"Arts Connect All" Program Offers Grants to Public Schools

Source: VSA arts and MetLife Foundation

Local organizations can apply for grants of up to $15,000 to increase arts opportunities for children with disabilities.
Washington, D.C., December 7, 2004—VSA arts, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to the participation of people with disabilities in the arts and society, and MetLife Foundation have announced the formation of the Arts Connect All initiative. This program is designed to encourage arts organizations to strengthen partnerships with local public schools by creating or enhancing accessible education programs so that more children with disabilities have the opportunity to experience the social development and artistic benefits gained through arts learning.

Organizations in Baltimore are eligible for these grants. Other targeted cities are Los Angeles, Denver, Tampa, Atlanta, Boston, St. Louis, Portland (Oregon), Pittsburgh, and Providence (Rhode Island).

“The Arts Connect All program will act as a catalyst for creating greater educational access in the arts for students with disabilities and special needs and highlight the contributions of arts organizations to the development of inclusive learning communities,” said Soula Antoniou, president of VSA arts, in a prepared statement to the press.

VSA arts and MetLife Foundation seek program proposals from arts organizations focused on creating or enhancing accessible educational initiatives that:

Grants of up to $15,000 are available. Proposals can involve programs that take place during school hours or they may be after-school initiatives. The deadline for proposals is January 28, 2005.

Entries will be reviewed and evaluated by an independent panel of professionals with and without disabilities who work in accessible arts programming, arts education, and/or inclusive education. All entrants will receive written notification before March 15, 2005. To obtain an application for the VSA arts/MetLife Foundation Arts Connect All initiative and learn more about eligibility and application guidelines, visit

For additional program information, please contact Stephanie Litvak, VSA arts director of program development, at 202-628-2800 or by email at

For more information about MetLife Foundation, visit

VSA arts was founded in 1974 as an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, VSA arts is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to the participation of people with disabilities in the arts and society. Currently, five million people participate in VSA arts programs each year through a network of affiliates nationwide and in more than 60 countries around the world. VSA arts created Start with the Arts©, a comprehensive early childhood learning resource for classrooms that encourages the development of literacy and school readiness skills; Express Diversity!©, a program of instructional materials for increasing disability awareness through the arts; and the VSA arts Institute, which provides professional development training for teachers, teaching artists, and arts administrators, offering arts-based teaching strategies to include students with disabilities.

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This story was published on December 8, 2004.