About

History of Vsartsri

VSA arts Rhode Island is a statewide, nonprofit, arts and education organization dedicated to providing opportunities for children and adults with disabilities to actively participate in the arts.

VSA arts Rhode Island creates high quality programs in literary, performing, and visual arts for inclusive audiences throughout the state. Through its collaborations with partners from the arts, cultural, disability, and educational communities, VSA Arts Rhode Island increases public awareness of the creative talents of people with disabilities, integrating their achievements into Rhode Island’s mainstream community, and providing cultural experiences for all.

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VSA arts RI is accredited by the national VSA, founded in 1974 by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith as an educational affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. There are 50 VSA State Organizations and more than 60 organizations worldwide. While the VSA arts national organization provides “seed money” and regional coordination, all VSA organizations function autonomously. VSA arts Rhode Island was incorporated in September of 1986, and was awarded non-profit status under section 501(c)(3) in March 1988.

VSA arts RI sponsors exhibits, performances and general public events to showcase the artistic accomplishments, and increase public awareness, of the talents and abilities of children and adults with disabilities. VSA arts RI advocates that all public arts agencies actively promote their programs to include persons with disabilities, and present fully accessible programs and events.

VSA arts RI is the only agency in Rhode Island which exists solely for the purpose of providing opportunities in the arts by, with and for individuals with disabilities. Annually, more than 20,000 Rhode Islanders benefit from VSA arts Rhode Island’s programs, exhibits and events.

Our Mission 

VSA arts RI creates individually designed artist-in-residency programs which place professional artists in classrooms and in community sites in order to provide intensive “hands on” arts experiences for children, youth and adults with disabilities. Each program is designed to leave both teachers and students with a legacy of new skills and a greater understanding of the importance of arts education for all children and adults.

VSA arts RI provides training to professional artists, teachers, administrators, service providers, and parents on the design and administration of high quality arts programs thus enabling them to discover new ways of recognizing, developing and promoting the artistic skills of individuals with disabilities.

Our Impact Across the World So Far

114,000

Children & Adults Helped

22

Water Wells Installed

800,000

Gallons of Clean Water

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205 Poplar St
Elizabeth, Louisiana(LA)
(318) 634-5413