Governments, United Nations agencies, and other institutions have been commemorating International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) annually on December 3 for over 20 years to promote awareness and mobilize support for issues related to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in society. Members of the VSA Network are celebrating IDPD all over the world; read on to learn more about arts education events happening on December 3 in Egypt, Canada, and the United States.
VSA Egypt is celebrating IDPD with an in-school event for 120 students ages 5-16 with physical and motor disabilities. The event is a collaboration between VSA Egypt, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Culture; it includes arts and crafts activities, as well as games and sports competitions. VSA Egypt is also presenting a performance of a popular Cairo puppet show at the school, and snacks will be offered throughout the day.
The Creative Spirit Art Centre (CSAC) in Toronto, Canada is celebrating IDPD with a lunchtime ceremony on December 3. The ceremony recognizes three individuals who have helped CSAC through their professional contributions in the field of art and disability. Those receiving awards are: Christina Martins, a politician working to make artists with disabilities visible by creating exhibitions in her constituency office; Amee Le from the Community Head Injury Resource Services of Toronto, who has created art programs and workshops for people with head injuries; and artist Mayuko Ueda, a volunteer art facilitator, administrator, and independent scholar in Art Brut practice in Japan and Canada. CSAC artists are presenting the three awardees with works of art at the ceremony.
On December 3, 2015, VSA Tennessee (United States) is hosting a reception at the Sumner County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau in Gallatin, Tennessee. The reception features clay art created through a VSA Tennessee workshop under the direction of artist Kathy Plourde with Project 22. The workshop and art are part of an international art and education exchange with VSA Egypt. The event also features several VSA Tennessee performers, including VSA Tennessee Young Soloist winner Logan Blade, the Dulcimer Choir, and the Movement Connection dancers.
Also in the United States, Arts Access in Raleigh, North Carolina, is celebrating IDPD with an evening event on December 3. Arts Access’ “An Evening with Friends” at the Roundabout Art Collective in Raleigh features inclusive art, music, food, and drinks. Attendees also get a sneak preview of artist King Nobuyoshi Godwin’s new exhibit at the event.
The United Nations (UN) recognizes IDPD with a series of events at UN headquarters in New York. For more information about UN celebrations, visit their website.