 2022 LEAD Awards! Deadline to apply is Ma...
04/15/2022

Nominate yourself or another amazing Arts Administrator for the Kennedy Center 2022 LEAD Awards! Deadline to apply is May 15, 2022 for:

🏆 Awards for Emerging Leaders
🏆 Community Asset Awards
🏆 Awards for Excellence in Accessibility Leadership

http://kennedy-center.org/lead

Want to learn more about the annual Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability Conference? Join us Wednesday, April 13 f...
04/06/2022

Want to learn more about the annual Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability Conference? Join us Wednesday, April 13 from 2:30-3:30pm ET for a FREE zoom webinar were panelists share their thoughts on the benefits of the LEAD conference and taking on leadership in Cultural Accessibility.

Panelists:
→ Tina Childress, Au.D., CCC-A, Audiologist, Late-Deafened Adult, Resource, Advocate
→ Jamie Katz Court, Program Director, PineCone – Piedmont Council of Traditional Music
→ Annie Leist, Associate Educator, Community & Access Programs, MoMA

Facilitator: Charles Baldwin, Access and Inclusion Officer at the Massachusetts Cultural Council

There will be time for questions and connecting. CART and ASL Interpretation provided. Register for this FREE zoom webinar at https://kennedy-center.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUkd-Crqz8vEtO9GL_laH4bQ8cRchoAUyND.

“I hope I am teaching people not just how to interact with disabled people in the theater, but also how to interact with...
04/05/2022
Denver actor rocks (and rolls) the vote

“I hope I am teaching people not just how to interact with disabled people in the theater, but also how to interact with disabled people in the greater community, and how you can be an ally.”

[image description: photograph of Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jenna Bainbridge backstage at 'Suffs.']

Wheelchair actor Jenna Bainbridge is appearing in a new off-Broadway musical that some are saying is the next 'Hamilton.'

Want to learn more about the annual Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability Conference? Join us Wednesday, April 13 f...
04/01/2022

Want to learn more about the annual Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability Conference? Join us Wednesday, April 13 from 2:30-3:30pm ET for a FREE zoom webinar were panelists share their thoughts on the benefits of the LEAD conference and taking on leadership in Cultural Accessibility.

Panelists:
→ Tina Childress, Au.D., CCC-A, Audiologist, Late-Deafened Adult, Resource, Advocate
→ Jamie Katz Court, Program Director, PineCone – Piedmont Council of Traditional Music
→ Annie Leist, Associate Educator, Community & Access Programs, MoMA,

Facilitator: Charles Baldwin, Access and Inclusion Officer at the Massachusetts Cultural Council

There will be time for questions and connecting. CART and ASL Interpretation provided. Register for this FREE zoom webinar at https://kennedy-center.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUkd-Crqz8vEtO9GL_laH4bQ8cRchoAUyND.

"ME/CFS is an invisible disability, and that's something that I really wanted to explore in the comic as well. Because s...
03/24/2022
Disabled trans artist's exhibition portrays 'people like me' | ITV News

"ME/CFS is an invisible disability, and that's something that I really wanted to explore in the comic as well. Because sometimes when your condition is invisible to the outside world, you can get a lot of misunderstanding because people look at you and they see someone who seems, well."

[image description: artwork from a graphic novel, depicting a person with dark hair and glasses in a suit with black bowtie, and a gold pocket watch.]

Manchester-based artist Julian Gray's pictures are on show until 2 May, 2022. | ITV News Granada

Artists with disabilities and allies are warmly invited to Open Circles - Open Doors on Saturday, March 26 at 2pm, to ge...
03/17/2022
Open Circles, Open Doors | Kennedy Center

Artists with disabilities and allies are warmly invited to Open Circles - Open Doors on Saturday, March 26 at 2pm, to get to know each other and create art together. Join Open Circle Theatre for an afternoon of workshops in improv, circus skills, photography, and dance followed by a panel discussing disability justice in the arts at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

[image description: photograph of hands in the air and artists in wheelchairs in the background.]

Join us for an afternoon of workshops in improv, circus skills, photography, and dance followed by a panel discussing disability justice in the arts.

“There are about 7,000 works by 200 artists. There is so much talent represented—each artist has their own point of view...
03/16/2022
'The First Time I Saw the Archives I Gasped': How the American Folk Art Museum Acquired the Vast Holdings of a Shuttered Arts Charity

“There are about 7,000 works by 200 artists. There is so much talent represented—each artist has their own point of view, and that clearly comes across in the collection.”

