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A man playing a saxophone on stage. Painting of a hand cupped around a tiny infant. Vibrantly colored painting of geometric renderings of faces. A woman sculpting a bust out of clay. Close-up of a painting of a human eye in shades of black, red and orange. A woman performing in a play on stage. A young boy smiling at a hand puppet. An exuberant group of participants in the Actual Lives program. A young boy participating in the Arts Alive program. Painting with white and blue hair-like strokes on a background of deep turquoise. Man in a wheelchair viewing artwork in a gallery. Blind artist standing in front of his work. Group of women performing with colored scarves. Man speaking into a microphone with open captioning on a large screen behind him. Group of young students playing a musical game with the teacher.

Welcome to VSA Texas

DanceAbilityTM Teacher Certification Course with Alito Alessi

First Time in the US in over 10 years!!

Registration: $1800 (does not include airfare or housing)
Early bird registration on or before February 28, 2015 for $100 discount
Registration and deposit due March 28, 2015

May 10, 2015: Orientation
May 11-22, 2015: M-F, 10am-5pm
Dec. 7-18, 2015: M-F, 10am-5pm

Download the DanceAbility teacher application form.

Please email VSA Texas or call Celia at 866-489-8412. Visit to learn more about this program.

The NADC would like to announce a new report "Cultivating Talent: Improving Access to Arts Careers for Artists with Disabilities."

A review of the Statewide Forums program from 2002-2013 demonstrated that the Statewide Forums increased confidence, artistic skills and business/marketing skills, connections to other artists and arts employers, and led to sales or short term employment of artists with disabilities. State arts agencies discovered artists with disabilities, including those that were already part of their networks; developed new partnerships with arts and disability organizations, and increased their knowledge about the needs of artists with disabilities and how to include them in their programs. For more information on the impact of the Statewide Forums program and identified best practices read the report: "Cultivating Talent: Improving Access to Arts Careers for Artists with Disabilities."

This report was supported, in part, by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Grant #11-3900-7003.

Opening Minds, Opening Doors:
Promoting Self-Advocates as Speakers

Opening Minds, Opening Doors (OMOD) works with people with disabilities to write and present their stories at Texas conferences and other events.

New 6-Week Class: Preparing a Powerful Story for Presentation

Saturdays, April 18th - May 23rd, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
in Room 101 of the AGE Building, 3710 Cedar Street, Austin, TX 78705

In this class, each participant will write a personal story and develop the presentation skills needed to deliver it in public. Find your voice, tell your story, and build the skills necessary to advocate for disability rights. Download an application here. The application deadline is Monday, April 6th at 5:00 pm.

Please visit the Opening Minds, Opening Doors webpage for more information about the project.

VSA Texas Side By Side Internship Opportunities

Filmmaking Internship - Summer 2015
Application Deadline: April 27, 2015

We are looking for young adults between the ages of 16 - 23 with developmental disabilities interested in making movies! This internship will take place June 15-July 3 in Austin, TX. VSA Texas Filmmaking Internship participants will work with professional artists in the film industry through classroom settings and hands-on experience. Interns will be immersed in every aspect of filmmaking. From concept development to screenwriting to filming and editing, you get personal instruction on how to bring your vision to life. Week one is the film school experience. We think, we write, we storyboard. Pre-production is key to realizing your film once we begin shooting. In weeks two and three interns are paired with professionals and volunteers to produce, shoot, score and edit the film. Together, in teams of three, your short films are born! See the attached application for more information.

Whatever your talent is, come share it with us at this inclusive Open Mic

Saturday, April 11 2015
Malvern Books
613 W. 29th Street
Austin, TX 78705
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Whatever your talent is, come share it with us at this inclusive Open Mic hosted by VSA Texas and the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities Pen 2 Paper Program. Join us for a unique open mic that is open to people with and without disabilities. We welcome writers, acoustic musicians, dancers, and performers of all kinds. Our focus this month is poetry as we are included in the Austin International Poetry Festival. So bring your own poetry to read, or choose a selection from our hosts at Malvern Books. For more information email April at VSA Texas or call 512-454-9912.

Click to enlarge Open Mic flyer

Body Shift is a mixed ability dance project

For over 10 years, Forklift Danceworks and VSA Texas have engaged in the world of mixed-ability improvisational dance. Everyone moves in unique and different ways, and Body Shift offers dance classes for anyone to explore movement and the body. Body Shift creates a welcoming environment that empowers everyone to fully embrace dancing in their own unique way promoting the idea every Body can find enjoyment in contemporary dancing. For more about Body Shift go to

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