Last week I found out about an exciting celebration- the 25/40 Celebration of the 25 years since ADA was passed and 40 years of Very Special Arts. Turns out Jean Kennedy Smith (John F. Kennedy’s sister) is a big advocate for the arts and people with disabilities and founded Very Special Arts 40 years ago.
VSA is guided by four principals:
- 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.
- All children, youth, and adults with disabilities should have complete access to cultural facilities and activities.
- All individuals with disabilities who aspire to careers in the arts should have the opportunity to develop appropriate skills
They also state that:
“Inclusion teaches us that all means all. Everybody. No exceptions. The arts invite people to leave familiar territory, explore new questions, and seek answers. The arts offer a means to self-expression, communication, and independence. By learning through the arts, students become lifelong learners, experiencing the joy of discovery and exploration, and the value of each other’s ideas. VSA is committed to driving change thru the arts – classroom by classroom, community by community”
While most people at Innisfree are no longer students, we will remain artists forever and are grateful for all of the opportunities VSA has opened up for adults with disabilities.
We decided to take a trip out to the John. F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in D.C. and take in all of the art they had on display! We saw some pretty incredible views from the deck and experienced some great art indoors- thank goodness Katie’s camera was here to save the day when my cellphone died!