An Affiliate of Seven Hills Foundation
VSA Massachusetts promotes the involvement of people of all abilities in the cultural life of our communities.
VSA Massachusetts is part of an international network of VSA organizations serving 35 states and over 50 other countries. VSA is affiliated with The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Originally known as the National Committee Arts for the Handicapped and formerly named Very Special Arts, VSA arts changed its name in 1999, eliminating the use of the word "special" to honor the progress made by members of the disability community since the organization's inception. The letters VSA now reflect the Vision of an inclusive community, Strength in shared resources and Artistic expression that unite us all.
This affiliation is unique in its ability to transcend all of our various areas of supports and services, and help all people access their communities. Our new Vice President of VSA, Charles J. Washburn, noted, "VSA Massachusetts has found a great deal of common ground with Seven Hills Foundation in recent years. We are excited by this affiliation and a singular opportunity to engage more people of all abilities in the arts, confront myths about ability, and help build a more inclusive community."
Art Transforms Schools
The VSA Massachusetts COOL School model creates classrooms where students and teachers have a Creative Outlook on Learning. Through the arts, students have a variety of ways to experience academic content, express what they know, and engage in learning. The model engages students and teachers through the arts to transform schools into inclusive communities. COOL teaching artists collaborate with classroom teachers to introduce strategies inherent in the arts to include every student and support their learning in the arts as well as in other academic subjects. There are currently COOL School partners in nineteen schools in the Boston area, including Worcester and Gardner.