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The Kennedy Center

2008 VSA and MetLife Foundation Arts Connect All Awardees

The following arts organizations received grants of $15,000 for programs that enhance accessible education in public schools by creating learning environments where young people with and without disabilities learn side-by-side:

First-year recipients

  • Bethune Theatredanse (Los Angeles, California), for Infinite Dreams, a dance and dramatic arts program for elementary school students that provides in-service training for instructors and produces community performances.
  • CENTERSTAGE (Baltimore, Maryland), for its Playwrights in Schools program for high school students, which builds literacy skills through study of dramatic literature and writing dramatic works.
  • Hammonds House Museum (Atlanta, Georgia) for Think With Your Senses/Feel With Your Mind, a program where high school and elementary school students create multi-sensory artworks that are displayed as public installations.
  • Illusion Theater & School (Minneapolis, Minnesota) for Arts RAP, a residency program in which South High School students build social and academic skills through a range of theater arts experiences, from script writing to staged performance.
  • Jack Straw Productions (Seattle, Washington) for Sighted Blind Arts workshops, in which high school students learn to combine movement, sound, audio description, and felt sensations creatively into an inclusive performance.
  • Malashock Dance (San Diego, California) for the Liberty School project, which offers dance and movement activities to reinforce academic learning themes for elementary and middle school students.

Second-year recipients

  • Oregon Cultural Access (Portland, Oregon), for Inclusive Arts Vibe, a dance and drama program for youth that builds artistic skills and introduces the concepts of disability pride and culture.
  • Shakespeare at Play (Burbank, California), for Shakespeare Enabled, a series of professional development workshops, in-school residencies, and performances that make the Bard's works accessible to all.

Third-year recipients

  • Luna Kids Dance (Berkeley, California), for Tilden Elementary Integrated Creative Dance, which uses dance to build respect for diversity and encourage understanding among cultures.
  • STAGES ST. LOUIS (Chesterfield, Missouri), for Access the Arts, a musical theater program that develops students’ creativity and self-confidence, as well as performance and communication skills.