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The Kennedy Center

Creation of the Book

Photographer, David Reader traveled around the country in an RV, meeting with each artist, and creating portraits of these remarkable individuals in their homes, with their families, and producing their work. Here, he rests with the book's writer, Alexandra Rabins.

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How The Book Came Into Being

From a pool of nominations from VSA arts affiliates around the country, a selection team composed of VSA arts headquarters' staff selected twenty-five individuals to be featured in this first nationally published book capturing the stories of artists with disabilities who testify to VSA arts and the power of the arts.

Photographer David Reader and writer Alex Rabins sitting in the RV

Once the selections were made, photographer C. David Reader and writer Alexandra Rabins got to work. David traveled around the country in his mobile home, meeting with the artists, their families and teachers. Alex interviewed the artists over the telephone prior to David's arrival and then contacted him to share information about the artists to help David capture a more personal image on film.

Through these collaborative efforts, a book began to emerge that was as distinctive as the individuals profiled. Ranging in age from 10 to 70 and home-residencies from California to Delaware, these VSA arts artists share their stories and passion for the arts. Each story offers readers a unique perspective of how the transformational power of the arts play a key role in their personal journeys of living with a disability.