VSA Vermont is now accepting applications for the Spring 2018 session of our Start with the Arts Program for home based registered childcare providers and for our newest program Start with the Arts Family & Community Engagement, for childcare providers who have already completed our Start with the Arts program. For more information see the Start with the Arts page

Why the funky coffee sleeve?

A grid of decorated coffee sleeves, both with brown and white backgrounds, fill this image. At the center is a rainbow of color surrounded by a white paintbrush.

We are once again celebrating the coming new year by giving away free original artwork on coffee sleeves at select coffee shops in Chittenden County this holiday season. Last year was the start of this project, which started to celebrate our 30th anniversary. To get the project going, VSA Vermont distributed blank coffee sleeves and brightly colored markers to program participants and volunteers for fanciful art-making throughout the fall. Starting Wednesday, December 20th the sleeves will add some extra kick to cups of coffee purchased at Shelburne Village Wine and Coffee of Shelburne and August First of Burlington.

The colorful sleeves were created this fall at VSA Vermont programs across the state, including partnerships with Howard Center, Champlain Community Services, Fletcher Free Library, and Vermont Afterschool. We estimate about 640 creations have been completed to date. “We have received a great response so far from participants of the project, and plan to keep collecting these works of art up until they are shared in local shops,” said Heidi Swevens, VSA Vermont’s Volunteer Coordinator. “This project blends creative expression with community connection. Joy, laughter, and imagination were poured into the designs, but that is only part of the magic. We’re thrilled that the art will connect with someone in the community as well.”

As the label on each sleeve says, we’re sure you’re asking, why the funky coffee sleeves? The project was started last year to celebrate VSA Vermont’s 30 th anniversary and was so much fun that the we decided to make it annual tradition. “Making and sharing art with the local community is a wonderful way for our talented artists to give back. We thank them and our community for celebrating the creative talents of Vermont with disabilities and for building a more creative Vermont together,” said Susan Evans McClure, VSA Vermont’s Executive Director.

Individuals may request a verbal description of their coffee sleeve by emailing a photo to info@vsavt.org. Someone from the organization will respond shortly.

Mentoring Program: Meet a Match!

Meet Sasha and Noah, a mentoring pair from VSA Vermont!

VSA Vermont presents a groundbreaking new mentoring program matching adults with disabilities and youth with disabilities to participate in the arts together. These intergenerational connections foster pairs’ community engagement, creative self-expression, and enjoyment of the arts, while easing the transition of graduation for emerging young adults. The program also includes technical assistance to cultural venues wishing to welcome more people with disabilities.

We’re now looking for mentors and mentees for the 2017-18 program year! For more information, application forms, and additional videos, see the High School Program page.

You can download a supplemental document that is designed to provide highlights of the visual part of the video as well as text of the captioning correlated with the names, titles and organizations of the speakers. It is in large print format. Verbal Description for “Meet a Match” (.DOCX) –>

A young woman at an Aha! painting class reaches into a red bucket.

With a backdrop of a hay bale and a large painted easel pad, a young woman wearing a green t-shirt with stamped horse shoe prints on it reaches into a red bucket, gazing down at the unseen object she is about to take out, while making art at a barn as part of a VSA VT education program.

“VSA Arts theater changed my whole life. Now the door is open. All you have to do is walk in.” Bill Villemaire

Wherever Vermonters are seeking to find their voices or to participate in arts events, VSA Vermont (VSA VT) can help. No matter where you live, no matter your age or ability, we would like to hear from you. VSA VT uses the magic of the arts to engage the capabilities and enhance the confidence of children and adults with disabilities. Let us know how we can make the arts a bridge to new communication and experience for you.

A bulky black and white cow stands on a hillside of red, purple and yellow.

In this award winning painting by Jacob Potwin of Randolph, brilliant colors define a hilly landscape in which a large cow stands at the right hand edge of the painting, gazing at the viewer.

“I support VSA because through art we can all share our dreams and hopes, transcending our differences, no matter where life’s journey has taken us.”Susan Ritz