Wednesday, September 13, 2006

CORE: Defining Ourselves

The Arts and Disability Network and Arts and Services for Disabled, Inc. are organizing a sequel to last year’s successful CORE: Defining Ourselves exhibition. The purpose of CORE 2 is to showcase artwork, literature, and performances by artists with disabilities, and to provide a space for arts and disability advocates to build common bonds within the greater Southern California community. The exhibition will open November 16, 2006. Entries must be received by: Friday, October 6, 2006.

For eligibility and application guidelines for CORE 2 (please specify visual art or performance) contact:

Monica Ritson


Arts and Services for Disabled, Inc

1903 169th St

Gardena, CA 90247

Phone: (562) 982 0247 Fax: (562) 982 0254


Friday, September 08, 2006

National Art Contest from NCCRESt

Showing Schools That Value & Include All Students

The National Center for Culturally Responsive Educational Systems (NCCRESt) is sponsoring a national art contest in conjunction with its National Forum.

It is looking for artistic representations of what schools look like that value and include the backgrounds, experiences, and heritage of all students.

Work submitted to this contest will be used on products and materials developed by NCCRESt to raise awareness and to help people across the nation understand the vision of inclusive, culturally responsive education.

The contest is open to students in grades K-12 and adults. The grand prize winner will receive a $300 cash award and a trip for two to Washington, D.C., to attend the 2007 National Forum on Disproportionality in Education, February 7-9, 2007. At this national forum, the grand prize winner will be honored at a reception and artwork will be on display.

Contest applications must be submitted by October 31, 2006.

For more information, visit the NCCREST Web site.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Call for Art for Artists With Disabilities

VSA arts of Virginia is proud to announce new visual art exhibition opportunities for artists with disabilities

VSA arts of Virginia works to ensure adults, youth and children with disabilities and others with limited arts access to express themselves through visual, literary and performing arts. Our programs assist participants to develop confidence, inspire creativity and provide opportunities to use their imaginations in creative and nurturing settings. VSAVA showcases the talents and strengths of each participant and promotes a greater awareness of the benefits of the arts in the lives of all people.

The Outside the Lines Exhibitions Program, is open to adults, youth and children and offers local and regional and national artists with disabilities and others with limited arts access ways to showcase their work for sale while learning how to professionally submit art for consideration in juried and curated art exhibitions. Other arts non-profits that serve artists with disabilities, as well as schools and other agencies that support artists with disabilities are encouraged to submit works by groups of artists with disabilties. Preference will be given to submissions from artists in VSAVA statewide districts but please do not feel limited by this; the criteria for selection will be broad.

Outside the Lines defines "outsider art" as work of artists, often with disabilities, who demonstrate little influence from the mainstream art world and who seem instead motivated by their unique personal visions. This includes what is known as self-taught art, art brut, non-traditional folk art, intuitive and visionary art.


This year we are excited to announce we are accepting work from artists with disabilities from Virginia and beyond to promote a global community and to help dissipate the isolation and loneliness that sometimes exist for artists with disabilities.

Materials must be received by VSAVA by January 1, 2007 for consideration. Questions? Contact Krishanna Spencer, State Exhibition Curator by phone at 804.230.0246 or by e-mail at


· Artists with disabilities working in two-dimensional visual media or three-dimensional hanging works are invited to submit work for consideration in rotating art exhibits and shows for the 2006-2007 calendar year.

· Only original works created within the last 3 years and not previously shown by VSAVA will be accepted. All media, styles, and techniques are eligible.


· Outside the Lines is open to all artists with disabilities. There is no entry fee. Exhibit is open to all media. If special considerations are needed, please call Krishanna Spencer at 804.230.0246 for questions.

· Works may not exceed 3'x3'. Works on paper must be framed and preferably Plexiglas or glass and ready for hanging.

· Works on stretchers (i.e. canvases) don't need to be framed, but must have finished edges and should be wired or have saw-toothed hangers attached.

· Any other types of work are acceptable, as long as they can be hung from a nail. Weight of artwork cannot exceed 35 lbs.


To be considered, proposals must include the following items:

1. Introductory letter

2. A maximum of five (5) prints or CD digital format. If you are mailing work on prints, each picture must be labeled with the following: name, title, date, media, and dimensions (width x length x depth). Contact Krishanna for questions or assistance.

3. If you are submitting digital images on CD-rom, images must be in .jpeg format, 1200 x 900 pixels and 300 DPI, no larger than 4”x 6”. The file name should follow this format: last name, first name, image number, and the title. Example: DoeJane1Untitled. Photos/CDs will not be returned for selected works. Contact Krishanna for questions or assistance.

4. A one-page artist statement (to be displayed with artwork)

5. A SASE for returning materials

6. Signed copy of the attached Artist’s Agreement and submission forms


Reasonable care will be taken with all submitted materials. None of VSAVA’s, venue[s], their officers, staff, volunteers, jurors, or anyone connected with the exhibition will be responsible for loss or damage however caused. Your entry into this exhibition constitutes agreement with these terms and conditions set forth by this prospectus.

Selected Work

All artists will be mailed a notification letter upon selection. This notification letter will include shipping and hand delivery deadlines, as well as shipping and pick up dates.