[image description: Untitled artwork by Irene Phillips. Courtesy of the American Folk Art Museum, New York.]

New York's American Folk Art Museum has acquired the archives of Healing Arts Initiative, a long-running art charity for the mentally ill.

The Kennedy Center Office of Accessibility and VSA is now accepting nominations for the 2022 Leadership Exchange in Arts...
03/15/2022

The Kennedy Center Office of Accessibility and VSA is now accepting nominations for the 2022 Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability Awards. Nominate yourself, your organization or others in one of the following three categories:

🏆 Awards for Emerging Leaders
🏆 Community Asset Awards
🏆 Awards for Excellence in Accessibility Leadership

Winners will be presented at a live ceremony in Raleigh, NC during the 2022 LEAD Conference (August 1-5, 2022). Visit kennedy-center.org/lead for details or to apply.

[image description: graphic with a dark blue background and a yellow award wreath and the text 'Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability Awards 2022' in white in the center. A small white Kennedy Center emblem appears at the bottom center.]

“I sound different from other violinists because of my disability. I play my violin like a cello, so the vibrato is diff...
03/14/2022
Meet Gaelynn Lea, the Barrier-Breaking Composer of Original Music for Macbeth | Broadway Direct

“I sound different from other violinists because of my disability. I play my violin like a cello, so the vibrato is different. My [singing] voice has a different quality too, because I’m a small person. We need to expand our idea of what it looks like and sounds like to be a musician. Disability creates art from a specific place, and there’s a lot of great stuff happening.”

[image description: photograph of Gaelynn Lea seated in a colorfully painted chair. She has a pink flower in her hair and is wearing a purple tube top.]

Gaelynn Lea’s ethereal vocals and soulful fiddle playing have made her a rising star in America’s folk music scene. She has toured the country for the past five years and opened for The Decemberists and Wilco, but Broadway was never on Lea’s radar until she got an unexpected call from Tony Awa...

"I think there's a fear that if we say, 'Stop casting neurotypical actors as neurodivergent characters,' that, you know,...
03/11/2022
Neurodiverse theater company shines light on inclusion

"I think there's a fear that if we say, 'Stop casting neurotypical actors as neurodivergent characters,' that, you know, the producers or directors or whatever is just gonna hear, 'Stop telling neurodivergent stories. But I think it's just the message that we want to be sending, and that EPIC is sending is that — keep telling these stories. Just include us. Let us help you tell them, because we're here and we're doing it. And we've been doing it. And we rock it."

[image description: photograph of nine actors with hands raised during a rehearsal. Behind them are wood panelled walls and a wood floor.]

Founded in 2016, EPIC Players provides professional performing arts opportunities to a diverse cast of artists.

“Because both Christopher and Kamara are grounded in artistic practices that cherish the relationship between their arts...
03/09/2022
Disabled, formerly undocumented immigrant and 'songspeller' named Fellows for Lewis Center for the Arts - centraljersey.com

“Because both Christopher and Kamara are grounded in artistic practices that cherish the relationship between their arts and the communities in which they find themselves.”

[image description: photograph of a man with a beard and shaved head, in a black shirt with green beaded necklace, standing in front of a grey painted brick wall.]

Choreographer, educator and disability advocate Christopher “Unpezverde” Núñez and singer-songwriter-storyteller Kamara Thomas have been named Princeton University Arts Fellows for 2022-24 by the Lewis Center for the Arts, and will begin two years of teaching and community collaboration in Sep...

"An increasing number of disability-led initiatives play an important role in reducing discrimination “headwinds” that t...
03/07/2022
Disability Representation In Hollywood - The Pioneers You Probably Don’t Know Enough About

"An increasing number of disability-led initiatives play an important role in reducing discrimination “headwinds” that thwart media careers of people with disabilities in front of and behind the camera."

[image description: photograph of a male actor signing 'I love you' with his left hand while holding a screen actors guild award in his right.]

The SAG Award wins for "CODA" are one of the pinnacle moments in disability representation history. As the fight for disability inclusion and increased representation in Hollywood continues, Danny Woodburn, brings our attention to "some of the founding mothers and fathers".

