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The Kennedy Center

2009 VSA and MetLife Foundation Arts Connect All Awardees

The following ten organizations received grants of $15,000 to continue their work in creating inclusive learning environments that engage students with and without disabilities:

  • Allegro Foundation (Charlotte, N.C.): Dance Instruction - Students develop dance skills, create original choreography, and learn about historically significant American dance pieces.
  • AXIS Dance Company (Oakland, Calif.): Dance Access/KIDS! - Students learn contemporary dance through a combination of after-school instruction, in-school residency, and performances.
  • Bethune Theatredanse (Los Angeles, Calif.): Infinite Dreams - Students participate in a dance and dramatic arts program that culminates in community performances and includes in-service training for instructors.
  • CENTERSTAGE (Baltimore, Md.): Playwrights in Schools - Students build literacy skills through an exploration of dramatic literature and the act of playwriting.
  • In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre (Minneapolis, Minn.): Puppet Residencies, Exploring Water - Students design and build puppets, and they write a story for their puppets exploring concepts about water.
  • Luna Kids Dance (Berkeley, Calif.): Middle School Dance Inclusion - Students develop creative dance skills through kinesthetic, visual, auditory, and literary experiences; the program also provides professional development for educators.
  • Ruth Eckerd Hall (Clearwater, Fla.): Dancing to the Beat Arts Access - Kindergarten through grade 8 students learn dance and percussion in residencies.

  • Shakespeare At Play (Burbank, Calif.): Shakespeare Enabled - Professional development workshops, residencies, and performances make the works of Shakespeare accessible to students of all abilities.
  • Tampa Museum of Art (Tampa, Fla.): Partners in Art - This cross-disciplinary outreach program uses the creative processes of art-making to raise awareness and appreciation of community diversity.
  • Upstream Arts (Minneapolis, Minn.): Success in the Arts - Children build artistic, social, and communication skills through dance, theater, music, visual arts, and poetry workshops.

"This program motivates arts organizations to offer students with and without disabilities opportunities in theater, dance, and writing development," said Soula Antoniou, president of VSA arts. "MetLife's partnership enables these organizations to focus on helping all students grow through arts education."