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2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit

VSA arts of Massachusetts, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Alliances & Advocacy, Arts & Culture, Arts Education, Education, Special Education

Mission: To promote inclusion of people with disabilitiesin our communities and develop effective arts-based teaching strategies thatallow students with and without disabilities to learn together.

Geographic areas served: Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Programs: VSAM addresses the need for equal access to education, the arts and cultural experiences for people with disabilities. Unique artist residencies are designed for schools that are using the arts to improve instruction and learning for all of their students. Approximately 3000 students and 150 teachers in Massachusetts participate. VSAM also offers in-service professional development for teachers and publishes a guide for teachers who want to use the visual and performing arts in the classroom called the Multi Arts Resource Guide. Participatory arts festivals are offered for integrated groups of students, including workshops in dance, music, drama and visual arts. 

Community Stories

19 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Fabulous organization that believes in improving and supporting the artistic and educational life experience for all, including those with disabilities.

Previous Stories
4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

VSA Arts of Massachusetts is a leader in universal design practice for performances, which they have coined as "Inclusive By Design" They have partnered with my presenting organization, (one of the Major Dance Presenters in the region), to insure the widest possible inclusion and best possible experiential opportunities for audiences with disabilities. They area a mean, lean and passionate organization, and an effective partner in the Boston arts community.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Nothing is more empowering than someone believing in you and treating you with respect. As an artist, I have received empowering support and mentoring from VSA for several years. VSA has given me a touchstone, a team member for brainstorming, help working through situations to positive outcomes, and put me in touch with educational resources within the local art community. I have also attended VSA programs, including an inspirational performance, a workshop and a day-long symposium for artists. VSA recognizes that art enriches our culture and helped me enrich my life as an artist.

12

Client Served

Rating: 5

I started my involvement with VSA of Ma. Inc. about 5 years ago and have been most satisfied with the results of the ongoing support. VSA empowered me to start my own home-based weaving company, 'Angel Weaving'. I have been able to generate a modest income from this endeavor and I thank VSA of Ma. Inc. for their invaluble input. I also enjoy attending the receptions of the artists they have chosen to spotlight. Keep up the good work!!

10

Former staff

Rating: 5

VSAM does a great job bringing the arts to everyone. Recently I attended educational and cultural conversations they hosted. Was a great way to meet and talk with other art lovers with disabilities. They also often host artist exhibit and receptions, which are great!

12

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

VSA Arts of Massachusetts is a wonderful organization that enriches the learning process of children with & without disabilties by helping them tap into their creativity! :-) Maureen Finnerty

11

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

VSA has come to our nature center in Worcester and done an absolutely marvelous job setting up a day long series of activites and workshops working hand and hand with our staff at Mass Audubon's Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary. We are extremely impressed with their staff and expertise. We are very proud to be associated.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

VSA Arts of Massachusetts truly enables students across the Commonwealth to experience the joy of expression through art. The professional staff expedites contracts and billing, supports limited budgets with additional funding, points school personnel to grant opportunities, and offers opportunities for students to display their work. My Gardner Middle School age students were beaming when their Art work was displayed at Harvard University last spring. By blogging and presenting photos of VSA residency a local Art teacher was able to garner additional grant money to support my residency on a tip from VSA office. Gotta have ART!

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I greatly appreciate the mission, programs, and staff of VSA Arts of Massachusetts. Their absolute dedication to bettering our community, through an extremely diverse array of arts offerings, is inspirational. Also being a neighbor of the organization, I am very thankful for their new Open Door gallery - a wonderful addition to Boston's arts scene.

7

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

VSA arts is an outstanding organization. VSA is and continues to be a leader inclusive arts education. Their support of students and artists with disabilities is unmatched.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

VSA Arts of Massachusetts is a leader in developing curriculum and professional development to support inclusive practices and the arts.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

VSA Massachusetts has lead the field in Cultural Access and in the development and implementation of artist residency education and evaluation. They have shared their work with the entire affiliate network and have been helpful in assisting all of us in replicating programs, evaluation tools and supporting the work of the entire network.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with VSA since 1985, doing residencies all over MA. From elementary to high school students with a vast range of skills and potential. VSA has done amazing work to reach out to communities all over the whole state and not only change, inspire, and give hope to students, the whole school community has been effected by their work of bringing in artist to the schools. There were so many settings where my abilities as an artist were utilized and appreciated which gave me as an artist more appreciation for my own work.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

We've had a long-time partnership with VSA Massachusetts. THis partnership has allowed us to bring visual art, music, and dance to students with disabilities in accessible formats. The instructors use the principles of Universal Design when facilitating instruction for all children. Using these principles, all students access the arts at the point most meaningful to them. Bravo for VSA Massachusetts!!!

6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have now been working with VSAArts of MA for over three years indirectly and directly. They have helped my project immensely by guiding the company, consulting, helping disseminate information to their community and helping to produce some of the shows. As a neophyte in the disability world, their openness, expertise and availability has helped me and the porject immensely.

6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

VSA Arts of Massachusetts is an organization that works with people who are disabled to help them participate in the arts through school and community programs in Boston and Worcester. They work to ensure that programs are universally designed to accommodate the various abilities of audiences. As budgets have become smaller and services difficult to deliver, VSA Arts of MA dedication and commitment has grown stronger. Please take a few minutes to help them win designation as a Great Non-profit, which will in turn help them raise money. Having worked with the staff in Boston, I can vouch that they are wonderful, talented and committed to accessibility in the arts. Thank you, Tessil Collins

7

Donor

Rating: 5

VSA Arts has outdone itself in its new space. In the "age of transparency", they have put their strong educational and arts programs right onto the streets of Boston. It's a win for all of us!

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

VSA Mass. is very thoughtful about the work that it does and the benefit of that work. It regularly reviews program outcomes and designs evaluation methods to provide good infomration on which to base decision-making. Workshops presented by VSA Mass. staff are clear, timely, and practical, and help others do better work.

9

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My intern and I attended day long workshop at Worcester, MA's Broadmeadow Brook Audubon Sanctuary last summer. I was very impressed by the levels of engagement I saw happening there. As a life long educator, engagement with materials and ideas is what it is all about. Also inspiring is the way VSA models a philosophy of respect for human difference. Human difference is their spiritual engine and without it, life deflates. VSA sends this message with clarity and purpose.