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VSA Arts Tennessee

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts & Humanities Councils & Agencies

Mission: The mission of VSA arts Tennessee is to provide opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in and express themselves through the arts and arts education.

Programs: VSA initiated a pilot program using a national model in demonstrating collaboration between art specialists and special education teachers. In the residencies, artists work with children with disabilities and teachers to reach  behavioral goals. Residencies have resulted in student run businesses being created, a presentation of a canvass painting to the State legislative body, a student winning a national award and trip to Washington DC, and national publications. The art institute is for children with and without disabilities. It allows the children to learn about a specific culture through the arts ( dance, drama, music, literature and the visual arts) in an inclusive environment. There are pre and post tests to measure learning and a reception at the end of the institute. VSA is soon to publish some of the findings from research conducted on the programs.

Community Stories

11 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Anne60

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

VSA Arts Tennessee is not only inclusive of typical and differently-abled children and adults, but the director herself (Lori Kissinger) often writes personal emails to encourage them! A young lady in Knoxville, herself a learning challenged young adult wants to improve her writing. Though that isn't often a component of VSA Arts Tennessee, Lori thoughtfully directed the gal to other sources in a detailed email. Leadership like that brings out the best in Lori's supporters, as well. Being a professor at Middle Tennessee State University, she teaches her students about community projects. All the while, her students take part and volunteer at the various workshops and events. What a winning combination! When a children are given a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder there can be feelings of isolation for the parents. But the non-profit makes quite an effort to reach communities throughout Tennessee. Additionally, VSA's link to the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center smooths the information routes, making the VKC research readily available to remote areas as well as urban ones.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been blessed as a visual arts coordinator to do two workshops with VSA Arts Tennessee. It is a beautiful sight to see the leadership from within the non-profit consistently create a level playing field for children and adults, allowing all of us to share in the fun growth experiences!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

VSA -TN has provided many unique opportunities for my son. During our involvement with VSA-TN he has attended many workshops, had his art displayed in many great venues, participated a week long Art Institute, participated in Art Festivals, and even had the awesome opportunity of recording some of his favorite songs with other VSA Artists providing music. We have both have learned so much by participating in VSA TN events! We really appreciate the unique educational opportunities provided by VSA TN and look forward to many more!

Tammy34

Client Served

Rating: 5

VSA TN has been a blessing for our family the workshops are amazing. My son Sam Moses has learned how to read and write his own stories because of programs I have involved him in and resorces that Pam Weston has refered me to. We are so thankful to all the people involved with Vsa TN

Bailey E.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Vsa-TN provides a wide array of art opportunities for people with disabilities. I especially appreciate the opportunities for special education students to work with an artist-in-residence to create meaningful artworks that help teach academic lessons.

Dee Dee S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son was so excited to be a part of VSA TN! He felt accepted, appreciated, and valued when he took part in a few of the workshops offered, (and he can't wait to join in more)! As a parent, it means the world to me, that he can be involved in opportunities to showcase his uniqueness and build relationships along the way! VSA TN is a true gem!

Tammy33

Client Served

Rating: 5

VSA of Tennessee is awesome! My family has participated in several unique workshops. We walk away with a sense of accomplishment. It's a great way to make friends and learn artistic skills that otherwise wouldn't be available to us. I have never seen an organization with such a diverse group of talented artists! They are friendly, skilled & so easy to work with. My children always get excited when there is an upcoming workshop. We love VSA of Tennessee!

Advisor

Rating: 5

Fantastic group. Some of the most meaningful projects I've had as a working artist.

thewestonfamily

Volunteer

Rating: 5

"VSA Arts TN has given me many opportunities to learn and to grow and to show others what I can do. I am ten years old now, but I've been participating in workshops and exhibits for VSA Arts TN since I was 5. I have a disability, but these days, people focus on my ability rather than my disability. If it had not been for VSA Arts TN, I would have never had the chance to show people what I can do. When I grow up, I want to be a paleoartist. When I grow up, I will be a paleoartist. " Jalyn

Previous Stories
4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In January 2009, my son was able to participate in a VSA Arts TN cartoon workshop which resulted in an exhibition at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. His work was then included in ATTEAIII at Vanderbilt Kennedy Center. Our community hosted a festival in April 2009 where artwork by individuals was displayed and performances by musicians with disabilities were featured. VSA Arts TN will be holding a PD workshop for visual artists and an art workshop in my community in the coming months. VSA Arts TN has changed the lives of many young people in my community by creating opportunities for them to develop and receive recognition for their marvelous abilities.

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I be came involved with vsa arts in mar 2009 since then sams art has had a lot of reconition, and we have got to go to an art camp for 7 days.We got to go to dollywood this year.VSA has kept me informed about all kinds of opportunities for his art.Sam has had awards for art being displayed in the TN performing arts center. So they have realy been helpful to us thank you VSA