“The industry is starting to awaken to the fact that there is a desperate need to represent our diverse society authenti...
03/06/2022
'The reason you don't see disabled actors is because of a lack of opportunities'

“The industry is starting to awaken to the fact that there is a desperate need to represent our diverse society authentically and fairly, and it is because of this that the astoundingly inaccessible nature of theatre buildings and spaces is becoming more apparent."

[image description: photograph of a women with dark hair in the foreground and a brick theater building in the background.]

A lack of access to theatres is holding back disabled performers, a union has warned

Join us March 10 from 2:30-3:0pm ET for our latest AccessLEAD session; "AccessLEAD: Thinking about and supporting people...
03/04/2022

Join us March 10 from 2:30-3:0pm ET for our latest AccessLEAD session; "AccessLEAD: Thinking about and supporting people with Long–Haul COVID-19."

Join us for a “Lightning talk” (short but thorough presentation) on Post-COVID-19: What it is, Accessibility Considerations and More with Dr. Tiernan Damas, COVID Compliance Monitor, Dance Place, DC. The shared practical information and Universal Design approach will benefit many other people in addition to supporting those who have “Long-haul COVID”. A facilitated discussion led by Emma Allen, Director of Operations at the Bell Museum, University of Minnesota will follow the presentation. There will also be an opportunity for LEAD updates. On Zoom. CART and ASL interpretation provided.

Register for FREE at https://kennedy-center.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUpduuvpjMjEtx8lnaicWD26NEPPG11n0iI

“Sometimes the sensory stimulation is too much — too much noise, too many crowds. What would you do if you were standing...
03/01/2022
Arts venues learn to make their spaces welcoming with sensory-friendly shows. How one theater is making it happen.

“Sometimes the sensory stimulation is too much — too much noise, too many crowds. What would you do if you were standing next to a loudspeaker at a concert? You’d try to get away from it. You’d cover your ears or talk louder. If you didn’t have appropriate strategies, you might cry. You might scream.”

[image description: photograph of a boy with a mask and headphones standing with a group of people at a table where a woman is showing them props from a performance.]

“People experience the world differently,” said Marcie Bramucci, inviting Hedgerow's audience to be its “fullest self. Vocalizing and moving are welcome for you to enjoy as you like.”

“We’re broadening and expanding what we think dance and dance companies should look like,” said AXIS dancer Louisa Mann....
02/22/2022
AXIS Dance Company highlights the talents of performers with disabilities. Here’s its story.

“We’re broadening and expanding what we think dance and dance companies should look like,” said AXIS dancer Louisa Mann. “We make adjustments based on people’s needs and body types, but we’re all here to dance and create and share art.”

[image description: photograph of five dancers entangled in branches and set pieces during a performance.]

“We’re broadening and expanding what we think dance and dance companies should look like,” said AXIS dancer Louisa Mann.

"Outdoor enthusiasts with disabilities are pushing to encounter nature on their own terms, with self-written guides, bet...
02/11/2022
‘I Wanted That Self-Reliance Back’: Disabled Hikers Forge a New Path

"Outdoor enthusiasts with disabilities are pushing to encounter nature on their own terms, with self-written guides, better equipment and even guide dogs trained for the backcountry."

[image description: photograph of a person in a motorized wheelchair looking over the railing of a boardwalk in a marsh-like outdoor area.]

Outdoor enthusiasts with disabilities are pushing to encounter nature on their own terms, with self-written guides, better equipment and even guide dogs trained for the backcountry.

High school students are invited to explore the disability experience through the art of writing for performance through...
02/01/2022

High school students are invited to explore the disability experience through the art of writing for performance through the Kennedy Center Playwright Discovery Program. Applicants may be young writers with disabilities or collaborative groups which include students with disabilities.

The writers are encouraged to craft short (10 minute) works from their own experiences and observations through the creation of fictional characters and settings, writing realistically, metaphorically or abstractly about any topic, including the disability experience.

Learn more or apply by March 9, 2022: https://www.kennedy-center.org/education/opportunities-for-artists/competitions-and-commissions/vsa-playwright-discovery/

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Washington D.C., DC
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Telephone

(202) 416-8898

Website

kennedy-center.org/vsa

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VSA, the international organization on arts and disability, was founded more than 35 years ago by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith to provide arts and education opportunities for people with disabilities and increase access to the arts for all. Each year, 7 million people of all ages and abilities participate in VSA programs, in every aspect of the arts – from visual arts, performing arts, to the literary arts.

