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VSA Massachusetts promotes the involvement of people of all abilities in the cultural life of our communities and develops multi-sensory arts-based teaching strategies in our schools, opening new windows onto the general curriculum for all students. VSAM is a leader in an international network founded in 1974 by Jean Kennedy Smith and affiliated with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Who we work with - VSA Massachusetts reaches close to 76,000 people annually through groundbreaking and effective statewide programs in the two broad areas of education and cultural access. We work with teachers and students, parents and school administrators. We also work with artists, cultural organizations and people advocating for the rights of people with disabilities. Education Programs - VSAM educational programming has provided 30 years of quality arts learning opportunities for students of all abilities in schools and communities across Massachusetts. Each year, we partner with 20 schools collaborating with approximately 200 educators and 2,000 students statewide. We collaborate with major teaching universities to train educators in inclusive, arts-integrated instruction. We are the go to organization for trainings in how to provide opportunities for students with and without disabilities in the arts. Open Door Gallery - The Open Door Gallery opened its doors at The NonProfit Center in March 2009. Since that date we have exhibited the work of emerging artists with disabilities. The purpose of the gallery is to advance careers in the arts by people with disabilities, provide a model of accessibility, and to promote public awareness of the contributions of artists of all abilities in our cultural experience. Cultural Access- VSAM Cultural Access programs provide resources, trainings and technical assistance to help make venues and events accessible to people of all abilities. Inclusive by Design? performances provide audiences with people of all abilities with a multi-art, multi-sensory experience. The Boston ARTreach Initiative provides tickets to accessible performances and events donated from cultural organizations. ADA Cultural Access Grants create opportunities for cultural organizations to engage artists, humanists and interpretive scientists with disabilities in the creative work of the organizations. Programs are intended to be accessible and to reflect Universal Design principles.