The Best of Our 2015 Blog Posts

This year has been a big one for the Office of VSA and Accessibility. We ran two incredibly successful conferences, LEAD and VSA Intersections: Arts and Special Education. We also celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the 40th Anniversary of the establishment of VSA. Throughout it all, we’ve posted some spectacular blog posts recognizing special individuals and offered advice and tips for our readers. Here’s a list of our top 5 posts that you all have visited during this great year!

#5 Striking a Balance with Internal and External Program Evaluation

  • ArtsConnection NYC program evaluation process
  • Introduced “Spectrum Musical Theater”

#4 A Vision Embodied

  • VSA 40th Anniverary: Championing the Arts
  • Winners:
    • Niv Ashkenazi – Violinist
    • J.P. Illaramendi – Actor/Musician
    • Marquetta Johnson – Visual Artist
    • Nicole Kelly – Iowa representative in 2013 Miss America competition
    • Blessing Offor – Singer and Songwriter: 2010 VSA International Young Soloists Award Winner
    • Tami Lee Santimyer – Actress
    • Cal Sheridan – 2013 Playwright Discovery Program winner
    • Colette Young – Flautist and Pianist: 2013 VSA International Young Soloists Award winner

#3 Meet the 2015 VSA International Young Soloists Award Winners

  • 31st Anniversary of the International Young Soloists Competition
  • Winners:
    • Sophie Graf, 20 year-old harpist from San Diego, California
    • Alex Lee, 20-year-old violist from Walnut Creek, California
    • Jordan Lulloff, 21-year-old saxophonist  from Okemos, Michigan
    • Amar Moturu, a 15-year-old percussionist from Cypress, Texas

#2 Five Tips for Teaching Dance to Students with Disabilities: Teaching with PRIDE

  • Written by Jenny Seham
  • Five tips to help integrate important, intrinsic dance education values with specific methods for teaching dance to students with disabilities.
  • What is PRIDE?
    • P: Peer Partnerships
      • Dyadic learning, improvisation, interpretation and mirroring practice between partners
    • R: Routines and Rituals
      • Centering routine so teacher can observe progress in students
    • I: Improvisation
      • Give students an emotion, tempo, piece of music, or story to inspire their own dance
    • D: Dance Vocabulary
      • Gives students confidence to practice outside of class
    • E: Excellence
      • Recognize and identify individual achievement throughout class

#1 Five Tips for Working with Students with Developmental Disabilities in the Arts

  • Written by Alice Walker
  • 1. Let the child lead you!
    • Don’t have preconceptions about what a child can and cannot do
  • 2. Begin art making with a game
    • Brings about surprising competencies and talents!
  • 3. Offer students long projects rather than isolated studio lessons
    • Can be adapted to the interests and inclinations of the students
  • 4. Incorporate time for critiques and sharing
    • A constant stream of dialogue throughout art making is essential when working with children with developmental disabilities.
  • 5. Presume competence
    • American educator, Douglas Biklen, invites us to re-conceive what disability is as understood from the standard of normality.

Which post was your favorite and what would you like to see in 2016?


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