Four principles guide VSA programs and affiliates:


  • 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.
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    On September 13-14, 2021, Docs In Progress, in partnership with the The Kennedy Center’s Office of Accessibility and VSA, hosted a convening of thought leaders focused on improving professional opportunities for people with disabilities in film. The 23 participants in the conversation come from diverse backgrounds and hold varied roles in the industry, nonprofit organizations, and philanthropy. The result was "A Front Seat: Creating Social Change and Accessibility in Independent Film." You can access the entire report here: https://www.docsinprogress.org/frontseat Day 'Deena' Al-Mohamed Lynn O'Connell Barbara Valentino René Bryce-Laporte Kennedy Center Office of Access & VSA #accessiblity #film #visualarts #docsinprogress #kennedycenter #diversity #nonprofit #study #indiefilm #documentary
    【Arts Accessibility International Symposium 藝術通達國際研討會 】 We are delighted to invite you to our Arts Accessibility International Symposium, the first-ever symposium focusing on Arts Accessibility in Hong Kong. This virtual symposium gathers over 20 prestigious arts leaders and practitioners from Hong Kong and around the world to share local and international good policies and practices, innovative ideas, as well as research and technology advancements in Arts Accessibility and Social Inclusion. Visit https://www.adahk.org.hk/?a=doc&id=4574 for details. Register now at https://live.cityline.com/brief?eventId=36519&wl=AAIS ================ Arts Access Australia Art Beyond Sight 藝造人才 Art in Hospital 藝術在醫院 Audiovisability BiG-i Art Project c2 Inc Disability Arts Cymru / Celfyddydau Anabledd Cymru French May 法國五月 團結香港基金 National Gallery Singapore Royal Academy of Arts Something To Aim For Superhero Me The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong 香港盲人輔導會 HKSB Kennedy Center Office of Access & VSA 香港耀能協會 SAHK West Kowloon Cultural District 西九文化區 ================ #藝術通達國際研討會 #ArtsAccessibilityInternationalSymposium #Inclusion #ArtsAccessibility ================ About ADAHK: ‪‪‪‪‪‪http://adahk.org.hk‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ Instagram: ada_hongkong YouTube: ‪‪‪‪‪http://bit.ly/2mftgrg‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ Support us: ‪‪‪http://bit.ly/2kvKErx‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
    【藝術通達國際研討會 Arts Accessibility International Symposium】 立即報名參加香港首個以藝術通達為主題的研討會。是次線上研討會將匯聚來自香港及世界各地二十多位著名藝術領袖和從業者,分享本地和國際的良好政策與實踐、創新理念、以及藝術通達和社會共融的研究與技術。 詳情:https://www.adahk.org.hk/?a=doc&id=4574 購買:https://live.cityline.com/brief?eventId=36519&wl=AAIS ================ Arts Access Australia Art Beyond Sight 藝造人才 Art in Hospital 藝術在醫院 Audiovisability BiG-i Art Project c2 Inc Disability Arts Cymru / Celfyddydau Anabledd Cymru French May 法國五月 團結香港基金 National Gallery Singapore Royal Academy of Arts Something To Aim For Superhero Me The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong 香港盲人輔導會 HKSB Kennedy Center Office of Access & VSA 香港耀能協會 SAHK West Kowloon Cultural District 西九文化區 ================ #藝術通達國際研討會 #ArtsAccessibilityInternationalSymposium #共融 #藝術通達 ================ 本會動向: ‪‪‪‪‪‪http://adahk.org.hk‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ ‬Instagram: ada_hongkong YouTube: ‪‪‪‪‪http://bit.ly/2mftgrg‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ ‬讓展能藝術家閃耀舞台 ,請支持 : ‪‪‪http://bit.ly/2kvKErx‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
    #OnlineEvent: AccessLEAD: Thinking about and supporting people with Long–Haul COVID-19 on Thursday, March 10 from 7:30 - 8:30pm GMT (2:30-3:30pm EST) Join Kennedy Center Office of Access & VSA for a Lightning talk - short but thorough presentation - on Post-COVID-19: What it is, Accessibility Considerations and More with Dr. Tiernan Damas, COVID Compliance Monitor, Dance Place, DC. The shared practical information and Universal Design approach will benefit many other people in addition to supporting those who have Long-haul COVID. A facilitated discussion led by Emma Allen, Director of Operations at the Bell Museum, University of Minnesota will follow the presentation. There will also be an opportunity for LEAD updates. Speech to Text (CART) and ASL interpretation will be provided. Book today and find out more here [Website]: https://buff.ly/35zJaUa #AccessAndInclusion #ArtsAndDisability #KCLead #AccessLead
