Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Night Supporting Arts for All

By Guest Blogger, Jennifer Gunther
Jennifer is the Executive Director of VSA Arts of Delaware and an advocate for appropriate and fulfilling access to the Arts for all. Artwork by Ryan Griffin, age 5.

Once referred to by a funder as “a well-kept secret that everyone should know about”, VSA Delaware (VSADE) is a statewide organization that promotes expression through the Arts, with particular focus on opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The evening of Friday, June 4, delivered an experience in “our world of Art”, with an exceptional exhibit: the Celebration of Creativity (COC) 2010 Friends Reception at the Arts Center/Gallery at Delaware State University.

The exhibit is a collection of more than 65 works by artists with disabilities who have participated in VSADE Artist-in-Residency programs. For participants, the program provided the chance for their work to be professionally recognized. In addition, the reception provided a musical performance by the Delaware Young Soloist awardee, Jeffrey Wu. Jeffery, a 15-year-old student at the Brennan School in Newark, noted that creative and artistic accomplishments are possible when opportunity is provided. The COC 2010 exhibit will continue through Wednesday, June 30, at the Arts Center/Gallery; in September, it will travel to additional exhibition sites throughout the state.

Perhaps I am a bit partial, but I believe VSADE is one of those organizations that should never be a “well-kept secret”! We at VSADE hope that everyone will acknowledge the Arts as a powerful education tool for everyone, regardless of ability or disability!

See http://www.vsadelaware.org/.

P.S.: As I write this, I have just returned from the opening ceremonies of the VSA International Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC (www.vsarts.org). I was enthralled by the conceptual dance of artist Bill Shannon, the amazing vocals of Prudence Mabhena and the delightful talent of Patti LaBelle. It was a great night for the arts and disability.

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