VSA International Art Program for Children with Disabilities
A Jean Kennedy Smith Arts and Disability Program
Children with disabilities from around the world are invited to share images of their original artwork in an online exhibition. A selection of artwork from the online entries will be chosen for a live exhibition in Washington, D.C.!
Deadline to submit: June 5, 2019
Who may submit: Children with a disability, grades pre-kindergarten–12 (or equivalent). Group projects are accepted as long as all artists are students with disabilities.
Artwork specifications: Both two-dimensional (preferred) and three-dimensional works accepted. We do not accept work larger than 18 x 24 inches.
We invite students with disabilities to share images of their artwork addressing this year's theme:
Yo Soy...Je Suis...I Am...My Family
In today's world, families come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and colors. Family can mean close relationships with a wide variety of people who provide love, support, and encouragement. They help shape who we are and provide a foundation for who we will be. What comes to mind when you think of what family means to you? Show us!
Use activities from any of the VSA Teacher Resource Guides to create pieces for the call for art.
The application deadline has passed but check back here to apply next year.
Please note: The call for artwork requires additional information for each entry:
- About the Submitter - Name, Email, Phone and Relationship to the artist
- About the Artist - Name, Age, Location, and Disability
- Artist Statement - Describe the artwork. What is your artwork about?
- About the Artwork - Title, Size, and Medium
2019 Yo Soy...Je Suis...I Am...Motivated to Create
Children with disabilities were asked how they create understanding, harmony, and change in their communities. Humans create art for many reasons—to capture images we find appealing, to process experiences, to share our views with others—but above all the creation of art is a way to actively participate in the cultural fabric of our world.
2017 UBUNTU: Yo Soy...Je Suis...I Am...Because You Are
Student-artists were asked to create art inspired by meaningful connections in their lives and in the world around them. Their art also reflects the universally human ideals President Kennedy championed in his lifetime: service, freedom, justice, courage, and gratitude.
2016 Yo Soy...Je Suis...I Am...The World
Children were asked to reflect on their personal cultural identities: How can I change the world I live in? What is unique about my world? The artworks shown here represent a variety of ethnicities, backgrounds, experiences, and demographic locations reflecting the differences and commonalities in us all.
2015 Yo Soy...Je Suis...I Am...The Future
View the online gallery
Children with disabilities were encouraged to imagine their future. Student-artists were asked to consider what their future holds: Who will I be? Where will I live? How will I change the world? In response, the artists help us see the environments in which they will live, learn and play, and explore how they can impact the future. The resulting artwork testifies to the vital role of arts education in unlocking every child's potential, not only in the arts, but in all facets of their lives.
2014 Yo Soy...Je Suis...I Am...My Neighborhood
View the online gallery
Children with disabilities were encouraged to create a portrait of themselves within the context of their neighborhood. What makes your neighborhood come alive? Interesting neighbors? Varied architecture? A great park or playground? Student-artists are encouraged to illustrate all the important people, places, and landscapes of their local space that shape who they are and who they will be in the future.
2013 Yo Soy...Je Suis...I Am...My Family
View the online gallery
Student-artists in 2013 illustrate themselves among the people that provide love, support, and encouragement in their lives – their families! Portraying themselves with some of the most important people in their lives gives testament to the idea that family – no matter how big or how small – help shape who we are and provide the foundation for who we will be.
Funding for the VSA International Art Program for Children with Disabilities is provided by
The U.S. Department of Education.
Additional support is provided by the National Committee for the Performing Arts.
International Programming at the Kennedy Center is made possible through the generosity of the
Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts.
The content of this program may have been developed under a grant from the
U.S. Department of Education, but does not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education. You should not assume endorsement by the federal government.