    Attention Playwrights with disabilities! There is still time to apply for the 2022 Kennedy Center Office of VSA and Accessibility Playwright Discovery Program Competition! Applicants will submit a "ten-minute script" of any genre which may be for plays, musicals, multimedia, video, film, TV, podcasts, or other writing for performance. In addition to modest financial awards, winners will have the opportunity to continue developing their script with industry professionals. The application deadline is Wednesday, March 9, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Apply and learn more, here: https://bit.ly/30JVAH3
    Mene ne a zuciyarka?
    There's still time to apply to the 2022 Kennedy Center Office of VSA and Accessibility International Young Soloist Competition! Applicants will compete for the chance to win the VSA International Young Soloists Award ($2,000) and the opportunity to perform at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The application deadline is Monday, February 28, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Apply and learn more, here: https://bit.ly/31WGBtF ID: A young man playing the piano
    CALL FOR 🎶 SUBMISSIONS: Kennedy Center Office of VSA and Accessibility invites outstanding young musicians with disabilities, ages 14-25, to apply for the 2022 VSA International Young Soloists Award! Applications are due by Monday, February 28, 2022. Learn more at https://www.kennedy-center.org/education/opportunities-for-artists/competitions-and-commissions/vsa-international-young-soloists
    From the Kennedy Center Office of VSA and Accessibility: Young writers with disabilities are invited to submit a 'ten-minute script' of any genre. Scripts may be for plays, musicals, multimedia, video, film, TV, podcasts, or other writing for performance. Entries may be the work of an individual student or a collaboration of two students that includes at least one student with a disability. A panel of theater professionals selects division winners. Learn more or apply by March 9, 2022: https://www.kennedy-center.org/education/opportunities-for-artists/competitions-and-commissions/vsa-playwright-discovery/?fbclid=IwAR1IzNls6Z5tmGHJhivq3keMAGLLpZVoZeiewwCC0vKAytUJ5rF9GihgtnY
    Young writers ages 15-18 with disabilities are invited to apply to the 2022 Kennedy Center Office of VSA and Accessibility Playwright Discovery Program Competition! Applicants will submit a ten-minute script of any genre which may be for plays, musicals, multimedia, video, film, TV, podcasts, or other writing for performance. In addition to modest financial awards, winners will have the opportunity to continue developing their script with industry professionals. The application deadline is Wednesday, March 9, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Apply and learn more, here: https://bit.ly/30JVAH3 ID: Two people sit at a table with scripts
    Musicians ages 14-25 with disabilities from around the world are invited to apply to the 2022 VSA International Young Soloist Competition! Applicants will compete for the chance to win the Kennedy Center Office of VSA and Accessibility International Young Soloists Award ($2,000) and the opportunity to perform at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The application deadline is Monday, February 28, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Apply and learn more, here: https://bit.ly/31WGBtF ID: A young man in a black shirt playing a piano
    #AccessSummit: Thinking about submitting a proposal for LEAD 2022? Kennedy Center Office of VSA and Accessibility are hosting two sessions where facilitators will answer questions and assist you in writing a successful proposal! These online workshops are FREE and open to anyone interested in proposing a session or workshop for the upcoming LEAD Conference in August 2022. AccessLEAD - Tips for Proposal Writing Thursday, November 18 from 5pm to 6pm GMT (12pm to 1pm ET) This workshop will go over the various components of the proposal – the different types of sessions, session information and session outline. This session will be presented in webinar format and recorded for people who cannot attend. CART and ASL interpretation provided. AccessLEAD – Proposal Writing Office Hours Tuesday, December 7 between 7pm to 8pm GMT (2pm and 3pm ET) This session is informal and geared towards people who are considering submitting a proposal, or in the middle of submitting a proposal and have some questions or are looking for clarification. Everyone who registers is welcome to drop in at any point during the hour, and stay for as long or short a time as you like. It will be meeting style, not a webinar. CART and ASL interpretation provided. Find out more and register today here [Website]: https://buff.ly/3oApXHK #AccessAndInclusion #ArtsAndDisability #AccessLead #LEAD2022