Arts, Culture, and Humanities

VSA Massachusetts, Inc.

  • Boston, MA
  • www.vsamass.org

Mission Statement

VSA Massachusetts promotes the involvement of people of all abilities in the cultural life of our communities. Our programs serve thousands of people of all ages and abilities through groundbreaking and effective statewide programs in three program areas: Education (COOL Schools), the Open Door Gallery, and Cultural Inclusion. We work with teachers and students, parents and school administrators. We also work with artists, cultural organizations and people advocating for the rights of people with disabilities.

Main Programs

  1. COOL Schools
  2. Cultural Inclusion
  3. Open Door Gallery
Service Areas

Self-reported

Massachusetts

Our current COOL Schools programs serve students in Boston (East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, and Mattapan), Chestnut Hill, Worcester, Gardner, Tewksbury, Springfield and Taunton.The Open Door Gallery is located in downtown Boston and serves artists based locally and in New England. Our Cultural Inclusion programs serve communities and cultural organizations statewide.

ruling year

1999

Principal Officer since 2000

Self-reported

Mr. Charles J. Washburn

Keywords

Self-reported

art, access, disability, inclusion, education, arts integration, inclusive, COOL, Very Special Arts, VSA arts, Kennedy Center

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EIN

04-2699540

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (A01)

Specialized Education Institutions/Schools for Visually or Hearing Impaired, Learning Disabled (B28)

Elementary, Secondary Ed (B20)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Accomplishments: - Launched COOL Schools program to increase the sustainability and impact of our inclusive arts learning programs by training teachers to implement inclusive arts integration in their classrooms. Developed and piloted four workshops to train educators in arts-integrated inclusive strategies, which were fully enrolled. - BPS Arts Expansion Fund awarded us $80,000 (second largest award given to an arts organization this year) to implement COOL at six Boston partner schools. - Publication of ""Universal Design for Learning in the Classroom"" (Guilford Press). VSA MA Education Program Manager Kati Blair Kotrc co-authored Chapter 8, ""The Arts Option"", which highlights our work at the Henderson Inclusion Elementary School.- Significantly increased the quality and visibility of exhibits and related events at the Open Door Gallery. - VSA MA will co-host the LEAD (Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability) Conference on August 21-24 in Boston. Goals: - Increase professional development and coaching for teachers in partner schools - Increase professional development for educators outside the schools by doubling professional development offerings and providing one-on-one follow-up coaching from teaching artists. - Triple our individual giving revenue by the end of FY' 13 through implementation of new fundraising strategy. - Sustain and increase participation of cultural organizations in Cultural Access New England (CANE) by offering professional development to staff at cultural organizations. - Establish collaborative relationships with other community organizations to identify new artists with disabilities and promote their work through the Open Door Gallery and other venues.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

COOL Schools

The COOL (Creative Outlook on Learning) Schools model provides students with a variety of ways to experience academic content, express what they know, and engage in learning. COOL teaching artists collaborate with classroom teachers to introduce strategies inherent in the arts to include students of all abilities and support their learning in the arts as well as in other academic subjects. COOL teaching artists and classroom teachers co-create and co-teach instructional units, addressing Common Core Standards for both arts and academic content. COOL builds the arts integration capacity of educators through professional development. COOL teaching artists present workshops to introduce the entire school to the transformative power of the arts in instructional practice and inclusive school culture. Introductory workshops are also offered twice a year and are open to all educators.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)

Other Named Groups

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

$378,000.00

Program 2

Cultural Inclusion

VSA MA's Cultural Inclusion programs support access by people of all abilities to cultural events and facilities in the following ways: - Audience Development: We connect cultural organizations with accessible programs to audience members with access needs. - Universal Design: We support cultural organizations to design programmatic, architectural, physical, communication, attitudinal and other forms of access. - Career Support: We support people of all abilities to gain skills and employment in the creative economy and participate in cultural institutions. - Inclusive by Design: A team of musicians, visual artists, American Sign Language interpreters, audio describers and captioners produce inclusive performances.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Other Named Groups

Disabled, General or Disability Unspecified

Adults

Budget

$80,000.00

Program 3

Open Door Gallery

The Open Door Gallery supports and promotes the careers of approximately 35 visual artists with disabilities each year through exhibitions and events that share profound stories and dispel myths of ability. Located in downtown Boston, the Open Door Gallery is visited by over 1500 community members annually.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Other Named Groups

Disabled, General or Disability Unspecified

Other Named Groups

Budget

$48,500.00

Service Areas

Self-reported

Massachusetts

Our current COOL Schools programs serve students in Boston (East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, and Mattapan), Chestnut Hill, Worcester, Gardner, Tewksbury, Springfield and Taunton.The Open Door Gallery is located in downtown Boston and serves artists based locally and in New England. Our Cultural Inclusion programs serve communities and cultural organizations statewide.

Additional Documents

Funding Needs

Capacity Needs: -Recruit additional and diverse board members with interest and expertise in education, disability, marketing and social media. -Recruit highly qualified and diverse teaching artists with significant experience in arts integration, collaboration with teachers, and supporting the needs of students of all abilities. Financial Needs: -Secure at least $80,000 in additional funding to balance our budget and halt the decrease in net assets in FY '13. (VSA MA has been reliant on government support through the VSA Home Office, designated by Congress as agents to support Arts in Education at the US Department of Education. In 2011, this funding was reduced by more than half. Having a strong balance sheet, VSA MA has sustained the recent losses by making investments from working capital reserves and developed strategic and individual fundraising plans.)

External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

VSA MASSACHUSETTS INC
Fiscal year: Oct 01-Sep 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

VSA Massachusetts, Inc.

Leadership

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Principal Officer

Mr. Charles J. Washburn

BIO

Charles J. Washburn has worked for VSA MA since 1987 and has served as Executive Director since 2000. He holds a BA in History and Education from Fairfield University and a CSS in Management and Administration from Harvard University. As a certified teacher, he taught Kindergarten and early primary students. He was director of an urban art center and festival known as Summer's World in Worcester, MA, and is one of the founders of First Night Worcester. Charlie has also worked in human services on the improvement of community-based programs, including a teen suicide prevention program. He is a founding member and former President of MA Advocates for the Arts, Sciences and Humanities. He was a member of the MA Arts Curriculum Framework Committee and Chair of the MA Department of Education's Arts in Education Advisory Council. He has served on the Kindergarten Curriculum and Teacher Leadership Project and as as chair of the VSA National Advisory Council and on the Board of Directors of VSA. Charlie has an aptitude for collaboration. Under his direction VSA MA has forged enduring partnerships with cultural organizations and facilities throughout the country to promote access to community cultural venues. Along with VSA MA President and Founder, Maida S. Abrams, Charlie developed a state project that became the National Cultural Access Initiative. Charlie is also the executive producer of the video Universal Design for the Performing Arts, narrated by John Hockenberry. Since VSA MA's affiliation with Seven Hills Foundation, Charlie has assumed the role of VP and COO of VSA MA.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"Through the arts, we are breaking new ground. For people with disabilities, the arts represent a world of resources and opportunities. Artistic expression provides an outlet for the creative voice and unlimited possibilities for personal, academic, and professional success. By engaging in the arts, people with disabilities are able to contribute to our workplaces and communities, help extinguish old stereotypes regarding disabilities, and create a global culture truly representative of all people. VSA MA reaches approximately 10,000 people annually through groundbreaking and effective statewide programs in Education, Cultural Inclusion, and through the Open Door Gallery. "

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. John Healy

Seven Hills Foundation

Term: Dec 2014 - Dec 2017

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?