Tuesday, June 05, 2007

VSA arts Hosts Congressional Reception

WASHINGTON D.C. — VSA arts will hold a congressional reception honoring 13 students with disabilities for their artwork. The students participated in ArtLink, an international cultural exchange program.

ArtLink paired 51 U.S. classrooms with a classroom in another country last November. Students of all levels of ability aged 7-14 created visual artwork and exchanged it with their partner classroom. One piece of artwork by a student in each classroom was selected to join the exhibition. Representatives from the embassies of several of the participating countries will also be in attendance at the reception.

The representative artists include: Seng Keng Moua from Anchorage, Alaska; Robert Bernal from Sacramento, Calif.; Queen Hudgins from the District of Columbia; Catie Updyke from Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.; Kim Squires from Kansas City, Kan.; Curtis Schaefer from Clio, Mich.; Alexis Baham from Puckett, Miss.; Dylan Gray from Aberdeen, N. J.; Luke Montemarano from Westerville, Ohio; Erin White from Pawtucket, R.I.; Jose Antonio Pradofrom Salt Lake City, Utah; Matthew Cartner from Brattleboro, Vt.; and Gabrielle Reimann from Casper, Wyo. Their work is part of the "CultureScope: Focusing in on My Life" exhibition on display at Union Station from June 5-24.

VSA arts is an international nonprofit organization founded in 1974 by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith to create a society where people with disabilities learn through, participate in, and enjoy the arts. VSA arts is an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Since our focus is business giving, we don't often promote nonprofit organization programs direct. However, this news from VSA arts really jumped out at us. The artists are extremely talented, enough so that it makes you wonder if the more appropiate term is "gifted" instead of "students with disabilities." The work is stunning. The artists interesting. The program more than worthwhile.

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