Friday, January 20, 2006

Opportunities; January 2006



The American Bar Association Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law is pleased to announce that nominations for the sixth annual Paul G. Hearne Award for Disability Rights are now being accepted. Each year, an award is presented to an individual or an organization that has performed exemplary service in furthering the rights, dignity, and access to justice for people with disabilities.

The 2005 award went to the Honorable Judge Rhonda J. Brown, a disability rights advocate and Review Judge, employed by the by the Washington State Employment Security Department. The other past award recipients include: Anil Lewis (a blind advocate and assistant program counselor), Disability Rights Advocates, Mr. Robert Perske (disability rights advocate), Professor Stan Herr (professor, lawyer, and advocate), Marylou Breslin and the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, and Professor Jim Ellis (professor, lawyer, and advocate).

Join us in recognizing outstanding public service to some of the 54 million Americans with disabilities. Paul G. Hearne was a distinguished advocate for those Americans, so please help us to make the award recipient a truly distinguished individual or organization. Enclosed is a nomination form with a statement of the selection criteria.

Send your nomination form and attachments to:

Jamie Hochman Herz

American Bar Association

Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law

321 N. Clark St. Mail Stop 19.1

Chicago, IL 60201


All forms must be postmarked by March 1, 2006


The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has announced grant awards totaling $1,350,000 through the Challenge America: Reaching Every Community program. Bringing the arts to all Americans is a significant part of the NEA's mission. Challenge America: Reaching Every Community Fast Track Review is integral to that effort through its funding of projects that can have significant effects within their communities, because of the breadth of audiences and participants those project include. One hundred and thirty-five grants of $10,000 each will be given to primarily small and midsized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations—those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. Many projects emphasize the potential of the arts to help strengthen communities. In addition, projects often feature partnerships between arts organizations and other cultural, educational, or civic organizations. /ChallengeAnnounce.html

Deadline: January 30, 2006. The President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) is inviting nominations for the 2006 Coming Up Taller Awards. In partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities is embarking on the ninth year of the Coming Up Taller Awards, which recognizes the accomplishments of exceptional arts and humanities after-school and out-of-school programs. Coming Up Taller finalists receive $10,000, an individualized plaque, and an invitation to attend the Coming Up Taller Leadership Enhancement Conference.


Deadline: March 1-May 31, 2006. Target Corporation is providing local grants, averaging $1,000 to $3,000, to nonprofit programs. Currently grants focus on three areas: arts, family violence prevention, and reading. Target store team leaders play a key role in local grant programs, reviewing your application, making funding recommendations, and updating you on the status of your request. If you are involved with a nonprofit program and would like to be considered for a Target grant, visit the website for additional guidelines.


Henrico County Libraries are sponsoring a contest for display artwork
for the new Tuckahoe Library (Starling Road) ages 5 - adult.

The winning artworks will become the property of the library and will
be on permanent display on their walls. One entry per artist. Children's entries should be an illustration inspired by a favorite book. Entries are due by April 22nd.


Teen Zine: Visual Tapas

Students are asked to submit a page for a collaborative publication to be distributed at the April 6 Teen Caffeine Cafe. Details regarding the content of the pages is included with the entry form. Submissions can include poetry, photography, cartoons, collage, drawings, short stories and more. For more information contact Tiffany Glass , Coordinator of Teen Programs at or (804) 340-1573.


NYC-based artist Hilary Cooper is interested in touring her exhibit 'Divided Portraits: Identity and Disability', ref:

Cooper uses portraiture to confront the viewer's perception. 'In portraiture, the head always comes first. In human communication, the head - indeed the eyes - always come first, too. But with people in wheel chairs, the thing that comes first, and the thing that sets all priorities, is that odd chair. It tells the able-bodied at once and forever that the disabled are profoundly different.

These Divided Portraits are painted to right that wrong perception in a deeply visual and emotional way. The portraits are divided; we are not.' Cooper spent some time in a wheelchair, when she broke her neck in 1995. 'Divided Portraits' will be shown at VSA arts of Colorado's Gallery during February and March of 2006.