Works selected for exhibition must have a completed label affixed to the lower right-hand corner on the back of the work. Label must include artist’s name, address, phone number, e-mail, title of work, medium year the work was completed, dimensions and price. Contact Krishanna for questions or assistance.

Artists will receive 70% of the sales from their work. Exhibitions will be held at one of the following venues below, unless otherwise specified in the acceptance letter.

Outside the Lines Exhibition Venues

Max’s Positive Vibe CafĂ©, a training restaurant in Richmond providing a hands-on teaching environment for people with disabilities to learn basic and chef level food service skills, has generously donated the walls of its foyer and dining room to VSAVA to give artists with disabilities a venue in which to show and sell their work.

The Children’s Museum of Richmond is a Universally designed museum, providing a hands-on learning environment for children of all abilities. The museum generously provides exhibition space for our children’s art programs and is home to our MusicLink program.

Nextel Communications Headquarters has donated wall space (approximately 22 ft.) in their headquarters to VSAVA giving artists with disabilities another venue in which to show and sell their work in a corporate environment.

Outside the Lines is VSAVA’s gallery space. Located at the state VSA arts of Virginia office its mission is to promote public awareness, understanding, and appreciation of outsider art through education and exhibition.

We are also developing other exhibition venues around Richmond in prominent areas to be announced as they are added.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Ten Commandments of Etiquette for Communicating with Persons with Disabilities

1. When talking with a person with a disability, speak directly to that person rather than through a companion or sign language interpreter.

2. When introduced to a person with a disability, it is appropriate to offer to shake hands. People with limited hand use or who wear an artificial limb can usually shake hands.

3. When meeting a person with a visual impairment, always identify yourself and others who maybe with you.When conversing in a group, remember to identify the person to whom you are speaking.

4. If you offer assistance, wait until the offer is accepted. Then listen to or ask for instructions.

5. Treat adults as adults. Address people who have disabilities by their first names only when extending the same familiarity to all others. (Never patronize people who use wheelchairs by patting them on the head or shoulder.)

6. Leaning or hanging on a person’s wheelchair is similar to leaning or hanging on a person and is generally consider inappropriate. The chair is part of the personal body space of the person who uses it.

7. Listen attentively when you’re talking with a person who has difficulty speaking. Be patient and wait for the person to finish, rather than correcting or speaking for the person. If necessary, ask short questions that require short answers, a nod, or shake of the head. Never pretend to understand if you are having
difficulty doing so. Instead, repeat what you have understood and allow the person to respond. The response will guide your understanding.

8. When speaking with a person in a wheelchair or a person who uses crutches, place yourself at eye level in front of the person to facilitate the conversation.

9. To get the attention of a person who is Deaf or hard of hearing, tap the person on the shoulder or wave your hand. Look directly at the person and speak clearly, slowly, and expressively to determine if the person can read your lips. Not all people who are hard of hearing can lip-read. For those that do not lip-read, be sensitive to their needs by placing yourself so that you face the light source and keep hands, cigarettes, and food away from your mouth while speaking.

10. Relax. Don’t be embarrassed if you happen to use accepted, common expression such as “See you later.” or “Did you hear about that?” that seem to relate to a person’s disability.

People First Language

It seems so simple. Think of the person, not the disability. Thinking of the person first will allow the disability awareness to come quite naturally.

The following information might help you. Below are two excerpts from Access and Opportunities: A Guide to Disability Awareness, a publication written and distributed by VSA arts.

Language shapes the way those around us speak and act toward one another and conveys the respect we
have for others. The use of appropriate language about people with disabilities can be an important tool in
building a community that accepts all people.

Suggestions to Improve Access and Positive Interactions

Please avoid euphemisms such as “physically-challenged,” or “differently-abled.” Many disability groups feel these phrases reinforce the idea that disabilities cannot be spoken of in an upfront and direct manner.

**Think of it this way: you wouldn’t call a friend with cancer “my cancerous friend,” so why would you call a friend who is Deaf, “my Deaf friend”?

Using terms such as “afflicted with,” “suffers from,” or “crippled with” sensationalizes the disability. These
expressions are considered inaccurate to people with disabilities.

When referring to people who use wheelchairs, avoid using terms such as “wheelchair bound” or “confined to a wheelchair.” Wheelchairs do not confine people with disabilities—they provide freedom of movement to assist them in traveling throughout the community.

Basic Guidelines for Disability Awareness
• Person with a disability;
• Person who is blind; person with a visual impairment
• Person who is Deaf; person who is hard of hearing
• Person with a mental illness
• Person with a developmental disability; person with mental retardation
• Person who uses a wheelchair
• Person with a physical disability; person with a mobility impairment

Congratulations are in order!

VSA arts of Virginia would like to extend our warm congratulations to Josh Blue on becoming the Last Comic Standing!! You know NBC's stand-up comedy competition....

For those of you who aren't familiar with Josh, he is an exceptionally talented comedian, ParaOlympic soccer player and awesome artist. Oh yeah. And he just happens to have Cerebral Palsy.

You can see his his Last Comic Standing skits on YouTube .

You can learn more about Josh, talk to Josh, listen to Josh, see Josh's are, find out where Josh is, laugh a lot and buy his CD buy going to his website.

Congrats, Josh!