Around the world and across the VSA Network, communities will be celebrating International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) on December 3, 2016, with special events, performances, and exhibitions. The following celebrations, planned by members of the VSA Network, offer a glimpse into the diversity and breadth of programming throughout this community.
VSA Egypt is organizing a visual arts exhibition featuring the work of six artists with disabilities from all over Egypt. Featured artists include Zaynab Abd Alrahem, Rahma Kaled, Ahmed Nagi, Yahya Adel, Karim Alnagar, and Vivyan Anton. The exhibition will be held in the art gallery of the Cairo Opera House.
- Kulttuuria kaikille (Culture for All) of Finland is participating in DiDa 2016 – Disability Day Art & Action in Helsinki on IDPD. DiDa offers a wide array of arts and events, including theater, dance, circus, poetry, and creative workshops.
- VSA Philippines will celebrate with an exhibit bazaar sale at the Asian Development Bank in Pasig City. Items featured in the exhibit include Saori weaving (created through a community-based rehabilitation program), paper folding, rugs, bags, and cards.
- The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh will host their “Come Say Hi!” program, where children can explore the world of calligraphy and experiment with creating their own lettering style. Attendees will also learn to say “Hi! My name is…” in American Sign Language and Braille to celebrate IDPD.
- Dancing Wheels Company & School of Ohio will offer a public performance of The Snowman on December 3. Local children of all abilities and ages will participate in the Kids Around the World section of the show onstage with the Dancing Wheels Company
- VSA Wisconsin is participating in an event hosted by insurance company WPS Health Solutions. They will have a public awareness table with information on their programs and merchandise to sell. VSA Wisconsin President Kathie Wagner says this is the second year they have participated, and they find it to be a good opportunity to get the word out; last year, they gained a volunteer from the event!
- New Jersey’s Roxey Ballet is offering a sensory-friendly performance of the holiday classic Nutcracker on December 3, 2016. This performance is especially designed for children and adults with autism spectrum disorder and other sensitivities or special needs. Audience members can find a pre-visit social story and performance picture schedule on the Roxey Ballet website.
- The River Performing and Visual Arts Center in Houston, Texas, is hosting their fall 2016 recital, Global Bazaar, on December 3. Students with disabilities and their siblings ages 4-19 will sing, dance, and act in musical numbers. The recital is free and open to the public.
- At the Cummer Museum in Jacksonville, Florida, the Art Connections educational space will feature an annual Women of Vision show, produced by the museum’s class of women who are blind or have low vision. Art Connections will also have paintings by students at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind on display on December 3.
IRT of New York City is offering Space, Time, and the Body, a free introductory Viewpoints-based workshop for deaf and hearing artists presented by Kim Weild and Alexandria Wailes, on December 2.
- First Stage in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, will deliver a special curtain speech during performances of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on December 3, making sure audiences are aware of the day and the many ways First Stage is inclusive to all people.
- VSA Massachusetts is participating in a December 3 event in the Atrium of Boston’s Prudential Center. Artist Jon Sarkin will display his work and give a spoken work performance about living with an acquired brain injury.