For more information, please contact Cooper directly at

BRIAN AYERS MEMORIAL CALL FOR ENTRIES: International Juried Art Exhibition Seeks Entries from Talented Artists with Learning Disabilities

The Brian Ayers Memorial Art Exhibition celebrates the artistic ability of children with learning disabilities and dyslexia. This year, as a part of the tenth annual exhibition in Boone, North Carolina, twenty $50 prizes will be awarded to artists whose entries show special artistic merit. Fifteen more artists will receive $20 gift certificates from Cheap Joe's Art Stuff. The 2005 exhibition displayed 98 works from sixteen states and five continents. A piece from the 2004 exhibition is attached. There is no entry fee. Open to artists age 10-19. Entry deadline is May 8, 2006. The exhibition runs from May 23 to June 18, 2006. Visit the Brian Ayers Memorial Art Exhibition Web site, for an Entry Form.

State News: January 2006

  • Newport News artist Cary Ragland, is currently exhibiting at the VSAVA/Sprint/Nextel Headquarters gallery in Reston. Cary was also featured recently in an article in the Virginia Pilot newspaper. The article was about a group exhibition of artwork of self-taught artists at the Shooting Star Gallery in Suffolk. Cary's mom reports that the opening exceeded all expectations and that Cary led sales ($1400) opening night.

  • The State office has acquired approximately 20 feet of wall space outside our office at the Plant Zero complex in Richmond. We will be using this space for exhibitions. We're excited about the additional visibility this space will give our artists and the organization. To propose exhibitions please contact Kris Spencer at (804) 230-0246.

State District News: January 2006


  • Opening Celebration of the 6 th Annual Visual Art Show on Friday, January 13th, 6-8 PM, in the lobby of the Martin Luther King Jr. Performing Arts Center at Charlottesville High School. The show will run from January 13 though March 13 th2006. The unique exhibit, full of beautiful and interesting paintings, drawings and other mediums, includes the works of over 65 adult and teen artists with a variety of disabilities who have worked to developed their special abilities in order to achieve their artistic vision. The show includes artists in this region who have shown their works in individual or group exhibits: Gerald Mitchell, Rosemary Balister, Anne Denit, John Trippel, Laura Burrell, Ray-Mond White, Joe Simms, Frances Chisholm, Robyn Miller, Pat Malone and Chapin Faulconer.
  • Lori Konkle, Charlottesville VSA artist, had an art exhibit of her mouthstick paintings on Oct. 28 at Riverdale Assisted Living where she lives. Over 80 people attended. She sold 2 large framed paintings, 2 unframed paintings and 29 prints. A total of $1,075 was made for the Bible Translation Ministry of Vitaly Voinov in Tuva, Russia. Lori gives all money she makes on her art to this ministry program.
  • Gerald Mitchell, Charlottesville VSA artist currently had a art exhibit at The Jeweler's Eye in October and November.
  • Romney Brand and John Trippel, VSA artists from Charlottesville, this fall had individual art exhibits at Breadworks Bakery & Deli.
  • Pat Malone, Charlottesville VSA artist and writer, had art and poetry on display at Martha Jefferson Hospital this fall.
  • Rose Williams, Charlottesville VSA artist and writer, and 2005 Ms Wheelchair Virginia contestant, this fall has been doing speaking engagements on What the Ms Wheelchair Virginia Pageant is all about and doing Vsa writing workshops with special education students.


  • Please join us in welcoming Lynne Tuckwiller to the VSAVA community. Lynn organizes the arts programming at the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center, Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services. Lynn will be attending the Richmond-area In-service Training next month. Lynn, Mike Kelley (Manager of WWRC's Residential Program) and Erin Hickey (VSAVA Executive Director) are working together to solidify a relationship between our organizations.


  • Upcoming Puppet Workshop
  • January 31st and February 7th in the Mickey Gordon Room on the 2nd Floor; 215 Depot Court S.E., Leesburg VA 20175 from 5:30 to 7:30PM
  • Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing that can get dirty. Please call 540-338-7973 to learn more.


  • Mark your calendars now for the Bell Choir/Ashland Community Chorus Mother's Day Concert and Pot-luck Supper.

Richmond-area In-service Training Workshop

Saturday, February 11th. Coordinators, instructors, volunteers and board members are encouraged to attend.

The workshop will:

· Provide a clear overview of VSAVA's mission and values

· Open discussions about the challenges common to effectively facilitating arts programs with/for people with various disabilities

· Present solutions to those challenges in the context of best practices

· Orient participants to forms and procedures

· Introduce new and existing policies and procedures, available supports, forms and program expectations


  • After completing a great run this year, the cast and volunteers of the theatre group plan to gather next Saturday for their cast party. They've already decided on a theme for next year -- a country and western revue!
  • Heartfelt thanks go out to all who participated in the successful gift-wrapping fundraiser this holiday.