VSA, the international organization on arts and disability, was founded more than 35 years ago by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith to provide arts and educational opportunities for children with disabilities and increase access to the arts for all. Today, through its 52 international affiliates and a network of nationwide affiliates, VSA is changing perceptions about people with disabilities by providing educational resources and arts opportunities around the world. Thanks to the work of VSA and its affiliates, people with disabilities can learn in inclusive education environments and showcase their talents in galleries, on stage and backstage, and on film.
The 2010 International VSA Festival is a testament to Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith's pioneering vision to create a society in which all people can participate in the arts. Featuring more than 600 performers, artists, and educators with and without disabilities from six continents, the 2010 International VSA Festival is truly a multicultural celebration of the way in which we can all learn through and participate in the arts.
Find out how you can make a difference and raise awareness about making the arts accessible to people of all abilities. Visit www.vsarts.org or call 202.628.2800. And be sure to join us on to spread the word about VSA's fantastic arts and education programs!up
VSA in the News
Check out some of the recent media coverage of VSA artists and affiliates:
- The Washington Post features the dark comedy Gretty Good Time, a VSA and Theater Alliance co-production at H Street Playhouse. See it as part of the festival June 10-12.
- CBS features jazz singer and former VSA International Young Soloists Award recipient Melody Gardot, who performs June 7 at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater.
- ABC's Good Morning America features Diagnosis of a Faun, a Tamar Rogoff Performance Projects dance piece commissioned by VSA. Come see it June 10 at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater.
- The Irish Times features Turning Point: New Irish Plays on Disability, co-commissioned for the festival by VSA affiliate Arts & Disability Ireland and Fishamble: The New Play Company. Turning Point is a free staged reading at the Shakespeare Theatre Company's Lansburgh Theatre June 7.
- KCBY in Oregon and The Tribune in Iowa are excited to share stories of local students selected for VSA and CVS Caremark's exhibition "State of the Art," which officially opens at Union Station during the festival before going on a two-year nationwide tour.
2010 International VSA Festival Opening Ceremony
R&B legend Patti LaBelle kicks off the 2010 International VSA Festival in style in a performance that also features the China Disabled People's Performing Art Troupe dancing in shimmering costumes.
Bill Shannon gives a remarkable dance performance of innovative grace and fluid beauty during VSA's opening ceremony.
Prudence Mabhena sings 'Amazing Grace'
Prudence Mabhena performs a rousing rendition of 'Amazing Grace' during VSA's opening ceremony.
Prudence Mabhena delivers a rousing 'Dancing Along'
Prudence Mabhena sings a traditional African song 'Jike'l Emangweni' (Dancing Along) during VSA's opening ceremony.
Prudence Mabhena sings 'Where's My Lady'
Prudence Mabhena delivers a rousing rendition of 'Ipi Ntombi' (Where's My Lady) during VSA's opening ceremony.
China Disabled People's Performing Art Troupe
China Disabled People's Performing Art Troupe performs the 1000-hand dance during VSA's opening ceremony.
Rudely Interrupted is one of Australia's truly unique indie rock acts. The band members share a range of physical and intellectual disabilities with a common interest in self-expression through music. Come see their free show on June 7 at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage.
Contemporary soul singer and acoustic guitarist Raul Midón performs June 12 at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. See his previous Kennedy Center performance:
Adrian Anantawan, Canadian violinist and previous VSA International Young Soloists Award recipient, plays at the Lansburgh Theatre June 8, along with Azariah Tan Peng Chay of Singapore.
Jazz and blues singer Melody Gardot performs June 7 at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Check out her previous Kennedy Center Millennium Stage show.
Lynn Manning, award-winning poet, playwright, actor, and former Blind Judo Champion of the world, will be featured in Readings on Disability on June 10 at Sidney Harman Hall. Here he performs his autobiographical solo play, Weights:
The Matt Savage Trio
- AFI Silver Theatre and VSA Partner to Present the International Disability Film Festival
- Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan to Open Arte Postale Exhibit During 2010 International VSA Festival
- VSA to Host International Education Conference
- VSA Presents the 2010 International VSA Festival
- VSA Announces 2010 International Young Soloists