VSA and MetLife Foundation Invite Arts Organizations to Apply for Arts Connect All Program

August 31, 2010

VSA, an international nonprofit that works to create a society where people with disabilities learn through, participate in, and enjoy the arts, and the MetLife Foundation have designed the Arts Connect All funding opportunity to encourage arts organizations in select metropolitan areas of the United States to create or enhance multi-session, inclusive education programs by strengthening partnerships with local K-12 public schools.

The Arts Connect All program is designed to enable more students with disabilities to experience social, cognitive, and cultural development through arts learning alongside their peers without disabilities; create educational access and inclusion in the arts for students with disabilities; and document the contributions that arts organizations make to inclusive education in public schools. Inclusive programs are those which have students with and without disabilities interacting in activities together to create awareness, understanding, and respect.

VSA and MetLife Foundation invite proposals from arts organizations working to create or enhance inclusive educational programs that incorporate inclusive teaching practices; provide access to students with all types of disabilities; develop social, cognitive, and artistic skills; involve people with disabilities in planning and implementation; build staff, teacher, and/or artist knowledge and skill of inclusive practices; and collaborate with public schools, actively engaging students, parents, and school administrators.

Nonprofit 501(c)(3) performing and/or exhibiting arts organizations — including museums, theaters, and multidisciplinary arts presenters —that are creating or have an established educational program are eligible to apply. Organizations must have as their primary mission the goal of advancing the arts and/or a specific art form.

Only arts organizations located in and partnering with public schools in the following metropolitan areas are eligible: Phoenix, Arizona; Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco, California; Denver, Colorado; Hartford, Connecticut; Tampa, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; Baltimore, Maryland; Boston, Massachusetts; Detroit, Michigan; Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota; Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri; Charlotte, North Carolina; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Portland, Oregon; Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Providence, Rhode Island; Nashville, Tennessee; Houston, Texas; and Seattle, Washington.

Eligible programs (existing or newly developed) must have students with disabilities and without disabilities learning together at the same time and place; must involve K-12 public school students in the target audience; must be ongoing or have multiple sessions; may take place during school hours or after school; and may receive awards in a maximum of three grant cycles. Second- and third-year grants must expand or enhance programs funded in a previous cycle.

A maximum of ten grants of up to $15,000 each will be awarded.

Guidelines and application instructions are available at the VSA Web site.

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